One of MCC’s most important roles, which it has carried out since the Club’s formation in 1787, is its custodianship of the Laws of Cricket.
Although the International Cricket Council is the global Governing Body for cricket, it still relies on MCC to write and interpret the Laws of Cricket, which are applicable from the village green to the Test arena.
MCC's Laws sub-committee are responsible for the debating, decision making and drafting of the Laws, which are - in turn - passed by MCC's Main Committee, retaining a robust and measured decision-making process.
Certain levels of cricket are subject to playing regulations, which may create subtle differences to the Laws themselves. This is most high profile at international level, where the ICC applies playing conditions which can cause some confusion at lower levels of the game.
The new Code of the Laws of Cricket was released digitally on 11th April 2017. The Laws will come into force on 1st October 2017 but M.C.C. was keen to release the version as early as possible, particularly for those countries whose seasons commence or are in progress in October.
Some errors, omissions or improvements have been noticed since the release in April and amendments have been made to certain Laws. Most of these are very minor, such as capitalising certain words, correcting or inserting cross-references and adding punctuation. Some were where the wording has been improved, without changing any policy.
Two changes worthy of specific mention are:
- In Law 42.4, if a member of the batting side who has already been dismissed commits a Level 3 offence, his/her Penalty time will only commence at the start of the next innings.
- There is a new definition in Appendix A.1.7 of ‘Playing time.’
The blue Laws book has now gone to print and will be available from 14th August.