New major changes in cricket law

The changes made by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are intended to shape the game of cricket as it should be played

Arijit Barua
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New major changes in cricket law |

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced the new code of Laws for 2022 on Wednesday. MCC Laws sub-committee had a meeting last week where they approved several changes for the 2022 code of law.

Earlier, the 2017 laws of cricket played a very significant role in shaping cricket and the 2022 rules are also expected to emulate the same. However, the new code of laws will come into force from October 1, 2022.

There are several notable changes in the Laws of Cricket, follow below,

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Law 1 – Replacement Players

The MCC has introduced a new clause - Law 1.3 which is regarding the replacement of players. Meanwhile, the replacements are now be treated as if they were the player they replaced on the field. They will receive the sanctions or dismissals that the player has done in that match.

Law 18 – Batters returning when Caught

The MCC made a massive change to another law as according to Law 18.11, when a batter gets caught, the player who comes to bat will start at the striker's end (unless it is the end of an over).

Earlier, if the batters crossed before the catch was taken then the new player would go to the non-strikers' end but the law has changed to reward the bowler for taking the wicket. Meanwhile, it was first trialed in "The Hundred" tournament by England and Wales Cricket Board.

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Law – Dead ball

New major changes in cricket law |

A Dog enters the ground during a Test match

Image - The Wire

The dead-ball sometimes plays a crucial role in the match. The MCC has made several changes and modified the law. In recent times, the intruders have entered the ground on several occasions which hurt the continuity of the game. Meanwhile, sometimes it gives an advantage to either side. The new law will allow the umpire to call it a dead ball when either side is disadvantaged by a person, animal, or other objects within the field of play.

Law 21.4 – Bowler throwing towards striker's end before delivery

If a bowler throws the ball in an attempt to run out the striker before entering their delivery stride, it will now be the Dead ball. This is an extremely rare scenario, which has until now been called a No ball.

Law 22.1 – Judging a Wide

Law 22.1 has been amended to take away the unfair advantage from the batters. In modern-day cricket, the batters play a lot of innovative shots. Moreover, for that, they move around the crease before the ball is moved to create doubts in the bowler's mind. The new law suggests that a 'Wide' will apply to where the batter is standing, where the striker has stood at any point since the bowler began their run-up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position.

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Law 25.8 – Striker's right to play the ball

The new Law 25.8 will allow the batter to hit the ball if it lands away from the pitch. The batter has to keep in mind that some part of their bat or person remains within the pitch. Should they venture beyond that, the umpire will call and signal Dead ball. As a reward to the batter, any ball which would force them to leave the pitch will also be called No ball.

Laws 27.4 and 28.6 – Unfair movement by the fielding side

The MCC made another important change in the laws. If there is any unfair movement by the fielding side while the ball is bowled, the batting side will be awarded the 5 penalty runs. Earlier, it was referred to as the dead-ball and which turned into a disadvantageous for the batting side as the good shot or boundary got canceled with that dead ball.

Law 38.3 – Moving the running out of the non-striker (Mankad)

It was the law that needed some modification as several critics called it controversial. The MCC's new code of laws has moved the running out of the non-striker (Mankad) from Law 41 - Unfair Play to Law 38 - Run-out. While the wordings of the law remain the same.

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Law 41.3 – No Saliva

New major changes in cricket law |

Faf Du Plessis using Saliva on the ball

Image - Fox Sports

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the MCC to ban saliva on the ball which help the bowlers to get a swing, especially with the red ball. The MCC claims that its research has found that the banning of saliva had had little or no impact on the amount of swing the bowlers were getting. In recent times, players started using their sweat to polish the ball instead of saliva. However, the MCC suggested that it was equally effective for them.

The new Laws will not permit the use of saliva on the ball, which also removes any grey areas of fielders eating sugary sweets to alter their saliva to apply to the ball. Using saliva will be treated the same way as any other unfair method of changing the condition of the ball.

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