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Law 9 - Preparation and maintenance of the playing area

THE LAW

9.1 Rolling

The pitch shall not be rolled during the match except as permitted in 9.1.1 and 9.1.2.

9.1.1 Frequency and duration of rolling

During the match the pitch may be rolled at the request of the captain of the batting side, for a period of not more than 7 minutes, before the start of each innings, other than the first innings of the match, and before the start of each subsequent day’s play.  See 9.1.4.

9.1.2 Rolling after a delayed start

In addition to the rolling permitted above, if, after the toss and before the first innings of the match, the start is delayed, the captain of the batting side may request that the pitch be rolled for not more than 7 minutes.  However, if the umpires together agree that the delay has had no significant effect on the state of the pitch, they shall refuse such request for rolling of the pitch.

9.1.3 Choice of rollers

If there is more than one roller available the captain of the batting side shall choose which one is to be used.

9.1.4 Timing of permitted rolling

The rolling permitted (maximum 7 minutes) before play begins on any day shall be started not more than 30 minutes before the time scheduled or rescheduled for play to begin.  The captain of the batting side may, however, delay the start of such rolling until not less than 10 minutes before the time scheduled or rescheduled for play to begin.

9.2 Clearing debris from the pitch

9.2.1 The pitch shall be cleared of any debris

9.2.1.1 before the start of each day’s play.  This shall be after the completion of mowing and before any rolling, not earlier than 30 minutes nor later than 10 minutes before the time or any rescheduled time for start of play.

9.2.1.2 between innings.  This shall precede rolling if any is to take place.

9.2.1.3 at all intervals for meals.

9.2.2 The clearance of debris in 9.2.1 shall be done by sweeping, except where the umpires consider that this may be detrimental to the surface of the pitch.  In this case the debris must be cleared from that area by hand, without sweeping.

9.2.3 In addition to 9.2.1, debris may be cleared from the pitch by hand, without sweeping, before mowing and whenever either umpire considers it necessary.

9.3 Mowing

9.3.1 Responsibility for mowing

9.3.1.1 All mowings which are carried out before the match shall be the sole responsibility of the Ground Authority.

9.3.1.2 All subsequent mowings shall be carried out under the supervision of the umpires.

9.3.2 The pitch and outfield

In order that throughout the match the ground conditions should be as nearly the same for both sides as possible, both the pitch and the outfield shall be mown on each day of the match on which play is expected to take place, if ground and weather conditions permit.

If, for reasons other than conditions of ground or weather, complete mowing of the outfield is not possible, the Ground Authority shall notify the captains and umpires of the procedure to be adopted for such mowing during the match.

9.3.3 Timing of mowing

9.3.3.1 Mowing of the pitch on any day shall be completed not later than 30 minutes before the time scheduled or rescheduled for play to begin on that day, before any sweeping prior to rolling.  If necessary, debris may be removed from the pitch before mowing, by hand, without sweeping.  See 9.2.3.

9.3.3.2 Mowing of the outfield on any day shall be completed not later than 15 minutes before the time scheduled or rescheduled for play to begin on that day.

9.4 Watering the pitch

The pitch shall not be watered during the match.

9.5 Re-marking creases

Creases shall be re-marked whenever either umpire considers it necessary.

9.6 Maintenance of footholes

The umpires shall ensure that the holes made by the bowlers and batsmen are cleaned out and dried whenever necessary to facilitate play.

In matches of more than one day’s duration, the umpires shall allow, if necessary, the re-turfing of footholes made by the bowlers in their delivery strides, or the use of quick-setting fillings for the same purpose.

9.7 Securing of footholds and maintenance of pitch

During play, umpires shall allow the players to secure their footholds by the use of sawdust provided that no damage to the pitch is caused and that Law 41 (Unfair play) is not contravened.

9.8 Non-turf pitches

Wherever appropriate, the provisions set out in 9.1 to 9.7 shall apply.

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017

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