Cricket is deemed one of the most popular sports forms all around the globe. The popular sport boasts a massive viewership of over 2.5 billion viewers globally. Exchange4Media states that the 2019 edition of the ICC World Cup was watched by over 500 million fans globally. This is one example that attests to the sport’s craze and global popularity. Moreover, the Indian Premier League, which is deemed the most-watched domestic cricket league, was watched by more than 424 million people on Star Sports in 2019. Furthermore, the popularity of the sports form is not limited to streaming services or television screens.
Thanks to the popularization of the Internet and digital media, there are tons of online platforms and apps that facilitate ardent cricket fans to have a more immersive experience of the sport, i.e., by offering them the option to play fantasy cricket. The virtual fantasy game allows cricket enthusiasts to create a cricket team of 11 individuals for upcoming matches of different tournaments and predict outcomes of various aspects. The game follows a point system, and the individual with the maximum points at the end of a game or league emerges as the winner. All a cricket fan needs to do to get started is download fantasy cricket app on their smartphone and start their fantasy cricket journey. Besides offering a more immersive and realistic experience, indulging in fantasy cricket also facilitates individuals to test their cricket knowledge.
Like any other form of sport, cricket matches are also played, keeping specific rules and regulations in mind. Over the years, there have been many changes in cricket laws which have significantly changed the game in multiple ways. For instance, in October 2017, many significant alterations were made to the Laws of Cricket. The changes were well received by the masses and had a positive impact on the game. However, in the last five years, the game has evolved, which made the MCC laws sub-committee suggest changes. This article will highlight some of the most notable changes made to Cricket’s laws by the MCC. Let us dive right into it:
Law #1 – Replacement of Players
The MCC introduced a new clause, namely Law 1.3, which states that the replacements made during a cricket match are to be treated as if they were the player who got replaced, i.e., inheriting any sanctions as well as dismissals that the player has done in the ongoing cricket match.
Law 18 – Batsmen Returning When Caught Out
This law was initially trialed by the ECB in the Hundred when MCC suggested a change. Now, according to Law 18.11, when a batsman loses his wicket by getting caught, the new batsman will come in at the end where the striker was present, i.e., he will face the next ball instead of the other batsman. An exception is made to this law if a batsman gets caught out at the end of an over.
Law 22.214.171.124 – Dead Ball
The dead ball law has been in place for quite some time. However, the new edition of laws alters several aspects related to it. The most significant change to the law is the calling of a dead ball if either of the two sides faces any disadvantage due to a person, animal, or object present in the field. Some of the most common distractions include a dog or person running into the field where a match is being played. If any such occurrence takes place, the umpires managing the cricket match will call out the issue and signal a dead ball.
Law 21.4 – Bowlers Throwing the Ball Towards the Striker’s End Before a Delivery
Another significant change made to the cricket laws by the MCC is if a bowler throws the ball to run out the batsman at the striker’s end before coming into their delivery stride, the ball will be deemed a dead ball by the umpire. This scenario rarely occurs, and until now, it has been termed a “No ball.”
Law 22.1 – Deciding Whether a Delivery is a Wide Ball
Earlier, the batsmen did not move much before the bowler bowled in the delivery. However, batsmen nowadays move laterally around the crease before the bowler puts in the delivery. MCC felt that it was unfair to deem a delivery wide, especially when a batsman if the ball passes the batsman’s initial position, i.e., where he stood as the bowler put in their delivery. Thus, as per the amended Law 22.1, a delivery will be deemed wide as per the batsman’s position since the bowler begins their run-up.
Law 25.8 – Batsman’s Right to Play a Delivery
If the bowler’s delivery lands at a point away from the pitch, the amended Law 25.8 allows the batter at the striker’s end to play the ball. However, they can play the delivery as long as a portion of their bat or their person remains within the marked pitch. If the batsman steps outside the pitch to play the delivery, the umpire will call the delivery a “Dead ball.” Moreover, any ball that forces a batsman to step out of the pitch will be deemed a “No ball.”
The new MCC laws aim to make the game of cricket more interesting and fair to the teams playing the matches. Refer to the aforementioned points to know the alterations made to the laws in detail.