New Laws of Cricket come into effect from Tuesday 1 October 2013, as MCC releases the 5th Edition of the 2000 Code - which features some siginificant changes.
The most high profile change is a new No ball Law (Law 24.6) which makes it a No ball if the bowler breaks the wicket during his delivery stride.
The MCC Committee announced that the Law would be changed in February of this year and the ICC brought the ruling in as a playing regulation for the international summer.
Other changes to the Laws include limiting being out Handled ball to just the striker as he is playing the ball or immediately after; any other illegal handling of the ball by either batsman will be given out as Obstructing the field.
Noteworthy changes to the Laws:
- A new No ball Law (24.6) making it a No ball if the bowler breaks the wicket during his delivery stride.
- A batsman with a runner is now protected if he is ‘stumped’ off a No ball. Previously, he would have been out run out.
- The moment at which a batsman can be out Handled the ball has been limited to when he is playing the ball or its immediate aftermath, i.e. when defending his wicket. Consequently, only the striker can be out this way. Any subsequent handling by either batsman will be subject to Obstructing the field.
- Hit the ball twice – it is no longer possible to score any runs after making a lawful second strike (in defence of his wicket). Previously, runs could be taken after a lawful second strike only after an overthrow had occurred, but this option of run scoring has been removed completely.
- Practice on the field – players are now allowed to bowl a ball to a fielder as a ‘loosener’, even if it bounces on the ground, as long as it does not waste time or is not being done to damage the ball.
In order to help fans, umpires and officials understand the reasoning behind the Law changes and how they will be implimented, MCC has put together an exhaustive document, which can be viewed on this site.
The previous (4th) Edition of the 2000 Code came into effect in October 2010 and has been in place up to today. The 5th Edition is now available to view on this website, and can be purchased in its traditional pocked-sized blue book format from the Lord's Online Shop.
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.