NEW DELHI: As part of the safety protocols put in place post Covid, cricketers were not allowed to use saliva on the ball to shine it.
Now, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which is the custodian of cricket laws, as part of its amendments to its 2022 code, have completely banned the use of saliva to shine the ball in the game of cricket. The new rules will be applicable from October this year.
That though is not the only change that we will see in the game of cricket. There have been as many as nine rule changes ratified by the MCC which will change the way the sport is played.
TimeofIndia.com here explains all the changes that have been made to the MCC code of laws, which will come into effect from October 1, 2022:
1.
The rule: (As per MCC):
Law 1 –Replacement players: The introduction of a new clause, Law 1.3, explains that replacements are to be treated as if they were the player they replaced, inheriting any sanctions or dismissals that player has done in that match.
What it means: Earlier, the replacement player was treated as a fresh player, who was not connected with the actions of the player he or she replaced.

(Photo Courtesy: Marylebone Cricket Club Twitter handle)
2.
The rule: (As per MCC):
Law 18 –Batters returning when Caught: Law 18.11 has now been changed so that, when a batter is out caught, the new batter shall come in at the end the striker was at, i.e. to face the next ball (unless it is the end of an over).
What it means: Earlier, the striker and non-striker would run when the ball went high up in the air and cross. If the cross happened before the ball was caught, the new batter coming in would go to the non-striker’s end and the prior non-striker would face the next ball. Now, the new batter coming in will have to face the next ball, regardless. This is unless the ball off which the wicket fell as the last ball of an over, in which case the prior non-striker will have to face the next ball – the first of a new over.

NEW CODE OF CRICKET LAWS ANNOUNCED

3.
The rule: (As per MCC):
Law 20.4.2.12 – Dead ball: The change signifies calling of Dead ball if either side is disadvantaged by a person, animal or other object within the field of play. 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.
What it means: Earlier, if a boundary was conceded or a dismissal was effected or a run was taken just before an interference as mentioned above, it used to be considered fair.

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(Photo Courtesy: Marylebone Cricket Club Twitter handle)
4.
The rule: (As per MCC):
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 Dead ball. This is an extremely rare scenario, which has until now been called as a No ball.
What it means: If a bowler tries to run out the batter on strike before entering his or her delivery stride it will be deemed a no ball. In other words, though it rarely happens, no bowler would do this once the law comes into effect, because there is simply no point in trying to run out a batter in this manner.
5.
The rule: (As per MCC):
Law 22.1 – Judging a Wide: In the modern game, batters are, more than ever, moving laterally around the crease before the ball is bowled.
It was felt unfair that a delivery might be called ‘Wide’ if it passes where the batter had stood as the bowler entered his/her delivery stride. Therefore, Law 22.1 has been amended so 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.
What it means: To score quick runs, batsmen, especially in the shorter formats, regularly change their positions and stance to disturb the rhythm of the bowler. Often batsmen are seen shifting sideways in their crease quite a bit just before a ball is bowled. Earlier despite the sudden change in stance or position where the batter was, wide deliveries were judged on the basis of where the batter ended up. Now, umpires will take into account where the batter is standing vis a vis where the batter has stood in his or her crease at any point after the bowler began his or her run-up. It will be interesting to see if this also changes the way umpires call wides when batters attempt reverse scoops, reverse sweeps, reverse pulls etc by changing their stance at the last minute.

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(Photo Courtesy: Marylebone Cricket Club Twitter handle)
6.
The rule: (As per MCC):
Law 25.8 –striker’s right to play the ball: If the ball should land away from the pitch, the new Law 25.8 allows the striker to play the ball so long as 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 recompense to the batter, any ball which would force them to leave the pitch will also be called No ball.
What it means: Sometimes, the ball slips away from the bowler’s hand and lands awkwardly anywhere, sometimes even outside the pitch. It was up to the batsman to strike it or not. If he doesn’t, it was considered ‘fair play’ within the ‘spirit of the game’, but there was no law that could stop him from hitting the ball. Recently in the T20 World Cup, Australia’s David Warner smashed a Mohammed Hafeez delivery for a boundary that slipped from his hand and bounced twice. Now, a batter cannot ventur entirely outside the pitch to play a shot like this. Some part of his bat or person will have to remain inside of the pitch area. In case there is an instance where a delivery from a bowler forces a batter to exit the pitch area, the ball will now be deemed a no-ball.
7.
The rule: (As per MCC):
Laws 27.4 and 28.6Unfair movement by the fielding side: Until now, any member of the fielding side who moved unfairly, was punished only with a ‘Dead ball’ – potentially cancelling a perfectly good shot by the batter. Given the action is both unfair and deliberate, it will now see the batting side awarded 5 Penalty runs.
What it means: After the field is set and the bowler starts his or her run up, no fielder is allowed to change his or her position abruptly on the field. This not only distracts the batter but is also considered to be unfair, since the batter would have made a mental note of where all 9 fielders (minus bowler and wicket-keeper) are on the field, before the bowler begins his or her run-up. Usually batters pull out of their stance whenever they spot something like this. But there are instances when some batters don’t notice sudden changes. Earlier in such a scenario, umpires would signal a Dead ball, but there were instances when the batter had played a good shot off that delivery. Now, the batting side will be awarded 5 extra runs, if a fielder does anything like this.
8.
The rule: (As per MCC):
Law 38.3 –moving the running out of the non-striker: Law 41.16 – running out the non-striker – has been moved from Law 41 (Unfair play) to Law 38 (Run out). The wording of the Law remains the same.
What it means: ‘Mankading’ is now officially not Unfair Play. It was in 1948 when Indian legend Vinoo Mankad ran out Australian wicketkeeper Bill Brown at the non-striker’s end after duly warning him for backing up too far. The Australian media dubbed it as ‘Mankading’, a name which stuck in popular parlance.
R Ashwin famously ran Jos Buttler out in this fashion in the 2019 IPL, which caused a huge stir. Most people feel the act is against the spirit of the game. The MCC however has now moved this from Law 41 (Unfair play) to Law 38 (Run out), which essentially means that ‘Mankading’ will no longer be officially seen as unfair or technically against the spirit of the game and will be considered as simply another form of running a batter out. The wording of the law remains the same.

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(IPL Photo)
9.
The rule: (As per MCC):
Law 41.3 – No saliva: When cricket resumed following the onset of Covid-19, playing conditions were written in most forms of the game stating that applying saliva to the ball was no longer permitted. MCC’s research found that this had little or no impact on the amount of swing the bowlers were getting. Players were using sweat to polish the ball, and this was equally effective.
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 methods of changing the condition of the ball.
What it means: Use of saliva to shine the cricket ball now stands permanently banned. While bowlers and fielders can still use body sweat to shine the ball, saliva is not going to be allowed, regardless of what the Covid situation is at that time. This, as the MCC explains, also eliminates any chances of players eating sweets or mints to try and thicken their saliva to use that on the ball. From when the new laws come into effect, the use of saliva on the ball will be treated as ball tampering. According to the MCC, no saliva use on the ball did not have any substantial effect on the amount of swing the bowlers were able to generate with a polished ball.

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(Getty Images)

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