The Marylebone Cricket Club has made a few changes to its Code of Laws that governs the international game. The new changes won’t come into force until October, 2022. In the intervening time, the relevant materials will be updated by the MCC to assist with umpire and official training on a global basis.
A new law on replacement players has been introduced. It states that replacements in a match are to be treated as if they were the player they replaced, inheriting any sanctions or dismissals pertaining to that player in that match.
For a caught-out dismissal, the player who comes in to bat will take strike, regardless of whether the batter had run to the other end when the catch was taken, unless it is the end of the over.
Several changes to the dead-ball law have been made. The umpire will signal dead ball if either team is disadvantaged by a person, animal or other object within the field of play.
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If a bowler attempts to run the striker out before entering his delivery stride, the ball will be a dead ball, and not a no-ball as previously stated.
In keeping up with the times, Law 22.1 pertaining to wide has been amended. It states a wide will not be called if it passes where the batter had stood as the bowler entered his/her delivery stride. If the batter stood far to the leg-side, for example, and shifted his position at the last minute, and the ball passes through the leg-side where the batter had been standing, the ball won’t be a wide.
Other changes include: strikers’ right to play the ball (Law 25.8), unfair movement by the fielding side (Laws 27.4 and 28.6), moving the running out of the non-striker (Law 38.3), and no saliva (Law 41.3), a law which bans the use of saliva on the ball.
Running out the non-striker has been moved from Law 41 (unfair play) to Law 38 (run out).
Commenting on the new law and amendments of previous laws of cricket, Fraser Stewart, MCC Laws Manager, said: “Since the publication of the 2017 Code of the Laws of Cricket, the game has changed in numerous ways. The second edition of that Code, published in 2019, was mostly clarification and minor amendments, but the 2022 Code makes some rather bigger changes, from the way we talk about cricket to the way it’s played.
“It is important that we announce these changes now as part of the Club’s global commitment to the game, giving officials from all over the world the chance to learn under the new Code ahead of the Laws coming into force in October.”