New cricket laws Q&A

07 March 2017 06:53

A sending-off penalty is set to be introduced into the Laws of Cricket for the first time.

The MCC, custodian of the laws, has accepted a recommendation from its world cricket committee (WCC) to give umpires the power to permanently remove players from the game in the most extreme cases of on-field breaches of discipline.

Here, Press Association Sport has a look a some of the most-asked questions surrounding cricket's new code of laws.

What is the new law?

Umpires have been given new sanctions to tackle poor player behaviour. The s everity of offences will range from levels one to four and umpires will be able to administer the punishment they deem appropriate.

Offences can range from showing dissent at an umpire's decision to committing any act of violence, with sanctions including warnings, the award of five penalty runs to the opposition and, for more serious offences, temporary or permanent removal from the field.

Where has this change come from?

The proposal was made by the MCC world cricket committee, an independent body comprising current and former international cricketers and umpires. Former England captain Mike Brearley is the chairman.

The MCC announced on Monday it had accepted the proposal and that a new code of laws would come into effect from October 1 2017.

Why does cricket need sendings off?

Cricket is one of the few sports which does not currently have in-game punishment for poor behaviour, with players retrospectively fined or suspended after the match for rule breaches.

The WCC felt the game needed a mechanism to deal with the worst disciplinary offences during the game. S anctions such as run penalties and sin bins were ruled out because it was felt that applying them consistently would be too difficult.

What will constitute a sending off offence?

Threatening an umpire and any act of violence will result in the removal of the offending player for the remainder of the match - whatever the format.

Acts such as throwing the ball at a player and making deliberate physical contact with an opponent will lead to five penalty runs being conceded, while excessive appealing and dissent will initially be dealt with by way of a warning, with a second offence incurring penalty runs.

Intimidating an umpire and threatening to assault players, officials or spectators will see five runs awarded to the opposition and a removal from the game for a set number of overs.

Which levels of cricket will be affected?

The move will apply to all levels of competition from Test to village green, although it is a decline in standards of behaviour at recreational level which prompted the change. A recent survey by Portsmouth University showed that 40 per cent of British umpires said that episodes of abuse made them question whether or not to continue umpiring.

What else has the MCC announced?

Bat edges will be limited to a width of 40 millimetres in an effort to prevent obvious mis-hits going for six and the number of methods of dismissals will be reduced to nine, with 'handled the ball' being subsumed into 'obstructing the field'. The new code of laws, the first since 2000, will be written in language neutral to both sexes for the first time.

Source: PA