New cricket rules and what do they mean!

New cricket rules and what do they mean!

7 minutes read

Are rules arbitrary? Or, are they reasoned and systematic? Moreover, are changes to rules justified? Willingness to change or accept change can always hold one back, but, sometimes, it is this willingness to change that keeps one sane and allows one to have 2 sensible, albeit contrasting views.

It’s been 230 years since the formation of the Marylebone Cricket Club, the club which would become the lawmakers of the great game. If one were to draw a comparison between the game then and the game now, one would realise that what started as a game played by children is now a game played by grownups; what started as a game with meagre laws is now a game with laws so solid and ethics so valued that it is called “The Gentleman’s Game

The laws of the game are always changing and the custodians of the laws – MCC are constantly monitoring the game to see where laws can be made or modified or removed. This year, too, new rules were announced by MCC and implemented by ICC. While some rules are like daemons in operating systems, some rules will be seen almost immediately by viewers.

New rules and what do they mean

I managed to compile the new rules into 4 categories – Batting, Bowling, Fielding and Playing Conditions, while underlining the impact of each of the rules.

  1. Regulation on Thickness of bats
  2. The edge of the bat cannot be more than 40 mm and the bat itself cannot be more than 67 mm in thickness at any point. With this rule to be enforced by umpires, who will use gauges to measure the thickness of bats at their will, Australia seems to be headed in more trouble before the Ashes than they think. You all know who is being talked about here.
    P.S.: I like to think that it was the article on Cricket in Progress that brought about this change.

    Goodbye humongous bats! So long!!!!

  3. First contact with the ball inside the boundary
  4. Is that a bird? Is that a plane? No, it’s superman! We’d probably hear less of this phrase for the fielders. This new, albeit somewhat controversial rule suggests that even if the fielder is airborne, first contact with the ball has to be inside the geometry of the boundary – all 3 axes. Less of ‘kamaal’ catches on the boundary. It’s a pity this rule is introduced. Fielders putting in the amount of efforts to arrest the momentum of the ball midway in the air, then regaining control of their own body and then, in some cases, completing the catch is plausible, to say the least.

    “Alas!”, said the TV umpire.

  5. No run-out if bat in the air after grounding
  6. If there ever was an element of doubt that cricket is not a batsman’s game, this rule probably put the last nail on the coffin. On some levels, it does seem logical, that a batsman, in a desperate attempt to make his crease dives – the bat crosses the popping crease but in this desperate attempt, the bat bumps on the ground and takes a small flight – in this moment of flight, the bails are off. Conventional rule dictated the batsman run-out or stumped, but the morphed rule will rule the batsman not out.

    Get that dive in, son!

  7. Helmet is part of the fielder
  8. Why wasn’t it already! All valid protective gear should be considered part of the player. So, now if the ball hits the helmet and then caught, it would be considered a legal catch. Batsmen can also be run-out or stumped if the ball hits the helmet of the wicket-keeper or the fielder.
    Pop and outtt! Lucky break.

  9. DRS improves
  10. The introduction of this change within the DRS system makes the DRS system more sensible. Team will no longer loose a review when the decision stays because of “umpire’s call”. However, the flip side that’s been introduced is that, in Tests, reviews will not be reset after 80 overs. Makes sense! DRS will make its debut in T20 internationals, with teams getting 1 unsuccessful review per innings.

    6th ball of the 79th over? No review just for the sake of it.

  11. Unfair Play
  12. Some very interesting rules have come up concerning fair play. MCC has added a new rule in all the 3 departments, viz. batting, bowling and fielding.
    On the fielding front, the batting side will be awarded 5 runs if a fielder tries to do mock fielding. I’ll let you judge this rule.
    In the bowling department, a deliberate no-ball could mean that the bowler can bowl no more in that innings.

    Pollard, no more denying centuries to batsmen.

    And in the batting arena, a batsman is no longer allowed to take a stride so far from the popping crease that there arises a danger to the critical portions of the pitch.

  13. Scoring of extras changed
  14. The way scoring of extras was done has changed now. If there are byes or leg-byes of a no-ball, the byes and leg-byes will not be counted in the bowler’s figures. So, if a keeper was to let the ball go through him on a no-ball, those 4 byes would be added to the team extras, not the individual extras.

    I’d say, finally some reprieve for the bowlers.

  15. Bowling : No more than 1 bounce before reaching the popping crease
  16. Oh, this one’s a beauty. This rule has got sub-rules though. 1 says that the ball cannot bounce more than once before reaching the popping crease and the other one says that the ball cannot be intercepted by a fielder before the ball reaches the batsman. I wonder which fielder intercepted the ball that MCC had to come up with the 2nd rule. The 1st rule is pretty simple. Penalty in each of the case is a no-ball.

    Sorry, Trevor. It’s a no-ball. Go back and bowl again.

  17. Revised bowling conditions for curtailed innings
  18. For T20 innings that are curtailed to less than 10 overs, this rule states that the maximum no. of overs that each bowler can bowl will not be less than 2. Consider the 1st T20 between India and Australia conducted on 7th October 2017 – India’s chase was curtailed to 6 overs. Earlier, the rule stated that 1 bowler can bowl a maximum of 2 overs and 4 bowlers can bowl 1 over each. Now, though, the rule states that 3 bowlers can bowl 2 overs each.

    Now, teams can play specific number of bowlers if a match is curtailed before the toss.

  19. Recall batsmen
  20. Teams will now have the option to withdraw their appeal. Umpires can even recall a dismissed batsman if he deems so right. But, the umpire has to do so before the next delivery is bowled. This rule comes as a replacement of the previous rule which stated that a batsman could not be recalled once he/she had left the field.

    Didn’t MS Dhoni do this even before there was a rule for it! Hmmm.

  21. Level – 4 offences
  22. A player will now be sent off the field for all Level-4 offences. Level-4 offences include physical assault or threat of physical assault to any player, umpire or spectator, using racist language or gestures against a player, umpire or spectator.

    This means, no throwing bats at bowlers. Yeah, I said it.

  23. Tethering of bails
  24. At the discretion of the host board, bails can now be tethered to the stumps, although the bails cannot be tethered in a way that it hampers the dislodging mechanism. This rule comes in view of several bail-related injuries and improving safety for wicket-keepers and close-in fielders. I think all matches should have tethering of bails.

    Saba Karim says, “This rule is 17 years too late” “touché“, says Mark Boucher.

  25. Intervals
  26. Simple rule. An interval will be taken if a wicket falls within 3 minutes of the scheduled interval. Previous was 2.

  27. Substitutes
  28. In Test cricket, teams will now be allowed to nominate 6 substitutes instead of 4.

    Less room in the plane now.

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