The England and Wales Cricket Board have announced some changes in the playing conditions in all four domestic competitions in the upcoming season. The changes will be applicable in the Specsavers County Championship, Royal London One-Day Cup, Vitality Blast and Kia Super League.
The changes include concussion replacement for a player, player conduct, bat sizes and mock fielding.
These changes have been made to improve the standard of the game. The regulators have also kept the player’s safety in mind.
The decision about concussion replacement has been made after looking at Joe Root’s condition in the final Test of the Ashes. Root had to be taken off the field as he was dehydrated due to the heat in Sydney and was taken to the hospital. However, the ECB has taken serious measures to keep this kind of situations in check.
As per the latest law, a team will be able to replace a player who has a concussion or a suspected concussion, and the replacement will be permitted to bat and bowl. The replacement must be deemed a “like for like” replacement by the Cricket Liaison Officer appointed for each match, or by the umpires if a Cricket Liaison Officer is not present.
As per as the Player Conduct is concerned four levels of the offence have been introduced under Law 42.
It states, ‘If a player is judged by the umpires to have committed a Level 1 offence, their team will receive an official warning that applies to every member of the team for the rest of the match. A further Level 1 offence in the match by any player from that team would then bring an automatic five-run penalty.’
‘A Level 2 offence would incur an immediate five-run penalty.’
‘Level 3 and Level 4 offences would lead to players being sent from the field, either temporarily or for the rest of the match, in addition to five-run penalties.’
Now about the Bat Sizes:
The ECB have also agreed to introduce the MCC’s new Law 5, which restricts the thickness of edges of bats to 40mm, and the overall depth of bats to 67mm.
Umpires will be equipped with bat gauges to check if the bat is legal off the field or during play.
Another change in the rules is about the “mock fielding” – a deliberate attempt by a fielder to deceive the batsman. That is now covered by Law 41, Unfair Play – and will also be punished with a five-run penalty.
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