MCC confirm no change in law for short-pitched bowling

Arjun Bhalla

Arjun Bhalla

Author| Mar 4, 2:57 PM


The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) took a decision on the short-pitched bowling. The rules will not be changed, and the MCC will not ban the bouncer as the laws of the game on bouncers will remain the same. 

This came after a global consultation into bouncers - short-pitched deliveries that can be aimed towards the batter’s head. A review was conducted due to the increasing fears about the number of concussions sustained. 

Jamie Cox, the MCC Assistant Secretary for Cricket and Operations said, “As with any potential change in the Laws, the key aspect is to ensure that it is appropriate for all levels of the game. The results of the consultation show that short-pitched bowling, within the Laws, is an important part of the makeup of the sport and in fact, to change it would materially change the game”.

However, Cox asked umpires to do more to keep players safe from bouncers. He added, “However, given that the Laws allow for umpires to intervene should they believe that there is a safety consideration with the batter on strike, we encourage them to use their discretion and ensure that any risk of injury is minimised.” 

The Assistant Secretary further added, “We will also continue to educate players and officials about the risks of concussion through our website and eLearning portal, with the aim of the Laws consistently being applied in a safe manner.”

Law 41.6 Bowling of dangerous and unfair short-pitched deliveries:-

41.6.1 The bowling of short-pitched deliveries is dangerous if the bowler’s end umpire considers that, taking into consideration the skill of the striker, by their speed, length, height, and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury on him/her. The fact that the striker is wearing protective equipment shall be disregarded.

41.6.2 The bowler’s end umpire may consider that the bowling of short-pitched deliveries, although not dangerous under 41.6.1, is unfair if they repeatedly pass above the head height of the striker standing upright at the crease.

41.6.3 As soon as the umpire decides that the bowling of short-pitched deliveries has become dangerous under 41.6.1, or unfair under 41.6.2, he/she shall call and signal No ball. When the ball is dead, the umpire shall caution the bowler, indicating that this is a first and final warning, and inform the other umpire, the captain of the fielding side and the batters of what has occurred.

This caution shall apply to that bowler throughout the innings.

In recent events, Australia’s Will Pucovski has got hit 11 times eleven times during any competitive fixture. Steve Smith also went down to a nasty Jofra Archer bouncer during the Ashes in 2019. 

In 2014, Australian Test batter Phillip Hughes lost his life in an unfortunate incident after being struck in the back of the neck by a deadly bouncer.

  • Steve Smith
  • Will Pucovski
  • Phil Hughes

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