Cricket will get the rules like football and hockey from October 1, 2017. Red cards are to be introduced in all level matches from local club matches to internationals. The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) World Cricket Committee has recommended that umpires should have the power to show the red card to a player in an effort to end the rising number of violent incidents in cricket.
MCC, the guardian of cricket’s laws recommended that a player should be removed from the field for threatening an umpire, physical assault and any other act of violence.
In a two-day meeting in Mumbai, the chairmen of the MCC World Cricket Committee, Mike Brearley said that umpires must be empowered to impose on-the-spot sanctions. “Anecdotal evidence from people who are familiar with leagues in parts of England say that the behaviour has got worse. The umpires have to be respected and given the best possible chance and I think cricket is the only game in which there isn’t this possibility of an in-match punishment or deterrent.”
The committee also has discussed sanctions like run penalties, yellow cards and sin-bins but the cricket committee thought these sanctions would be hard to apply consistently around the world. “The modern player now understands their role in society, about being role models, and want to play the game the right way for younger kids.”
In the meeting, Mike Brearley was flanked by two other members, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and ex-Pakistan opener turned commentator Rameez Raja.
Raja also agreed with Brearley. He said, “This is a pretty drastic change to the law. It was about giving in-house power to the umpire. It is the second or the third tier which is causing a lot of stress, the club matches and the lower tier games and so it was felt that something had to be done.”
Restricting the bat size
The other major recommendation of the MCC World Cricket Committee to restricting the size of bats which give batsmen an unfair advantage.
The panel has recommended limiting the maximum width of the edge up to 40 mm and depth up to 67 mm of the bat. Ponting stated that 60% of the world’s professional players supported the decision to limit the bat size to 40 mm on edges and 67 mm for depths including 7 mm for curvature.
Ricky Ponting asserted, “We want to limit the edges to 38-42 mm. Some of the players have edges in excess of 50mm.We’re happy with what we have come up with. It will restore the balance between bat and ball. We’ve seen top-edges and leading edges going for sixes. Even with the limit in bat size, big-hitters can still clear the ropes.”
Catches off a fielder’s helmet be allowed
Another point that the panel has recommended that catches off a fielder’s helmet be allowed. According to the current law, catches and stumpings are not allowed if the ball touches any part of the helmet worn by a fielder or wicketkeeper.
The recommendations will now go to the MCC’s main committee for approval.