The MCC world cricket committee have proposed numerous radical laws to the game, but they’ve recommended no changes to the existing ball-tampering law.
This means Faf du Plessis will find it difficult to overturn his fine, which saw him lose 100% of his match fee for shining the ball with a mint in his mouth.
The law by which he was charged against involves breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which relates to ‘changing the condition of the ball’.
Pakistan legend Ramiz Raja, a MCC world cricket committee member, clearly felt the oversight was a mistake.
‘We didn’t know about sucking mints,’ he said on Twitter. ‘We were just brought up to scratch the ball.’
Du Plessis has since appealed the verdict and a ruling will be made on 19 December.
Instead, the MCC turned its attention to the following rules: Giving umpires the power to send players off the field for disciplinary violations, limiting the maximum width of the edge and depth of a bat, and allowing catches off a fielder’s helmet were among the significant recommended outcomes in the committee meeting.
All the recommendations will need to be approved by the main MCC committee, and if they are, they will come into effect from October 1, 2017.
Send off law:
The MCC have proposed that umpires should have the power ‘to eject cricketers from a game for serious disciplinary breaches’ such as threatening an umpire, physically assaulting another player, umpire, official or spectator, and any other act of violence on the field.
‘Cricket is one of the only sports in which there is no ‘in-match’ punishment for poor behaviour. A captain may ask his player to leave the field but the umpires have no such jurisdiction.
‘Taking an extreme example, a batsman could wilfully hit a member of the fielding side with their bat, before carrying on to score a century to win the match for their team.
‘Cricket therefore needs a punishment which will have an impact on the perpetrator and his or her team during that particular match.’
Bat edges and depth:
The width of the edge of the bat could be restricted to a maximum of 40mm, and the depth to a maximum of 67mm from October 1, 2017, if the committee’s recommendations are approved.
‘Many of the top players’ bats have edges of between 38mm and 42mm, but there are some which have edges of up to 50mm, which was felt to be excessive and in need of restriction.’
Dismissals when the ball has touched a fielder’s helmet:
Under the existing law, catches and stumpings are not permitted if the ball touches any part of the helmet worn by a fielder or wicketkeeper.
‘This change for the caught Law would include a ball becoming lodged or trapped in the grille of a fielder’s helmet, in the same way as it is caught if it gets trapped between the wicket-keeper’s pads or in a fielder’s sweater or pocket.’
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