The International Cricket Council (ICC) held a Men’s Cricket Committee meeting chaired by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President and former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly to make changes to the playing conditions in the MCC’s 3rd Edition of the 2017 Code of the Laws of Cricket.
The changes decided by the Committee are as follows:
New batter on strike when previous batter caught
Generally, when a batter is caught out, if the two batters have crossed before the catch is taken, the new batter arrives at the non-striker’s end, but the new rules state that, irrespective of whether the batters cross or not, the new batter will be the one facing the next delivery after the wicket.
Saliva permanently banned
Once cricket resumed after the onset of the COVID pandemic in July 2020, when England hosted the West Indies, one of the major changes made was that players would not be allowed to use saliva to shine the ball. The rule at the time was looked at as a temporary COVID-related measure.
However, the ICC has now stated that the saliva ban will be permanent and players could use sweat to shine the ball instead of saliva.
Striker’s right to play
This rule states that a batter must have some part of their bat or themselves within the pitch; should they venture beyond that, the umpire will signal it as a Dead Ball, while any ball forcing the batter to leave the pitch will be called a No Ball.
Previously, a new batter arriving at the pitch after the fall of a wicket would have three minutes to take strike in Tests and ODIs.
The new rule states that batters now have two minutes instead of three in Tests and ODIs; should they fail to comply, the fielding captain can appeal for Timed Out.
The time limit of 90 seconds in T20Is remains unchanged.
“Mankading” made official
The act of running out a non-striker by the bowler was placed previously under the “Unfair Play” section and looked down upon as unsportsmanlike behaviour.
However, the new changes state that, if a non-striker has been run out while backing up too much, it will be considered a regular run-out.
Unfair fielding side movement
Any movement deemed unfair and deliberate by the fielding side while the bowler is in their run-up can result in the umpire awarding five penalty runs to the batting side and call the ball a Dead Ball.
Bowler throwing to striker’s end
The previous rules stated that, if a bowler saw the batter come down the wicket before the bowler got into their delivery stride, the bowler could throw the ball to run-out the striker, Now, the rule changes state that, in such an instance, the ball will be called a Dead Ball.
As introduced in T20Is from January 2022, if the fielding team aren’t able to complete their scheduled quota of overs in the given time, the penalty is one additional fielder brought into the 30-yard circle for the remainder of the innings.
The new rule will be introduced in ODIs as well after the Cricket World Cup Super League gets over in 2023.
The Committee that was present was chaired by BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, with Pakistan Cricket Board President Ramiz Raja serving as the Observer. Other members of the Committee included Mahela Jayawardena, Roger Harper, Daniel Vettori, VVS Laxman, Gary Stead, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, Joel Wilson, Ranjan Madugalle, Jamie Cox, Kyle Coetzer, Shaun Pollock, Greg Barclay, Geoff Allardice, Clive Hitchcock and David Kendix.
Speaking about chairing his first-ever ICC meeting, Ganguly stated:
“It was an honour chairing my first meeting of the ICC Cricket Committee.
“I was pleased with the productive contribution of the Committee members which resulted in key recommendations being made. I thank all members for their valuable input and suggestions.“