LONDON March 8: With batsmen ruling the roost, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) – the game’s law-enacting body - has proposed a slew of changes to the existing rules, including specific limitations on the size of cricket bats.
After the new Code of Laws comes into effect from October 1, 2017, the maximum dimensions of a cricket bat will be 108mm in width, 67mm in depth and with edges of 40mm.
This comes following consultations with bat manufacturers, the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).
To ensure that the new limits are adhered to, a bat gauge will be used.
Poor on-field player behaviour will invite a range of sanctions depending on the severity of the offence ranging from Levels 1 to 4, with umpires having the authority to even send off a player in extreme cases.
The ‘bouncing bat’ run out rule will also come into force. If a batsman’s bat is grounded beyond the popping crease but has subsequently been lifted at the point of impact of the bails being taken off, then the batsmen by virtue of having passed the popping crease will not be given out.
The new rules will also be gender neutral for the first time in that they will be equally applicable to both men and women.
This is the first time since 2000 that the new Code of Laws is being issued.
John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: “The game of cricket has evolved a great deal since the last Code of Laws was written in 2000, so much so that MCC made changes to that Code on five separate occasions in the last 14 years.
"We felt the time was right for a new Code to tidy up many of the piecemeal changes made since 2000. The process has taken nearly three years and has involved significant consultation.”