Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), also known as the guardians of cricket laws, has come up with an amendment in the law which covers run-out at the non-strikers’ end. The body has tweaked the wording of the law to avoid misunderstanding.
The MCC took the decision following the confusion caused by the Adam Zampa-Tom Rogers incident in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) 2022-23, where the Melbourne Stars skipper had attempted to run out Rogers at the bowler’s end for leaving the crease.
Zampa had pulled out of his bowling action and dislodged the bails in the match against Melbourne Renegades at the MCG on January 3, but his appeal for a run-out was turned down by the TV umpire, Shawn Craig, reasoning that his bowling arm had already passed the point at which he would normally have released the ball. Soon after, the MCC also issued a statement, terming the umpire’s assessment as correct.
Now, MCC has made some modifications to Law 38.3. Earlier, the biggest uncertainty in this law was the release point of the bowler and the term ‘normally expected to release the ball’. But in the change made by the lawmaking body, the moment ‘when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball’ will be taken as the highest point of the release. This means that if bowlers go through the first circular motion and are just about to release the ball, they can not run out the non-striker batters.
“We acknowledge that while this law has generally been understood well by players and umpires, there is ambiguity in the wording, which could lead to confusion. MCC has therefore moved to change the wording of Law 38.3 to deliver better clarity,” said MCC in an official statement.
“Even if the non-striker had left his/her ground before the instant at which the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, once the bowler has reached that point, it is no longer possible for the bowler to run out, the non-striker under this Law,” read the new Law 184.108.40.206.
“The current wording led some to think that if the non-striker left his/her ground before the expected moment of release, then the Run out could happen at any moment, even after the bowler had gone through the bowling action. That was never the intention of this law, nor the way it was ever interpreted by MCC. It is important to note that this does not change the way the law should be interpreted – it has been interpreted that way for the past six years without much misunderstanding. However, the intention is that this will make things clearer,” MCC added.
MCC also clarified that the changed law is effective immediately from January 19 2023, because this is not a material change to the meaning of the Law, and hence the body shall not be re-printing the law books.