The change of wording comes weeks after an incident involving Australian spinner Adam Zampa in the Big Bash League (BBL).
The Melbourne Stars skipper tried to effect a ‘Mankad’ dismissal against Melbourne Renegades batter Tom Rogers but found himself being ‘stumped’ by the TV umpire, much to the embarrassment of the off-spinner.
MCC has today issued a clarification on Law 38.3 concerning the act of non-strikers leaving their ground early.#MCCLaws | #CricketTwitter
— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) 1674140483000
As the 30-year-old spinner completed his follow-through and was about to release the ball to Mackenzie Harvey, he turned back and dislodged Rogers’ bails and signalled to the umpire to give marching orders to the batter.
However, unperturbed by Zampa’s call, the umpire referred the dismissal to the TV umpire. The third umpire ruled that Zampa’s arm had gone past the ‘vertical’ or the highest point, from where the ball is deemed to have been released.
On Thursday, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) released a statement on the BBL incident, and said the umpires had taken the correct decision.
The MCC, however, added that the ambiguity in the wording of the law could have led to the confusion.
The bowler is *not* entitled to go all the way around in the bowling action and then run the non-striker out. (2/2)… https://t.co/3g6A0MXl6f
— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) 1672742216000
“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,” said the statement.
“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 (change of wording) will make things clearer,” added the statement.
The new law reads: “38.3.1 At any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be run out if he/she is out of his/her ground. In these circumstances the non-striker will be out run out if he/she is out of his/her ground when his/her wicket is put down by the bowler throwing the ball at the stumps or by the bowler’s hand holding the ball, whether or not the ball is subsequently delivered.
“126.96.36.199 The instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball is defined as the moment the bowler’s arm reaches the highest point of his/her normal bowling action in the delivery swing.
“188.8.131.52 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.”
The new law will come into force with immediate effect, said the MCC.