New cricket laws: Sending offs and big bats banned

The Marylebone Cricket Club [MCC] have announced a number of changes in the laws of cricket that will take effect from October 2017.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
7th March 2017

article:7th March 2017

Billy Bowden jokingly showing a red card during a T20I.
Billy Bowden jokingly showing a red card during a T20I.

Umpires will be allowed to send players off for poor behaviour. For smaller offences, the umpires can award the opposition five penalty runs while for bigger offences like violent behaviour, a player can be sent off from the field either temporarily or permanently.

For the first time, bat sizes will come under the laws of cricket. The maximum dimensions of the bat will be 108mm [width], 67mm [depth] and 40mm [edges].


The laws will also contain gender-neutral words, henceforth. Currently, the laws have cricketers referred to in the male gender.

“The new Code will include an increased use of generic nouns like ‘fielder’ and ‘bowler’ and use ‘he/she’ when required. The term ‘batsman’ will remain, however, as it is seen as a term of the game that is equally applicable to females,” read the MCC statement.

The other changes that the MCC have made are to do with reducing the modes of dismissal, a change with regards to Mankading, and bouncing bats during run-outs.

‘Handling the ball’ will be no longer be a separate mode of dismissal and will come under ‘Obstructing the field’.

Regarding Mankading, the MCC said: “The Law regarding running out the non-striker has also been altered. It will state that if the non-striker is out of his/her ground 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 is permitted to attempt to run him/her out.”

A batsman will no longer be dismissed if his/her bat bounces up due to their momentum after he/she successfully grounds his/her bat after crossing the crease.

Here are the new sanctions that bad behaviour can lead to under MCC laws.

Level 1

Offences include excessive appealing and showing dissent at an umpire’s decision. Following an official warning, a second Level 1 offence will result in five penalty runs being awarded to the opposing team.

Level 2

Offences (including throwing the ball at a player or making deliberate physical contact with an opponent during play), will result in the immediate awarding of five penalty runs to the opposing team.

Level 3

Offences (including intimidating an umpire or threatening to assault another player, team official or spectator) will result in five penalty runs and a removal of the offending player from the field for a set number of overs, depending on the format of the match.

Level 4

Offences (threatening an umpire or committing any act of violence on the field of play), will result in five penalty runs and the removal of the offending player for the remainder of the match. If the player is batting at the time of the offence, he/she will be recorded as ‘retired out’.


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