The Marylebone Cricket Club has finally released the updated version of the game's Code of Laws. The biggest change in the new set of rules is that the umpires will now have the power to send off misbehaving players, temporarily or permanently, and can also award the opposition with penalty runs.
The changes would also mean that the umpires have to add two more decision depicting actions to their manual. The MCC gave a detailed description of the new actions that the umpires would have to perform to signal a sending off and also gave detailed reasons that could lead to the send-offs. These changes have been introduced to keep the poor player behaviour in control and help the "gentlemen's game" live up to its name. The offences range from excessive appealing and dissent at the lower end of the severity scale to physical violence at the highest.
The signal to send a misbehaving player off either temporarily or permanently will require the umpire to raise and lower his arm sideways repeatedly. If the player is to be sent-off permanently for a 'level four' offence, the standing official will point their index finger and hold their arm stretched sideways. In case the player is to be sent off temporarily which is classified as the 'level three' sanction, the umpire would be required to stretch his arms sideways up to the shoulder with all his fingers spread and palms pointing to the culprit.
Both the decisions leads to the opposition being awarded five penalty runs. The signal for awarding the penalty runs remains the same with the official repeatedly tapping his shoulder. The umpire would also have to inform the player's captain about his removal from the field and in a scenario where the captain doesn't comply, the umpire will have the right to call the game and declare the opposition team as the winner. In case both the team's captain do not comply the match can be abandoned.
Cricket Australia's Playing Conditions Advisory Committee has organised a meeting in the coming weeks to discuss these new rules.
"The MCC has left no stone unturned in researching and redrafting the new Laws of Cricket and has done so in order to make the laws work in a way that makes sense to the players, umpires and spectators. The laws are applicable worldwide so they need to be as simple as possible to understand and inclusive to all.", in relevance to the new addition of laws," Fraser Stewart, the MCC laws manager said, reported cricket.com.au.
The committee had earlier taken valuable inputs from former cricketers like Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakara, Sourav Ganguly, and Rod Marsh to reach this conclusion. Along with the new rules, the MCC has also restricted the permissible bat thickness to make the game less batsman friendly. The law will come into effect in October after approval from the ICC.