Marylebone Cricket Club(MCC), the sport’s custodians and lawmakers, have introduced several new rules to “shape the game of cricket as it should be played”.
Over the meeting last week, the MCC law sub-committee recommended several changes to the law which were reviewed and considered to be in line with the members and these will come into effect from October 2022.
One of the smallest but most meaningful changes was to Law 41.16 – running out the non-striker, colloquially known as the “Mankad”.
The Law has been moved from the “Unfair Play” section to Law 38 (Run out), but the wording remains the same.
This intentionally destigmatize non-striker run-outs, which have become a source of controversy among the cricket community.
Law 18.11 has also been changed so that when a batter is out caught, the new batter shall come in at the striker’s end, irrespective of whether the players crossed.
Previously, the new batter would start their innings at the non-striker’s end if the batters crossed before the catch was complete, but this is no longer the case. The new battery will always be on strike unless it is the end of the over.
The rule was first trialled by the ECB in The Hundred competition last year.
Meanwhile, one of the cricket’s fabled acts looks destined to become a thing of the past, with the updated Laws banning the application of saliva onto the match ball.
Using saliva on the ball was understandably banned after the Covid-19 pandemic, but research conducted by the MCC found this had little to no impact on the number of swing bowlers were getting — using sweat to polish the ball was equally effective.
South African captain Faf du Plessis was found guilty of ball-tampering in 2016 for using mints to alter the ball’s condition in a Test series against Australia, sparking heated debate about the application of saliva. This change eradicates any grey areas.
Law 22.1 has been reworded so that wide calls “apply to where the batter is standing, where the striker has stood at any point since the bowler began their run-up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position”.
These changes will also have a big impact on the game and hope it will excite the players.