Cricket is to introduce red cards for bad behaviour enabling umpires to send players off. From October umpires will be able to send players off for unsportsmanlike behaviour. The Marylebone Cricket Club, which governs the laws of cricket has also announced the dimensions of a bat will be reduced.
The bat change comes with the bat having dominated the ball in recent years whereby batters have been wielding heavier bats with greater depth, allowing them to hit the ball further. The new maximum permitted dimensions of a cricket bat will be 108mm in width, 67mm in depth with 40mm edges. A bat gauge will be used to ensure the new limits are enforced in professional matches.
Umpires will now also have the ability to award penalty runs to a team if the opposing side is deemed to have brought the game into disrepute through acts of violence of showing dissent to an umpire’s decision.
The severity of the offences will range from levels one to four, and if deemed necessary, a player can be removed for the remainder of the match for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Excessive appealing and dissent will be at the lower end of the scale with umpires able to award five penalty runs with physical violence at the highest end and umpires able to send players either permanently or temporarily.
Changes to bat sizes were recommended last July by the MCC’s world cricket committee, which includes former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.
The rules around the ‘Mankad’ have also been changed.
It will state that if the non-striker is out of his or her ground from the moment the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out.
This will keep non-strikers in their ground for slightly longer than the current Law and mirrors ICC’s Playing Regulations.
The new Code of Laws will also be written in language that is neutral to both sexes for the first time.
As it stands, the Laws currently make all references to the male gender, with a disclaimer stating all such references apply equally to women and girls.
The new rules will come into effect on October 1st this year, with a ‘moratorium’ period for amateur cricketers.