Big bats to be banned and player sendoff allowed as per new MCC rules

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Big bats to be banned and player sendoff allowed as per new MCC rules

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SportsCafe Desk

03/07/2017

MCC's new proposed Code of Laws would see a restriction on the thickness of bats and also allow umpires to deduct runs and send off a player from the field in a bid to prevent the rise of poor player behaviour. The new laws would also see the elimination of 'handling the ball' dismissal.

In an attempt to "redress the balance between bat and ball", the Marylebone Cricket Club announced a new set of laws that would be introduced later this year. The biggest change has been to the thickness of the bat. The new laws would see the maximum permitted dimensions of a bat to 108mm in width, 67mm in depth with 40mm edges. Aussie vice-captain David Warner is one of the major players whose bat will be banned as per the new rule.

"The bat size issue has been heavily scrutinized and discussed in recent years. We believe the maximum dimensions we have set will help redress the balance between bat and ball, while still allowing the explosive, big hitting we all enjoy," MCC chief John Stephenson said in a statement. 

The changes to the rule have come after a recommendation from MCC's World Cricket Committee that took inputs from former cricketers like Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakkara, Sourav Ganguly and Rod Marsh. 

Another change that has been made has been the 'bouncing bat' run outs. If a batsman has grounded his bat post crossing the popping crease and their "continued forward momentum towards the stumps" results in the bat losing contact with the ground, he will not be given out as per the new laws.

The 'Mankad' rule has also been changed. The Mankad rule is when the bowler tries to dismiss the non-striker without bowling a ball. According to the new rules, the bowler has been given the authority to execute a run out "from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball". The 

In another major change, the umpires will now have the power to award/deduct runs to a team and can also ask a player to leave the field of play for a number of reasons varying from excessive appealing to physical violence.

"We felt the time had come to introduce sanctions for poor player behavior and research told us that a growing number of umpires at grassroots level were leaving the game because of it,” Stephenson added. 

"Hopefully these sanctions will give them more confidence to handle disciplinary issues efficiently, whilst providing a deterrent to the players." 

The MCC has also reduced the number of ways a batsman can be dismissed. A batsman can be given out in just nine ways instead of the previous ten. The 'handling the ball' rule where a batsman "wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat" has been removed as an official way to get out in the new draft.  However, the act of handling the ball is still not allowed and will be classified under 'obstructing the field' instead. 

The MCC’s has also taken the step to make the terms used in cricket more gender neutral with nouns such as fielder and bowler used more frequently. The term ‘batsman’ will, however, not be changed.

"The game of cricket has evolved a great deal since the last Code of Laws was written in 2000, so much so that MCC made changes to that Code on five separate occasions in the last 14 years. We felt the time was right for a new Code to tidy up many of the piecemeal changes made since 2000. The process has taken nearly three years and has involved significant consultation. We are very pleased with the outcome, which we believe reflects the continuing evolution of cricket,” Stephenson concluded. 

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