Short-pitched bowling core part of the game: MCC Committee

The World Cricket Committee of the Marylebone Cricket Club, the lawmakers of the game, met recently. Following are the key points discussed.

Decision on bouncer by Dec

A decision on the future of the short ball will be taken by December this year, the MCC World Cricket Committee said in a statement. The Committee was unanimous that short-pitched bowling ‘is a core part of the game’, the statement said. While the balance between bat and ball was deemed important, the committee is also consulting if more protection under the rules needs to be given for junior cricket and lower-order batsmen.

Uniform tech for DRS

To retain or do away with the umpires’ call for LBW decisions made through the Decision Review System (DRS) was debated by members of the committee and both views would be forwarded to the ICC. When it comes to catches outside the 30-yard circle, more so near the boundary, the TV umpire would be the judge and the on-field umpire would give an ‘unsighted’ signal rather than the ‘soft-signal’. The committee also wanted the ICC to provide uniform technology for the DRS, rather than depending on the host broadcaster.

Saliva ban

The committee decided that it was too premature to allow use of saliva on the ball. The view of current players would be taken before deciding if the rule needs to be modified in the future. “The committee debated prohibiting the use of saliva on the ball on a permanent basis and whilst there was a significant level of support for such a recommendation, some members felt that eliminating the use of saliva on a permanent basis is premature…’

Host country umpires

The pandemic resulted in host country umpires officiating and the committee felt this could continue but a balance could be found. One neutral umpire and one host country umpire is what has been recommended. The Committee was of the opinion that this mix would help umpires travel and gain experience and also allow umpires from the host nation to officiate at home.

Central pool of TV umpires

While the neutrality of the TV umpire and the match referee was deemed important, cricket could be moving away from having a TV umpire at the venue. Instead, like in the English Premier League and in the National Football League in the United States, TV umpires could be at a central location for all games.

Disproportionate women games

“There are a number of countries that are yet to play any international cricket at all since the outbreak of the Covid-19,” the committee’s release said. The increased costs of staging matches and touring were reasons. The committee, however, decided to discuss the future of women’s cricket in more detail at the next meeting.

World Test C’ship For the next cycle which runs between 2021 and 2023, a simplified point system, a clear window and better marketing was suggested.

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