As MCC's Laws sub-committee prepares the 5th Edition of the 2000 Code of the Laws of Cricket, Lords.org has a look ahead to developments in the Laws which are due to take effect in 2013.
The 5th Edition of the 2000 Code is the first update since 2010 and is still being looked at by MCC's Laws sub-committee and other advisory bodies such as the MCC World Cricket committee before it is unveiled - most likely in October 2013.
However, some aspects of the Laws are already at drafting and re-writing stage, with alterations to a number of Laws being finalised.
An example of the Laws under discussion is Law 17 (Practice on the Field). A change was made in 2010 which stated that bowlers would no longer be allowed to bowl the ball into the ground in preparation for starting their spell, as it was felt that this could alter the condition of the ball.
Watch: An explanation of the change to Law 17
However, this Law is now being altered. In future, bowlers will be allowed to deliver their practice balls into the ground but there will be more scope for the Umpires to step in if they feel that the ball is being damaged, deliberately or not, as a result of this Law change.
Making the Laws
The MCC Laws sub-committee meets quarterly to discuss a number of Laws-related issues. Not only are they responsible for presenting revisions to the Laws periodically to the MCC Committee, but also for discussing current events in world cricket that may require some retrospective discussion in respect of relevance to future Law making. An example of this is the legality of the switch hit - a topic which has been under consideration (125 KB) in the recent past.
The sub-committee also discuss and respond to Laws queries sent to the MCC from the public, many of which have been thrown-up by match situations. The sub-committee finally discuss methods of improving methods of communication of the Laws to the cricket community, including the Open Learning Manual and online resources.