“Short-Pitched bowling is an important part of the sport”: Marylebone Cricket Club believes bouncers should be bowled

The authorities at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) have decided against reviewing the laws regarding short-pitched bowling. Jamie Cox, the Assistant Secretary believes that short balls are an integral part of the sport. To change the laws regarding short-pitched bowling could change the game.

There have been growing debates regarding the safety of batsmen in recent times. The Health and well-being of cricketers is of prime importance, now more than ever. Due to the ever-increasing concerns about batsmen facing concussions, MCC (London) conducted a review of laws regarding short balls bowled by bowlers.

The current rules regarding short-pitched deliveries

Law 41.6 covers the aspect of “Bowling of dangerous and unfair short-pitched deliveries”

Clause 1 of the law defines short-pitched deliveries. Short balls are dangerous if they are likely to inflict physical injury to the batsman. It does not matter if the batsman is wearing a helmet or not.

The second clause states that short deliveries could be considered unfair by the umpire if they repeatedly pass above the head height of the striker standing within the crease.

The third clause covers the penalty that the bowler could face if the short-ball is deemed unfair or dangerous. The umpire shall signal a “No ball”.

Moreover, if the ball is dead, he/she shall caution the bowler by giving a “first and final warning”. He should also inform all the parties concerned. This caution shall apply to that bowler throughout the innings.

Jamie Cox, Assistant Secretary (Marylebone Cricket Club), added that any change in the rule should be the game at all levels. He also stated that umpires should remain focused on the batsman’s skill. The stand-in umpires have the power of discretion to reduce the levels of risk.

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