Barrow Gurney’s Geoff Saunders runs the rule over the changes to the Laws of Cricket which come into effect for the 2018 season.
Geoff reminds us how important it is that all those who umpire or score in games this season are aware of the changes. There are umpiring courses available for those who would like to know more (see the Gloucestershire or Somerset Cricket Board websites.
Here are the key points
• A bat grounded over the crease and then bouncing while running-is now not out if the bat is in the air.
• The striker can now be out if ball caught (or stumped) off a fielder’s (or wicketkeepers) helmet.
• Mock fielding is now illegal (called Distraction) and 5 penalty runs can be awarded to the batting side.
• Beamers and Bouncers are now treated separately – a first and final warning for each (second warnings abolished), beamers are above waist height from any pace of bowler. Bouncers do not now necessarily have to be repetitive to be unfair.
• Deliberate front foot no ball – now triggers an immediate suspension.
• The striker marking his/her crease or going into the “Protected Area” without due cause now illegal. (Does not prevent advancing up the wicket to play a shot).
• Running out the non-striker when he’s backing up – can now can happen up to the release point (same as you see on TV)
• “Lost Ball” and “Handled Ball” laws no longer exist. (Handled Ball now comes under “Obstructing the Field” as controversially happened in the recent U19 world cup).
• New limits to Bat size (Leagues may give timescale as it is being phased in – like the wicket keepers gloves a few years ago).
• Substitutes – may now keep wicket.
• Absences of fielders – time now accrues immediately (no 15-min minimum any more) up to max 90 minutes before being able to bowl/bat – can carry over to next (batting) innings if any time still left when first innings ends.
• Ball bouncing more than once before reaching striker is now No Ball (was more than twice)
• Byes and Legs Byes for a No Ball are now scored as Byes and Leg Byes (+1 No Ball extra) and must be signalled as such by Umpires – Scorers please note.
• Player Behaviour (Law 42) – Much as been publicised about this but you shouldn’t fear it. Although there are 4 levels of “Unacceptable” behaviour more than 99% will fall into Levels 1 and 2. These are for those offences that we do see all too often, but they can now carry a 5 Run Penalty as well as the reporting of the offence that has always happened. So, there can now be an in match penalty as well as match bans that have generally followed a Report.
• Levels 3 and 4 are the more serious offences (generally physical abuse or intimidation for example ) that apart from a Report will also incur a temporary or permanent exclusion from the game. These are extremely rare but have happened on a very few occasions in WEPL over the last 10 years.