Bouncer law changes among hot topics on MCC agenda


The bouncer as we know it could soon cease to exist in top-level, following a virtual MCC meeting on Monday.

The game’s lawmakers confirmed “a global consultation” will soon start which could spark a host of changes to the laws of the game, most notably about bouncers and short-pitched bowling.

The contentious point was whether or not bouncers were still “fit for the modern game” and the allowed number of balls over shoulder height. This follows a greater understanding of concussions in sport and degenerative brain conditions.

The MCC committee will then decide on the matter in December 2021, with any changes coming into effect in 2022.

“With research into concussion in sport having increased significantly in recent years, it is appropriate that MCC continues to monitor the Laws on short-pitched bowling, as it does with all other Laws,” the MCC said in a statement.

Whilst the committee confirmed it was unanimous in believing short-pitched bowling formed a “core part of the game, particularly at elite level”, it will also discuss if the law should be different for tail-enders and top-order batsmen.

Umpires call also being discussed

Another topic being discussed is possible changes to the DRS system, in particular, scrapping ‘umpires call. This follows a furore over the non-dismissal of England captain Joe Root during the second Test against India earlier this month.

“The committee debated the use of ‘Umpire’s Call’ for LBW decisions made via the Decision Review System, which some members felt was confusing to the watching public, particularly when the same ball could either be Out or Not out depending on the on-field umpire’s original decision,” the statement added.

“They felt it would be simpler if the original decision was disregarded on review, and that there was a simple Out or Not out, with no Umpire’s Call.”

Other contentious points to be discussed are the application of saliva on the ball, the future of the ICC Test Championship, women’s cricket schedule, and the use of host country umpires in Test matches.

The MCC committee is made up of Mike Gatting (Chairman), John Stephenson, (Assistant Secretary), Suzie Bates, Sir Alastair Cook, Kumar Dharmasena, Sourav Ganguly, Tim May, Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting, Ramiz Raja, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Skerritt, Vince van der Bijl, Shane Warne