In recent weeks, Sports Shorts has considered a number of forthcoming, or potential, rule changes in football, including the planned introduction of Video Assistant Referees from the third round onwards of the 2017-2018 FA Cup and the possible introduction of sin bins.
Without wishing to be outdone by their footballing counterparts, similar changes are afoot in cricket. Earlier this month, the Marylebone Cricket Club (“MCC“), announced that a new code of laws would come into effect from 1 October 2017, the first time this has occurred since 2000.
Some Sports Shorts readers may, quite understandably, ask who or what the MCC is. The MCC is a cricket club which owns, and is based at, Lord’s cricket ground in North West London, commonly regarded as the spiritual home of cricket in England and Wales.
But the MCC also holds another important role, that of the custodian and copyright holder of the Laws of Cricket (the “Laws“), which set out the worldwide laws of the game. The Laws, which apply from the village green to the Test arena, outline all aspects of how cricket is played, ranging from how a team wins to how a batsman is dismissed.
And why does the MCC hold this important role, despite the fact that the International Cricket Council (“ICC“) is the global governing body? This is largely a legacy of the MCC’s former dual role as both the governing body of the worldwide game and cricket in England and Wales. Whilst many of its former functions as global governing body were transferred to the ICC in 1993, the MCC did not relinquish control of its coveted role as custodian of the Laws.
Changes to the Laws
In order to address concerns that a private members club in London was acting as the sole arbiter of how a global game is played, the MCC established the World Cricket Committee (“WCC“) in April 2006. The WCC is an independent body, made up of current and former international cricketers and umpires from across the globe, who meet twice a year in order to discuss pertinent issues in the game and, where necessary, make recommendations to the main MCC Committee that new laws should be promulgated or that existing Laws should be amended.