MCC all set to further modernize the game of cricket by limiting bat thickness, Player dismissals, penalty runs and send-offs.
The maximum dimensions of a bat will be restricted to 108mm (4.25 inches) in width, 67mm in depth and with 40mm edges according to the new code which will be issued on October 1, 2017 the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) said in a media release.
The possible inference was that the rise in bat sizes has made cricket easier for batsmen and harder for bowlers, disturbing the “balance between bat and ball”.
“The bat size issue has been heavily scrutinised and discussed in recent years,” John Stephenson, MCC head of cricket, said in a statement. “We believe the maximum dimensions we have set will help redress the balance between bat and ball, while still allowing the explosive, big hitting we all enjoy.”
A bat gauge will be used to ensure the new limits are enforced in professional matches, while there will be a “moratorium period” for amateur cricketers, who will be allowed to continue wielding their existing blades that are in breach of the new rules.
The Australian newspaper reported last December that Australian Warner Twenty20 bat has a maximum depth of 85mm, 18mm more than the proposed new rule would allow.
The Red Card Rule
The second alteration in rules will give more teeth to umpires to punish poor player behaviour, starting with official warnings through to temporary or permanent dismissal from the field. This rule is similar to that of football red card rule.
Throwing the ball at a player or making deliberate physical contact with an opponent will come under the ambit of punishable offences and would result in the “immediate awarding of five penalty runs to the opposing team”, the MCC said.
More serious offences, including “intimidating” an umpire or threatening to assault another player, team official or spectator, would mean five penalty runs and the offender’s removal from the field “for a set number of overs”.
Any act of violence would mean removal for the remainder of the match, the MCC added.
“We felt the time had come to introduce sanctions for poor player behaviour and research told us that a growing number of umpires at grass-roots level were leaving the game because of it,” Stephenson said.
“Hopefully these sanctions will give them more confidence to handle disciplinary issues efficiently, whilst providing a deterrent to the players.”
Changes to the ‘Mankad’ rule
The controversial ‘Mankad’ dismissal, when the bowler can run out a batsman at the non-striker’s end, will also become easier to execute. Bowlers will now be able to perform the run-out “to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball”, rather than before entering his or her delivery stride, as is the current rule.
Under the proposed change, if the non-striker is out of their crease “from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball”, the bowler will be within their rights to run them out.