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New MCC’s Law allows ‘significant’ fielder movement

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has updated the fielders movement law which will allow the grounds' fieldsmen beside the wicket-keeper to move significantly before the batsman strikes the ball.

According to the MCC's head of cricket, John Stephenson, the upgradation in the law was much needed because of the everyday development happening in the game.



As the Guardian of the Laws and Spirit of cricket, it is important that MCC continues to keep pace with the game's development, and that's why we have made these changes to the Laws.

- Stephenson said.

The debate regarding the previous Laws 41.7 and 41.8 sparked after Steven Smith took a catch to dismiss Pakistan's Fawad Alam in an ODI in Abu Dhabi. In accordance with the previous law, "significant movement…before the ball reaches the striker" was deemed as "unfair".

Stephenson, while praising Smith for his excellent efforts, said that with the upgradation, now his catch called within the Laws of the game.


Steve Smith's excellent catch in Abu Dhabi last year illustrated that such skilful anticipation by a fielder should be within the Laws of the game, and these changes now make that the case.

- he said.
The MCC clubbed the two above mentioned Laws into one and it has also updated the same on their website.

The new Law:
MCC LAW 41.7 (Updated) Movement by fielders other than the wicket-keeper
Any movement by any fielder, excluding the wicket-keeper, after the ball comes into play and before the ball reaches the striker, is unfair except for the following:
(i) minor adjustments to stance or position in relation to the striker’s wicket.
(ii) movement by any fielder, other than a close fielder, towards the striker or the striker’s wicket that does not significantly alter the position of the fielder.
(iii)    movement by any fielder in response to the stroke that the striker is playing or that his actions suggest he intends to play.
Notwithstanding (iii) above, in all circumstances Law 41.5 (Limitation of on side fielders) shall apply.
In the event of such unfair movement, either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball.

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