MCC changes wording of non-striker run-out Law for better clarity

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) acknowledged there was ambiguity pertaining to the law of running out a batter at the non-striker’s end. As a result, cricket’s law-making has tweaked the wordings of the law to avoid confusion. The MCC took the decision in the aftermath of confusion caused by the Adam Zampa-Tom Rogers incident, where the former had made an attempt to run out Rogers at the bowler’s end.

The Melbourne Stars captain had turned his arm over and then taken the bails off, with Rogers backing up too far in a BBL game. However, the TV umpire ruled it as not out on the basis that his bowling arm had already gone past the point, from where the ball is said to have been released.

Subsequently, the MCC issued a statement, saying that the umpire had interpreted the law correctly and the decision was right. The MCC also noted the point at which the ball comes into existence as “the highest point in that bowler’s action”.

On Thursday, (January 19), the MCC added the wordings in Law 38.3. Although the law-making body noted that it doesn’t mean there is “material change to the meaning of the Law”. The Law 38.3.2 reads: “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.”

“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. 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.”




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