Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Laws subcommittee proposed several changes to the 2022 code, which were then approved at the club’s main committee meeting last week. While the changes are being announced now, they won’t take effect until October. In the meantime, however, the relevant material will be updated by MCC to assist in the refereeing and official training on a global scale. The changes are intended to shape the game of cricket as it should be played.
Fraser Stewart, MCC Laws Manager, said: “Since the publication of the 2017 Code of the Laws of Cricket, the game has changed in many ways. The 2nd edition of that Code, published in 2019, consisted mainly of clarification and minor changes, But the 2022 code is making some bigger changes, from the way we talk about cricket to the way it’s played.”
There are some notable changes as below:
Laws 27.4 and 28.6 – Unfair Movement by the Fielding Side
Until now, any member of the fielding side who moved unfairly was only penalized with a ‘Dead ball’, potentially negating a perfectly good shot by the batter. Since the action is both unfair and intentional, the batting side is now awarded 5 penalty points.
Law 38.3 – Moving the non-striker’s running-out
Law 41.16 – the running of the non-striker – has been moved from Law 41 (Unfair Play) to Law 38 (Runout). The text of the law remains the same.
Law 41.3 – No saliva
When cricket resumed after the onset of Covid-19, terms of play were written in most forms of the game stating that it was no longer allowed to use saliva on the ball. MCC’s research found that this had little or no impact on the amount of swing the bowlers got. Players used sweat to polish the ball, and this was equally effective.
The new laws don’t allow the use of saliva on the ball, which also removes any gray areas from fielders eating sweet candies to change their saliva to apply to the ball. The use of saliva is treated the same as any other unfair method of altering the condition of the ball.
Law 1 – Substitute players
The introduction of a new clause, Law 1.3, explains that substitutions are to be treated as if they were the player they are replacing, inheriting any penalties or exclusions suffered by the player in that match.
Law 18 – Batters Come Back When Caught
First tried by the ECB in The Hundred at the suggestion of MCC, Law 18.11 has now been amended so that when a batter is out, the new batter comes in at the end where the batter was, ie to play the next ball (unless it’s the end of one left).
Law 184.108.40.206 – Dead ball
The new edition includes several changes to the Dead Ball Law, the most important of which is the invocation of Dead Ball if either party is harmed by a person, animal, or other object within the playing field.
From a pitch invader to a dog running onto the field, sometimes there is outside interference – if this is the case, and it has a material impact on the game, the umpires will call and signal Dead ball.
Law 21.4 – Bowler throws to batter’s end before ball
If a bowler throws the ball in an attempt to run the striker out before starting his bowling pass, it is now the dead ball. This is an extremely rare scenario, which has been called a No ball until now.
Law 22.1 – A Wide Judgment
In the modern game, more than ever before, batters move sideways around the crease before the ball is thrown.
It was considered unfair that the ball should be labeled ‘Wide’ if the ball passes where the batter had been standing when the bowler placed his/her bowling pass. Therefore, Law 22.1 has been amended so that a Wide will apply where the batter stands, where the batter has stood at any time since the bowler began his run, and which would also have gone wide from the batter in a normal hitting position.
Topics mentioned in this article