The MCC discussed the introduction of red card in cricket as is used in football and hockey for improved player behaviour. The game’s custodians are also contemplating reduction in the maximum width of the edge of the cricket bat to restore balance between the bat and the ball.
Several such recommendations were discussed by the Marylebone Cricket Club World Cricket Committee at its two-day meeting in Mumbai which concluded on Wednesday, Dec 7. The main MCC committee will take the final call.
“In a survey in England, 40 per cent of the umpires said that they were considering giving up umpiring because of verbal abuse,” former England captain Mike Brearley, who chaired the meeting, told the Times of India.
“Anecdotal evidence from people who are familiar with leagues in parts of England say that the behaviour has gotten worse. The umpires have to be respected and given the best possible chance and I think cricket is the only game in which there isn't this possibility of an in-match punishment or deterrent.
“This is a pretty drastic change to the law. It was about giving inhouse power to the umpire. It is the second or the third tier which is causing a lot of stress, the club matches and the lower tier games and so it was felt that something had to be done,” Brearley added.
Reduction in the maximum width of the edges of the cricket bat is aimed at restoring the balance between ball and bat.
“We want to limit the edges to 38-42 mm. Some of the players have edges in excess of 50mm.We're happy with what we have come up with. It will restore the balance between bat and ball,” former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, a committee member, said.
“We've seen top-edges and leading edges going for sixes. Even with the limit in bat size, big-hitters can still clear the ropes.”
The committee has also recommended that catches off a fielder’s helmet be allowed.