The Rules of Cricket
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  • The New Amendments - ICC - Cricket.....

  • Changes to the Laws of Cricket (2000 Code)

    General Introduction
    There have been two main thrusts behind the proposal of these changes so soon after the adoption of the 2000 Code. In framing the Code, the Club took advice from cricket authorities world-wide. As a result, not only were the Laws brought into a form suitable for the modern game, but the detail was set out much more clearly. The new Code has now been in use for three seasons in the southern hemisphere and two in the northern. During that time, the increased clarity has brought awareness that interpretations once confidently assumed by their perpetrators to be correct are not so. Several points previously taken for granted as universally understood now need to be laid down in more precise detail.

    The second need for modification is in the area of penalty runs. The concept of imposing these for acts of unfair play is not entirely new. It has existed in the case of illegal fielding for many years. In direct response to considerable international pressure, these penalties were expanded in the 2000 Code to cover a much wider range of malpractice and blatant cheating. In doing this, a balance had to be struck between those wanting draconian penalties for cheating and those fearful of the effect of such penalties on the ethos of the game. Penalty runs were therefore introduced with circumspection. During the operation of the new Code of Laws it has become clear that that balance needs to be adjusted. On the one hand, there has been increasing pressure to extend slightly the application of the penalty-run principle; on the other hand, some opposition has evaporated as these penalties have been seen as reasonable deterrents to the undesirable behaviour that had begun to undermine the game. A small shift towards greater strictness is now appropriate. The changes make this shift for two Laws in particular: wilful obstruction of batsmen [Law 42.5] and penalty runs at the conclusion of the match [Law 42.17(b)]. A number of other changes are consequential upon the latter. Those involving changes to Laws relating to the award of penalty runs are therefore presented as a group first.

    Changes Relating to the award of Penalty Runs
    Law 42.5--Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman
    One part of this change is concerned with bringing this Law more closely in line with Law 42.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) by the addition of a new clause (vi). It was considered that the wilful obstruction of batsmen should be subject to the slightly stronger penalty already laid down for attempts to distract the striker. In addition, the new clause (vii) is inserted to prevent the fielding side sacrificing five runs they might well be able to afford in order to gain the advantage of manoeuvring which batsman should face the next ball.

    Law 42.17(b)--Penalty runs
    A wilful act of cheating by the fielding side could prevent the batting side making sufficient runs to win from the final ball of the match. This could be offset by awarding 5 penalty runs to the batting side but, if the last wicket fell on this ball, they could then have more runs than the opposing side but have lost all their wickets. It is true that, in very many instances, the incident giving rise to a 5-run penalty award also means that neither batsman can be dismissed. There are circumstances, however, in which a wicket could fall. It was originally argued that the Laws could not encompass a "win by no wickets". As part of the shift towards a stricter application of the penalty-run principle, the embargo on awarding penalty runs at the conclusion of the match has now been lifted. The 2000 Code prohibited the award of 5 penalty runs in a few specific instances. These prohibitions will stand. The problem of the result is dealt with in Law 21.7.

    A second change is that, as is already the case in some Laws, wherever possible the delivery should not count in the over. This is not only to be an extra penalty against the fielding side, but will ensure that the batting side is not robbed of the chance of victory if a 5-run penalty is awarded, when 6 runs were needed. As specifying that the ball is not to count is inappropriate in some cases where 5 penalty runs are awarded, there is still a need for the other change made to this Law.

    Changes Consequent on those to Law 42
    Law 2.6--Player returning without permission
    This is one of the cases in which the award of 5 penalty runs is to mean that the ball is not to count in the over.

    Law 18.9(a)--Batsman dismissed
    The final ball of the match is no longer an exception to the statement of what runs are to be scored.

    Law 21.6--Winning hit or extras
    Law 21.6 lays down the principle that nothing that happens once a result is reached can be regarded as part of the match. This principle is to remain in general. The change here is to make an exception for an award of 5 penalty runs when the final ball of the match becomes dead, and for that situation only.

    Law 21.7--Statement of result
    If the result would otherwise be a win by no wickets, it will be replaced by a new form of result, "Win by penalty runs".

    Law 22.4--Balls not to count in the over
    The list is increased to include the additional occasions when 5 penalty runs have been awarded to the batting side. These are presented as a separate category which is to include a deliberate attempt to distract the striker, previously grouped with other causes of distraction that do not lead to a penalty.

    Law 40.5--Restriction on actions of wicket-keeper
    It is not uncommon for the wicket-keeper, in the legal execution of his duties, to get in the striker's way. The change to this Law is to differentiate between such innocent interference and a wilful act by the wicket-keeper. It relates these actions to Law 23.3 and 42.4 which deal specifically with them.

    Law 41.2--Fielding the ball
    This is another case in which the award of 5 penalty runs is to mean that the ball is not to count in the over.

    Other Changes
    Law 15.8--Tea interval--9 wickets down
    This provision for continuing play beyond the agreed time for tea interacts with two others: (1) an interval will be taken immediately if a wicket falls within 2 minutes of the agreed time; (2) a new over will be started if the umpire walking at his normal pace arrives at his position behind the stumps before the agreed time is reached. The wording of Law 15.8 in the 2000 Code clarified the position of these other two points in relation to the clause on the tea interval when 9 wickets are down. The number of occasions on which play will continue rather than tea being taken has now been increased. It also further specifies the relationship of Law 15.8 to the two quoted above at (1) and (2).

    Law 17.1--Practice on the field
    The 2000 Code introduced for the first time a specific penalty for a bowler gaining an unfair advantage by practising in breach of this Law. The intention was to penalise him in the period immediately following the offence. It has become clear, however, that this period needs to be more clearly defined. After some debate, it was decided that it could be more precisely specified, making for simpler administration of the Law, if it was based on a lapse of time, rather than on a number of overs.

    Law 18.5--Deliberate short runs
    The change here is to make this particular form of cheating a team offence rather than an individual one. It is now in line with Law 41.14 (Batsman damaging the pitch), in that a warning issued to any batsman will apply to all batsmen in that innings.

    Law 26.2--Leg byes
    It has always been accepted, but not written into Law, that runs from an inadvertent double strike, first on the pad and then on the bat, would be credited to the striker. The re-wording incorporates this interpretation into Law by making it clear that Leg byes, if allowed, do not involve contact with the bat except in the case of an attempt by the striker to guard his wicket. There is no change of principle. The striker must still have attempted to play the ball with his bat, or tried to avoid being hit by the ball, for any runs at all to be allowed from an initial strike on the person. It is also still true that a wilful second strike will be subject to all the provisions of Law 34 (Hit the ball twice).

    Law 35--Hit wicket
    The change to Law 35.1 deals with the situation of a striker putting down his wicket after the ball has come into play but before the bowler delivers it. In the 2000 Code, whether the striker was out or not was dependent on whether the bowler went on to deliver the ball or not. Several consequences were identified which could have brought the Law into disrepute. For example, the distraction of seeing the incident could itself have been the cause of the bowler's delivering a No ball, thus invalidating the dismissal. Under the new Law the umpire is to call Dead ball as soon as the incident occurs, if this is before the bowler has entered his delivery stride. This avoids unwelcome consequences. The call of Dead ball for non-delivery is still required in situations where it is appropriate.

    The slight change of cross references in Law 35.2(a) arises from the need to separate Law 35.1 into parts (a) and (b), in order to effect the change above. The revised wording to Law 35.2(e) is also a simple consequence of the change.

    Law 40.2--Gloves and Appendix C
    There is no change of intent in this Law or to Appendix C, both of which relate to wicket-keepers' gloves. However, many of the manufacturers felt that, in order to be able to distinguish between those gloves that meet the requirements and those that do not, it was necessary to have a more technically precise description of those requirements. The wording of the new Law was agreed at a meeting between representatives of manufacturers, of I.C.C. and of M.C.C.

    Law 42.6 and Law 42.7--Dangerous and unfair bowling
    These two must be considered together. They seek to clarify the definition of dangerous and unfair bowling and the circumstances in which the umpires are to take action against it, without in any way changing either. It had become clear that this Law had been subject to several different misinterpretations for some time. The re-wording was been considered by appropriate authorities from many parts of the world, who agreed that it defines the correct interpretation more clearly.

    Appendix D--Conduct of the game
    This addition to the definitions makes it clearer, in response to expressed doubts, the matters over which the umpires have jurisdiction and the time span during which their jurisdiction is to operate.

    Changes to the Text of the 2000 Code of the Laws of Cricket
    Law 2.6(i) ?insert at end
    "The ball shall not count as one of the over."

    Law 15.8 ?delete and replace with
    "If either 9 wickets are already down when 2 minutes remain to the agreed time for tea or the 9th wicket falls within these 2 minutes or at any later time up to and including the final ball of the over in progress at the agreed time for tea then notwithstanding the provisions of Law 16.5(b) (Completion of an over) tea will not be taken until the end of the over in progress 30 minutes after the originally agreed time for tea, unless the players have cause to leave the field of play or the innings is completed earlier."

    Law 17.1(d) ?delete and replace with
    "(d) If a player contravenes (a) or (b) above he shall not be allowed to bowl until either at least one hour later than the contravention or there has been at least 30 minutes of playing time since the contravention whichever is sooner. If an over is in progress at the contravention, he shall not be allowed to complete that over."

    Law 18.5(a)(i) ?delete
    "batsman or"
    insert at end
    "This warning shall continue to apply throughout the innings. The umpire shall so inform each incoming batsman."

    Law 18.5(b) ?delete
    "either of the same batsmen"
    and replace with
    "any batsman".

    Law 18.9(a) ?delete second sentence.

    Law 21.6(a) ?delete second sentence and replace with
    "Nothing that happens thereafter, except as in Law 42.17(b), shall be regarded as part of it."

    Law 21.7 ?delete first two paragraphs and replace with
    "If the side batting last wins the match without losing all its wickets, the result shall be stated as a win by the number of wickets still then to fall.
    If the side batting last has lost all its wickets but, as the result of an award of 5 penalty runs at the end of the match, has scored a total of runs in excess of the total scored by the opposing side, the result shall be stated as a win to that side by Penalty runs.
    If the side fielding last wins the match, the result shall be stated as a win by runs."

    Law 22.4(b)(iv) ?delete and replace with
    "if it is called dead in the circumstances of Law 23.3(b)(vi) (Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball)."

    Insert new Law 22.4(b)(v)
    "when 5 penalty runs are awarded to the batting side under any of Laws 2.6 (Player returning without permission), 41.2 (Fielding the ball), 42.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) or 42.5 (Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman)."

    Law 26.2 ?delete and replace with
    "(a) If a ball delivered by the bowler first strikes the person of the striker, runs shall be scored only if the umpire is satisfied that the striker has either (i) attempted to play the ball with his bat, or (ii) tried to avoid being hit by the ball.
    If the umpire is satisfied that either of these conditions has been met, and the ball makes no subsequent contact with the bat, runs completed by the batsmen or a boundary allowance shall be credited to the batting side as in (b). Note, however, the provisions of Laws 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once) and 34.4 (Runs permitted from ball lawfully struck more than once)
    (b) The runs in (a) above shall, (i) if the delivery is not a No ball, be scored as Leg byes (ii) if No ball has been called, be scored together with the penalty for the No ball as No ball extras."

    Law 35.1 ?insert at beginning

    Law 35.1 ?delete the first eighteen words of the Law and replace with
    "The striker is out Hit wicket if, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his wicket is put down"

    Insert new Law 35.1(b)
    "If the striker puts his wicket down in any of the ways described in Law 28.1(a)(ii) and (iii) (Wicket put down) before the bowler has entered his delivery stride, either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball."

    Law 35.2(a) ?delete and replace with
    "it occurs after he has completed any action in receiving the delivery, other than as in 1(a)(ii), (iii) or (iv) above."

    Law 35.2(e) ?delete and replace with
    "the bowler, after entering his delivery stride, does not deliver the ball. In this case either umpire shall immediately call and signal Dead ball. See Law 23.3 (Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball)."

    Law 40.2 ?delete and replace with
    "If, as permitted under 1 above, the wicket-keeper wears gloves, they shall have no webbing between the fingers except joining index finger and thumb, where webbing may be inserted as a means of support.
    If used, the webbing shall be
    (a) a single piece of non-stretch material which, although it may have facing material attached, shall have no reinforcement or tucks.
    (b) such that the top edge of the webbing (i) does not protrude beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb (ii) is taut when a hand wearing the glove has the thumb fully extended. See Appendix C."

    Law 40.5 ?delete and replace with
    "If in the opinion of either umpire the wicket-keeper interferes with the striker's right to play the ball and to guard his wicket, Law 23.3(b)(vi) (Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball) shall apply.
    If, however, the umpire concerned considers that the interference by the wicket-keeper was wilful, then Law 42.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) shall apply."

    Law 41.2(a) ?insert at end
    "The ball shall not count as one of the over."

    Law 42.5(b)(vi) ?renumber as (viii).

    Insert new Law 42.5(b)(vi)
    "the ball shall not count as one of the over."

    Insert new Law 42.5(b)(vii)
    "the batsmen at the wicket shall decide which of them is to face the next delivery."

    Law 42.6(a)(ii) ?delete and replace with
    "Any delivery which, after pitching, passes or would have passed over head height of the striker standing upright at the crease, although not threatening physical injury, shall be included with bowling under (i) both when the umpire is considering whether the bowling of fast short pitched balls has become dangerous and unfair and after he has so decided. The umpire shall call and signal No ball for each such delivery."

    Law 42.7(a) ?delete and replace with
    "As soon as the umpire at the bowler's end decides under 6(a) above that the bowling of fast short pitched balls has become dangerous and unfair, or, except as in 8 below, there is an instance of dangerous and unfair bowling as defined in 6(b) above, he shall call and signal No ball and, when the ball is dead, caution the bowler, inform the other umpire, the captain of the fielding side and the batsmen of what has occurred. This caution shall continue to apply throughout the innings."

    Law 42.7(b) ?delete and replace with
    "If there is any further instance of dangerous and unfair bowling by the same bowler in the same innings, the umpire at the bowler's end shall repeat the above procedure and indicate to the bowler that this is a final warning."

    Law 42.7(c) ?delete the first ten words of the Law and replace with
    "Should there be any further repetition by the same bowler"

    Law 42.17(b) ?delete and replace with
    "Notwithstanding the provisions of Law 21.6 (Winning hit or extras), penalty runs shall be awarded in each case where the Laws require the award. Note, however, that the restrictions on awarding penalty runs in Laws 26.3 (Leg byes not to be awarded), 34.4(d) (Runs permitted from ball struck lawfully more than once) and Law 41.4 (Penalty runs not to be awarded) will apply."

    Preamble to the Laws
    Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsbility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.

    1. There are two Laws which place responsibility for the team's conduct firmly on the captain.

    Responsibility of captains

    The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the Spirit of the Game as well as within the Laws.

    Player's conduct

    In the event of a player failing to comply with instructions by an umpire, or criticising by word or action the decision of an umpire, or showing dissent, or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute, the umpire concerned shall in the first place report the matter to the other umpire and to the player's captain, and instruct the latter to take action.

    2. Fair and unfair play

    According to the Laws the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play.

    The umpires may intervene at any time and it is the responsibility of the captain to take action where required.

    3. The umpires are authorised to intervene in cases of:

    Time wasting
    Damaging the pitch
    Dangerous or unfair bowling
    Tampering with the ball
    Any other action that they consider to be unfair
    4. The Spirit of the Game involves RESPECT for:

    Your opponents
    Your own captain
    The roles of the umpires
    The game's traditional values
    5. It is against the Spirit of the Game:

    To dispute an umpire's decision by word, action or gesture
    To direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire
    To indulge in cheating or any sharp practice, for instance:
    (a) to appeal knowing that the batsman is not out
    (b) to advance towards an umpire in an aggressive manner when appealing
    (c) to seek to distract an opponent either verbally or by harassment with persistent clapping or unnecessary noise under the guise of enthusiasm and motivation of one's own side
    6. Violence

    There is no place for any act of violence on the field of play.

    7. Players

    Captains and umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match. Every player is expected to make an important contribution towards this.

    Rain-affected Targets
    Duckworth and Lewis
    Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, inventors of the now well-known system of resetting targets in interrupted matches that bears their names, have announced an update to their tables. This follows an extensive analysis of limited overs cricket matches in recent years that they have undertaken. "The nature of the one-day game is changing," said Duckworth "and our tables need to reflect developments in playing strategies". These changes come into effect for competitions starting on or after 1st September. And they have already been used for the tour match between the 'A' teams of South Africa and Australia on 4th September.

    There will be no change to the way that the well-established D/L method works, which is described in published books and summarised on the Cricinfo webpage. Lewis said that the effects of the new tables "will in most cases be to lower slightly the enhanced targets when the first innings is interrupted and to raise slightly the D/L par scores during the early part of the reply".

    Duckworth and Lewis felt that it was in the interests of the game that the D/L method should be stable whilst the world got used to it. "The time is now ripe to reflect recent advances in the game" they said

    Here is an extract of the new tables
                                                                                          Wickets lost 

    Overs left 0 2 5 7 9
    50 100 85.1 49 22 4.7
    40 89.3 77.8 47.6 22 4.7
    30 75.1 67.3 44.7 21.8 4.7
    25 66.5 60.5 42.2 21.6 4.7
    20 56.6 52.4 38.6 21.2 4.7
    10 32.1 30.8 26.1 17.9 4.7
    5 17.2 16.8 15.4 12.5 4.6

    Effects of the new tables 
    The examples that Duckworth and Lewis use to explain their method are now reworked using these new tables 

    Example 1: Premature curtailment of Team 2's innings 
    Team 1 have scored 250 runs from their 50 available overs and Team 2 lose 5 wickets in scoring 199 runs in 40 overs. Play is then stopped by the weather, the rain refuses to relent and the match is abandoned. A decision on the winner is required.

    Team 1's innings: this was uninterrupted, so the resource percentage available is 100% 

    Team 2's innings: resource % available at start of innings =  100% 

    After 40 overs Team 2 have 10 overs left and have lost 5 wickets.
    From table, resource % left at suspension of play =  26.1% 

    As play is abandoned all this remaining resource is lost.
    Hence resource % available for Team 2's innings = 100 - 26.1 =  73.9% 

    Team 2 had less resource available than Team 1 and so to give the target Team 1's score must be scaled down by the ratio of resources, 73.9/100. 
    Team 1 scored 250, so Team 2's 'target' is 250 x 73.9/100 = 184.75. The next lower whole number, 184, is the score to tie, or the 'par score' for the match situation at the stoppage.

    As there is to be no further play, the winner is decided according to whether or not the par score has been exceeded. With 199 runs on the board, they have exceeded this by 15 and so are declared the winners by 15 runs.


    Example 2: Interruption to Team 2's innings
    A one-day match has been shortened to 40 overs per side before it commenced. Team 1 have scored 200 runs from their 40 available overs and Team 2 lose 5 wickets in scoring 140 runs in 30 overs. Play is then suspended and 5 overs are lost. 
    What is Team 2's revised target?

    Team 1's innings: At the start of 40 over innings resource percentage available =    89.3% 
    Team 2's innings: resource % available at start of 40 over innings =    89.3% 
    After 30 overs Team 2 have 10 overs left and have lost 5 wickets. 
    From table, resource % left at start of suspension =  26.1% 
    5 overs are lost, so when play is resumed 5 overs are left.
    From table, resource % left at resumption of play =  15.4% 
    Hence resource % lost = 26.1 - 15.4 =    10.7% 
    so resource % available for Team 2's innings = 89.3 - 10.7 =    78.6% 

    Team 2 had less resource available than Team 1 and so to give the target Team 1's score must be scaled down by the ratio of resources, 78.6/89.3 Team 1 scored 200, so Team 2's 'target' is 200 x 78.6/89.3 =176.04 which rounds down to 176 to tie with a revised target of 177. They then require a further 37 runs to win from 5 overs with 5 wickets in hand.


    Example 3: Interruption to Team 1's innings
    In an ODI, Team 1 have lost 7 wickets in scoring 190 runs in 40 overs from an expected 50 when extended rain leads to Team 1's innings being terminated and Team 2's innings is also restricted to 40 overs. What is the target for Team 2?

    Because of the different stages of the teams' innings that their 10 overs are lost, they represent different losses of resource. Team 1 have lost 7 wickets and had 10 overs left when the rain arrived and so from the table you will see that the premature termination of their innings has deprived them of the 17.9% resource percentage they had remaining. Having started with 100% they have used 100 - 17.9 = 82.1%; in other words they have had 82.1% resources available for their innings.

    Team 2 will also receive 40 overs. With 40 overs left and no wicket lost you will see from the table that the resource percentage which they have available (relative to a full 50 over innings) is 89.3%. Team 2 thus have 89.3 - 82.1 = 7.2% greater resource than had Team 1 and so they are set a target which is enhanced by 7.2% of 235, or 16.92, more runs than Team 1 scored. [235 is the revised average in 50 overs for ODIs in recent years]

    Using the sum 190 + 16.92 = 206.92, rounding down gives 206 to tie and Team 2's target is 207 in 40 overs.

    Note: Most other target resetting methods previously used would make no allowance for this interruption. They set the target of 191 simply because both teams are to receive the same number of overs. This is clearly an injustice to Team 1 who were pacing their innings to last 50 overs when it was curtailed, whereas Team 2 knew in advance of the reduction of their innings to 40 overs and have been handed an unfair advantage. D/L neutralises this by setting Team 2 an enhanced target over the number of runs Team 1 actually scored.

    Penalty Runs in the Laws - as per Law 42.17

    2.6 Player returning without permission and coming into contact with the ball - 5 penalty runs + report

    41.2 Fielding the ball - 5 penalty runs + report 

    41.3 Helmet on the ground - 5 penalty runs (no report) 

    42.3 The match ball changing its condition - consult + change the ball + 5 penalty runs + report
    Any repetition during innings - consult + change the ball + 5 penalty runs + suspend a bowler + report 

    42.5 Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman (after a delivery) - either umpire - no dismissal + 5 penalty runs + run in progress to count + report 

    42.16 Batsmen stealing a run - 5 penalty runs + report 


    ONE WARNING (* warning applies for whole innings) 

    18.5 Deliberate short runs either umpire - no runs to count
    Any repetition by same batsman - no runs to count + 5 penalty runs + report 

    42.4 Deliberate attempt to distract striker preparing to receive or receiving a delivery - * warn captain + no dismissal + ball not to count as one of the over
    Any repetition during innings - 5 penalty runs + no dismissal + ball not to count as one of the over + report 

    42.9 Time wasting by the fielding side - * warn captain
    Any repetition during innings - (a) if not during an over 5 penalty runs + report
    (b) if during an over suspend the bowler + report 42.10 Batsman wasting time - *warn the batsman (is a warning for the whole side for the rest of the innings)
    Repetition by any batsman in that innings - 5 penalty runs + report 42.13 Fielder damaging the pitch - * warn captain
    Any repetition during innings - 5 penalty runs + report 


    TWO WARNINGS (* warning applies for whole innings) 

    42.14 Batsman damaging the pitch - * warn the batsman (a first warning for the whole side for the rest of the innings)
    Repetition by any batsman in that innings - * warn the batsman (the final warning for the whole side for the rest of the innings) + no runs to count
    Repetition by any batsman in that innings - no runs to count + 5 penalty runs + report

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