May 20, 2010

Break the laws

With MCC set to change a few of the rules of the game, we look at 11 that could do with tweaking, or scrapping altogether, to make cricket more interesting and fair
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Ban leg-byes
Few other sports reward participants for failure, but that's what leg-byes do in cricket. It is incongruous that a batsman who is not good enough to get bat on ball can still benefit because the ball hits him on the pads or body. Too often in limited-overs games batsmen swing wildly knowing as long as they get something, anything, in the way, the odds are they will be able to scramble at least a single. A ban would immediately help address the horribly uneven balance between bat and ball.

Disallow backing up
The running out of a non-striker was, for some odd reason, always deemed unsporting, but attempts by the batsman to steal ground on the fielding side are not? In baseball, the closest similar sport, a runner can try to steal ground but knows he risks being run out if he goes too far. As Gideon Haigh noted: "For a sport that relies on the third umpire to make decisions based on millimetres and split video frames, it is utterly inconsistent to allow the non-striker to gain an advantage of this magnitude."

When the MCC decided the non-striker could not be run out it inadvertently legitimised cheating. In last weekend's World Twenty20 final more than once the non-striker was so far down the track that he was almost home when running a bye before the keeper, standing back, had gathered the ball. A bad law change not thought through. Reverse it and let the umpire decide if a batsman has genuinely been hard done by.

Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump
Why should a batsman who is beaten all ends up not be out simply because the ball strikes him fractionally outside the line of off stump? What's the difference between a delivery on off stump and outside it if the ball is going to hit the stumps? The leg-side law makes sense, introduced to prevent bowlers coming round the wicket and firing the ball in at the batsman's pads with a packed leg-side field. But the off side? Another law designed to mollycoddle the batsman. Pads are there to protect not to defend.

Don't offer players the light
Something that bemuses the uninitiated is the sight of players trooping off for bad light; something that infuriates spectators is umpires waving around light meters. In a world where cricket vies for entertainment dollars, bad light is an anachronism. When batsmen had a bat, a box and little else to spare them, it made sense. But now they are protected from head to foot and so they ought to be made stay out and play unless it is raining or, in the view of the umpires, it's downright dangerous. Karachi in 2000-01 showed what can be done when the will is there. Unfair? Not really. Like a wearing pitch, the forecast will feature in the captain's decision at the toss.

Legitimise ball-tampering
Possibly cricket's single most contentious on-field subject, and one that has tarnished careers and even caused a Test to be abandoned. Whatever people say, tampering is as old as the game itself. So stop spending years trying to legislate, do away with the hypocrisy and double standards and legitimise it. No foreign objects such as bottle tops, but otherwise anything goes, and it's the same for both sides. The one proviso would be the fielding side lose the right to gripe endlessly about the ball - another bonus for spectators - and only the umpires can order it to be changed if it disintegrates. Richard Hadlee has said, "As long as the bowlers or fielders use whatever means they have on their persons, I don't see anything wrong with it."

Permit more bouncers in ODIs
It's a man's game. Or so they say, but they constantly wimp out with the laws. A classic example is the rule that allows only one bouncer per over in ODIs. How about at least allowing one bouncer per batsman in an over, permitting the bowler to have a pop at both opponents in an over?

Be consistent in the use of substitutes and runners
Either you allow them on all occasions or ban them altogether. Clarity is needed. A fielding captain can refuse a batsman a runner for cramps, but when he's on the batting side he can't do anything when a substitute is used for a batsman who has already batted and doesn't field. The reverse is not allowed. Graeme Smith fielded for 50 overs and then had cramps in the 40th over of a chase in the last Champions Trophy and Andrew Strauss refused him a runner. Perhaps in the case of a batsman resting after batting, his team should be asked to field with only 10 men. Sanjay Manjrekar reckons there is no place for a runner in modern sport. "Besides giving batsmen an unfair advantage, having runners presents cricket as a soft sport to outsiders. You are saying, 'Oh, you are hurt, are you? We will get someone to run for you.' I think that's ridiculous in this day and age."

Allow the fielder to touch the boundary rope
Why should a fielder be penalised for being athletic? Why should he not be allowed to lean over the boundary, using the boundary as an aid, as used to be allowed - and as is still allowed in baseball - as long as his feet are in the field of play? It will also save time spent on endless replays to determine whether the fielder touched the rope while trying to save a boundary.

Ban overthrows for direct hits
A pet peeve of Sunil Gavaskar's. Why should a fielder pay for a direct hit, a show of excellence?

Also, rewrite the laws so a batsman can't take an overthrow when the ball ricochets off his bat while he is trying to slide it into the crease. Why appeal to his spirit of sportsmanship and hope he doesn't take the run? As of today, some do, some don't, and it sometimes leads to conflicts among players. Would the batsman who refuses to take the extra run in most situations do the same if he requires that run off the last ball to win a World Cup final?

Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings
There is no stipulation that a batsman must retire after he gets a hundred, so why not two more overs for two bowlers? Four more quality overs will only add more drama to the contest, especially on flat tracks.

Don't give a batsman out if he is in but his bat is in the air
As things stand today, if a batsman dives to get inside the crease and his bat has touched the ground beyond the line but has jerked up into the air at the moment the bails come off, he is given out. This is clearly unfair as the batsman is being given out after having made his ground.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Sriram Veera is a staff writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • aarpee2 on May 22, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    If the game is all about fairplay then the third umpire needs to be pro-active when it comes to blatantly poor umpiring decisions especially 'caught behinds'.Fielders hurl themselves in desperate dives to save a run on the boundary and yet we find endless replays to check whether he has touched the rope. Penalised for supreme effort.When it comes to 'caught behinds' the bowler is wrongly rewarded,batman wrongfully victimised and vice versa which may cost the match or a career. In my view the Third Umpire must recall the batsman and not jusitify poor umpiring."See no Evil' on the part of the third umpire in this day and age with technology available not being used amounts to unfairplay which often changes the course of a match. Remember Harper ruling Symonds on a clear caught-behind 'not out' off Ishant in Australia. It amounts to mockery.

  • muhmmad7676 on May 22, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    the changes mentioned above are all rubbish.

  • CiMP on May 22, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    I agree with pj3000's question. Of the rest, ball tampering must not be legalised. But make sure batsmen are also not allowed have too heavy a bat or misshapen bat like the mongoose. 'bat tampering'? :) Allow 2 bouncers per over regardless of who the batsman is. (Theoretically, it is possible now to bowl 6 bouncers in an over of 4 of the batsmen get out!) Let leg byes stay but limit to one run per leg bye else we will have many more Jimmy PAdams! Primarily runs must be scored off the bat.

  • anant_gupta on May 22, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump: Are you Kidding!!! imagine Muralitharan bowling on a turning pitch. Batsmen will be forced to play each ball with bat. With 5/6 players around the bat. I wonder which of the batsmen will survive. Author has totally missed the rational behind this rule which was to allow batsmen a way out from each delievery

    Ban leg byes: Again while the rational seems fine to not allow batsmen runs for their imcompetency, think about the implication. Most of the ball games are designed to keep the ball in the play. In lawn tennis,table tennis if the ball hits the net, it is not deemed out of play but still kept in play. In football if the ball hits the pole and goes in the net it still is goal. Same is with cricket.Leg byes are same

    Also, the umpire will have to decide whether the ball came off bat/body. Another trouble for the umpire. Now he thinks seriously only for catches, then he will have think for each ball as it will cause difference in runs!

  • tfjones1978 on May 22, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    CHANGES TO RULES 1. Disallow backing up (as above). 2. Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump (as above). 3. Don't offer players the light (as above). 4. Be consistent in the use of substitutes and runners (allow on all occasions). 5. Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings (as above). 6. Double Play: When a batsmen is out the ball isnt considered concluded until the other batsmen is in his crease (no extra runs can be scored). This allows both batsmen to be out from the same delivery, from bad calling or other mishaps. 7. Super Six (T20s only): When the ball is hit for Six, 1 extra run is given for every 10 metres over 60 metres to max total of 120 metre hit. Short boundaries and longer boundary grounds will give the same scored (roughly). Thus hit over rope for 0-69 metres 6 runs, 70-79 7 runs, 80-89 8 runs, 90-99 9 runs, 100-109 10 runs, 110-119 11 runs, 120+ metres is 12 Runs. 8. Tests Sessions: Swop teams after @ session I disagree with any other changes

  • on May 22, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    D/L should be completely removed. Does not make sense. Why should a chasing team's run rate match the team batting first , certain teams have ways of building an innings, look at the Aus v/s Pak match recently, if D/L had to come into play in the 10th over Aus would have lost. D/L is wrong.

  • on May 22, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    The only suggestions here that make any sense or have any merit are permitting bouncers and allowing backing up. The rest go against the evolution of the laws from 150+ years of cricket e.g. banning leg byes - think bodyline. In comparison, allowing ball tampering would be like allowing all swimmers to take any performance enhancing drugs they can find. A player who attempts a direct hit has to take into account thay a ricochet may go for runs. Playing in bad light makes no sense, its just mightily unfair. I think that whilst the author is trying to introduce some rules which help the bowlers, they are actually thinking of rules which will make the game unbalanced.

  • KnowledgeSeeker on May 22, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    Now I see my comment. Thnx. @VisBal, you are right about the leg byes. I was trying to emphasize the need for the law because of Body-Line. Although, I haven't grown up watching hard-core test series and 60 over ODIs, I like most of the law changes in place already. Yes there are laws that need to be altered, but let's focus on the ones that overtly taxes the batsmen, bowlers or fielders unequivocally. 1. Umpiring errors that can turn a match on its head; 2. Sledging / name calling - why do we encourage bickering and culminate nasty feelings towards humans? It is stupid to say that it is "all part of the game". It isn't part of acceptable human behaviour, then why should it be part of a gentleman's game? Should we "coach" our kids at young age to hone their sledging skills, if we want them to be a professional? 3. Mathematicians / statisticians required to interpret D/L system (does not allow on-the-fly tactic changes by players); and there are many more.

  • Kirk-at-Lords on May 22, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    Tweaking the rules is important, especially to eliminate nagging, timewasting matters such as touching the boundary rope, and the direct hit penalty. Favouring bowlers over batsmen in general makes sense too, though care must be exercised with leg-byes and bouncers to avoid too much "Body Line" behaviour. There are larger issues not addressed here that need a major rules rewrite. ODIs need to be injected with new life while at the same time being given more of the flavour of Test matches. One proposed solution is to have a 40-overs ODI composed of two 20-over innings for each side. This utilises the now-proven T20 format and places it in a context that draws on the strategies and tactics of Tests. Let's not lose track of this very important big-picture change while making necessary adjustments in the Laws of Cricket.

  • KnowledgeSeeker on May 22, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    I guess it is too much to expect decent criticism to be allowed as comment (my previous comment on the article). keep up the good job.

  • aarpee2 on May 22, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    If the game is all about fairplay then the third umpire needs to be pro-active when it comes to blatantly poor umpiring decisions especially 'caught behinds'.Fielders hurl themselves in desperate dives to save a run on the boundary and yet we find endless replays to check whether he has touched the rope. Penalised for supreme effort.When it comes to 'caught behinds' the bowler is wrongly rewarded,batman wrongfully victimised and vice versa which may cost the match or a career. In my view the Third Umpire must recall the batsman and not jusitify poor umpiring."See no Evil' on the part of the third umpire in this day and age with technology available not being used amounts to unfairplay which often changes the course of a match. Remember Harper ruling Symonds on a clear caught-behind 'not out' off Ishant in Australia. It amounts to mockery.

  • muhmmad7676 on May 22, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    the changes mentioned above are all rubbish.

  • CiMP on May 22, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    I agree with pj3000's question. Of the rest, ball tampering must not be legalised. But make sure batsmen are also not allowed have too heavy a bat or misshapen bat like the mongoose. 'bat tampering'? :) Allow 2 bouncers per over regardless of who the batsman is. (Theoretically, it is possible now to bowl 6 bouncers in an over of 4 of the batsmen get out!) Let leg byes stay but limit to one run per leg bye else we will have many more Jimmy PAdams! Primarily runs must be scored off the bat.

  • anant_gupta on May 22, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump: Are you Kidding!!! imagine Muralitharan bowling on a turning pitch. Batsmen will be forced to play each ball with bat. With 5/6 players around the bat. I wonder which of the batsmen will survive. Author has totally missed the rational behind this rule which was to allow batsmen a way out from each delievery

    Ban leg byes: Again while the rational seems fine to not allow batsmen runs for their imcompetency, think about the implication. Most of the ball games are designed to keep the ball in the play. In lawn tennis,table tennis if the ball hits the net, it is not deemed out of play but still kept in play. In football if the ball hits the pole and goes in the net it still is goal. Same is with cricket.Leg byes are same

    Also, the umpire will have to decide whether the ball came off bat/body. Another trouble for the umpire. Now he thinks seriously only for catches, then he will have think for each ball as it will cause difference in runs!

  • tfjones1978 on May 22, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    CHANGES TO RULES 1. Disallow backing up (as above). 2. Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump (as above). 3. Don't offer players the light (as above). 4. Be consistent in the use of substitutes and runners (allow on all occasions). 5. Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings (as above). 6. Double Play: When a batsmen is out the ball isnt considered concluded until the other batsmen is in his crease (no extra runs can be scored). This allows both batsmen to be out from the same delivery, from bad calling or other mishaps. 7. Super Six (T20s only): When the ball is hit for Six, 1 extra run is given for every 10 metres over 60 metres to max total of 120 metre hit. Short boundaries and longer boundary grounds will give the same scored (roughly). Thus hit over rope for 0-69 metres 6 runs, 70-79 7 runs, 80-89 8 runs, 90-99 9 runs, 100-109 10 runs, 110-119 11 runs, 120+ metres is 12 Runs. 8. Tests Sessions: Swop teams after @ session I disagree with any other changes

  • on May 22, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    D/L should be completely removed. Does not make sense. Why should a chasing team's run rate match the team batting first , certain teams have ways of building an innings, look at the Aus v/s Pak match recently, if D/L had to come into play in the 10th over Aus would have lost. D/L is wrong.

  • on May 22, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    The only suggestions here that make any sense or have any merit are permitting bouncers and allowing backing up. The rest go against the evolution of the laws from 150+ years of cricket e.g. banning leg byes - think bodyline. In comparison, allowing ball tampering would be like allowing all swimmers to take any performance enhancing drugs they can find. A player who attempts a direct hit has to take into account thay a ricochet may go for runs. Playing in bad light makes no sense, its just mightily unfair. I think that whilst the author is trying to introduce some rules which help the bowlers, they are actually thinking of rules which will make the game unbalanced.

  • KnowledgeSeeker on May 22, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    Now I see my comment. Thnx. @VisBal, you are right about the leg byes. I was trying to emphasize the need for the law because of Body-Line. Although, I haven't grown up watching hard-core test series and 60 over ODIs, I like most of the law changes in place already. Yes there are laws that need to be altered, but let's focus on the ones that overtly taxes the batsmen, bowlers or fielders unequivocally. 1. Umpiring errors that can turn a match on its head; 2. Sledging / name calling - why do we encourage bickering and culminate nasty feelings towards humans? It is stupid to say that it is "all part of the game". It isn't part of acceptable human behaviour, then why should it be part of a gentleman's game? Should we "coach" our kids at young age to hone their sledging skills, if we want them to be a professional? 3. Mathematicians / statisticians required to interpret D/L system (does not allow on-the-fly tactic changes by players); and there are many more.

  • Kirk-at-Lords on May 22, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    Tweaking the rules is important, especially to eliminate nagging, timewasting matters such as touching the boundary rope, and the direct hit penalty. Favouring bowlers over batsmen in general makes sense too, though care must be exercised with leg-byes and bouncers to avoid too much "Body Line" behaviour. There are larger issues not addressed here that need a major rules rewrite. ODIs need to be injected with new life while at the same time being given more of the flavour of Test matches. One proposed solution is to have a 40-overs ODI composed of two 20-over innings for each side. This utilises the now-proven T20 format and places it in a context that draws on the strategies and tactics of Tests. Let's not lose track of this very important big-picture change while making necessary adjustments in the Laws of Cricket.

  • KnowledgeSeeker on May 22, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    I guess it is too much to expect decent criticism to be allowed as comment (my previous comment on the article). keep up the good job.

  • sajid_Hussain on May 22, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    I agree with Tom_Size. Cricket is the great game with is rules and regulation. But something is should be change (example UDRS & electronic eye LBW) otherwise above mention changes is meaningless.

  • on May 22, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    where is D/L method? we need modifications to the system..

  • Clyde on May 22, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    The worst rule in cricket today is the power play, and it is not even mentioned. It is allowing golfers to take over the game.

  • Clyde on May 22, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    Allowing non-grounding of the bat would be a frivolous change, as it can equally be argued the other way. And a batsman's having to fly bat first would probably be dangerous.

  • Clyde on May 22, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    The direct hit is supposed to arrive in time. Overthrows are a penalty for the thrower's lateness and must be kept in the game.

  • Clyde on May 22, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    Tampering is always illegal, and cricket can't change that, can it?

  • VisBal on May 22, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    @ KnowledgeSeeker "1. Leg Byes - do u remember body line? The Aussies will make it part of their strategy to bowl at the body."

    Actually leg-byes predate Bodyline by at least 60 years. Leg-byes were scored in even the first Test.

    Since you mention history, why have we got rid of the 5? Bringing that back would definitely add spice to the game.

  • mayank831 on May 22, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    One more rule which can be looked upon is Referrals. I think What happened in this T-20 world cup with Rohit Sharma was clearly unfair. Why A batsmen should go back to pavillion who completely believe that he has not edged the ball? Referres should understand that A Batsmen who is genuine will only stand back on crease but not a Batsmen who knows that he had edged the ball. So, when a batsmen ask for a referral, he should be given that option.

  • on May 22, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    Most points are valid and really good.

  • Arijit on May 22, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    In the last suggested change, I think even if the batsman has not 'touched' down beyond the line, as long as his bat is over the line (even if in the air), it should be not out.

    Banning runners and substitutes altogether makes a lot of sense. No other sport has that. Football for example, player can't come back after 10 mins break.

    Banning leg byes is a good suggestion too, but I think it will not be implemented ever coz it's changing the basics of the game too much.

  • lucyferr on May 22, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    I like the idea someone suggested about giving a bowler an extra over (in T20, half-over) for every wicket they take. Also agree with adjusting D/L for T20 - there was a very good cricinfo stats article on it some days ago about shrinking rather than cutting the D/L trousers. Also, some of the dissent rules are overly silly - what's wrong with showing some human frustration, esp when the decision is dubious? As long as the ump isnt physically or overly verbally threatened (like Ovrebo was). If cricket really cared about its players being gents, it would have had personal sledging banned a long time ago.

  • HLANGL on May 22, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    Except the 2 points "Allow the fielder to touch the boundary rope" & "Legitimise ball-tampering", all others seem to be very reasonable & logical arguments.Especially the rule preventing lbws on balls hitting outside off stump always baffled me when I first became familiar with the rules of the game many years back. I can still remember the days I was wondering as a kid why it's not given out if the ball is going to hit the stumps even it has come from just outside the off.Only the point "Don't give a batsman out if he is in but his bat is in the air" may be somewhat marginal, my opinion is the law should give the benefit to the batsman only if he has made the grounds with complete balance, like in the case of a fielder taking a catch at the deep end of the boundary line maintaining his balance not to touch the rope.In my opinion, if the fielder catches the ball without the complete balance & throws the ball into air & then crosses the boundary rope, the batsman shouldn't be given out.

  • on May 22, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Let's make this much more gladiatorial. Take away the LBW rule, AND the batsman's pads. This will remove controversies around LBW decisions, discourage batsmen from padding the ball away, only the bravest batsmen will get in line tilting the balance back in favour of wicket taking bowlers who can bowl straight, and finally fast bowlers will have a real fear factor for the batsman.

  • Tom_Size on May 22, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    I don't understand how you can say some of these new rules can make the game more interesting?

    Banning leg byes and banning overthrows when the ball hits the wicket is taking away the surprise elements of the game. Banning leg byes especially, will make the test match more boring as less runs will be scored, and it could make one dayers less exciting as run outs often occur from the confusion between batsmen of whether or not to take a quick single when the ball has hit the pad.

    Allowing 2 bowlers to have 2 extra overs? That would put more pressure on individuals, where it should be all about how the captain utilises the team as a whole. An over here or there from players you wouldn't expect to bowl is what makes it interesting. The best team should be the one where everyone contributes, and players such as Luke Wright will have their roles lessened even more than they already are.

  • on May 22, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    hmmmmmmmm wow ...................................

  • Shrek.krish on May 22, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    I feel there should be a tweak in the D/L method atleast for the T20s. We saw in the T20 between WI and ENG where WI are asked to chase 60 off 6 overs with 10 wickets in hand when ENG made 194. As with many others, I feel it is unfair. I don't blame the D/L system. It needs few additions.

    The target should keep changing if the chasing team starts loosing their wickets. If they start at 60 off 6 overs with 10 wickets in hand, and they loose 3 wickets by the time they finish their 6 overs, the target should be recalculated accordingly using D/L(may be something around 70). This gives the fielding team something to try for other than just restricting runs.

    To decide the winner with a toss when a super over can't decide the winner... why don't you ask ppl to send those costly SMS to decide the winner and give the Man of the Match award to one of those who sent the SMS...coz they decided the winner of the match!!!

  • Subhash_M on May 22, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings

    Instead allow one bowler to bowl 15 overs. Obviously he will be the one who is bowling well on that day. This give more scope for good bowlers to dominate ODIs like they do in Tests.

    Now bowlers rarely get MoMs in ODIs as they are allowed to bowl only 60 balls where as batsman can face 150+ balls.

    All of us want to see Sachin scoring runs of Dale Steyn but not of some part timers.

  • joeyinoz on May 22, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Agree with all of these. To simplify the boundary rope issue: The BALL must touch or cross the rope. If a fielder has prevented it from doing so, it is not a boundary. Who cares what the fielder is or isn't touching.

  • madhuv9 on May 22, 2010, 3:38 GMT

    I dont know what happened in the match between Eng and SA, that Strauss did not allow a runner for Smith. But, my question is, can he disallow a runner??? because the Law 2 - 1 (a) states, If the umpires are satisfied that a player has been injured or become ill after the nomination of the players, they shall allow that player to have (i) a substitute acting instead of him in the filed. (ii) a runner when batting. and law 2-2 states that The opposing captain shall have no right of objection to any player acting as a substitute no the filed, nor as to where the substitute shall field. However, no substitute shall act as wicket keeper.

    Need comments on this..

  • KnowledgeSeeker on May 22, 2010, 2:29 GMT

    This is ridiculous. I must say that I expected more thoughtful suggestions from the top Cricket writers in the world. Also, I find most comments from the fans, a regurgitation of what they have heard from commentators. Seriously, let's give these some thought. Most of the rules in cricket has evolved over centuries and there is a reason for it. They need to be altered, but with sound logic. 1. Leg Byes - do u remember body line? The Aussies will make it part of their strategy to bowl at the body. 2. Backing up - The batsman still has to make it a full run, why cant the keeper be ready to throw down the non-striker? Also, standing up to the stumps is not illegal. 3. Legitimize ball tampering, allow fielder to touch boundary - seriously, I am aghast, you sure must be joking. Why stop there, lets have timeouts, Technical fouls, yellow & red cards. Change for change sake makes no sense.

  • howizzat on May 22, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    1.Ban lb - YES. 2.Disllow backing - NO, The batsman cantake the risk of gettin run out without warning. 3.Give lbws - YES. 4.Dont offer light - YES. 5.Legetimise ball-tempering - NO, It will encourage the fielders to go for it aggressively, to the extent of biting by teeth or using spikes of shoes.But leniency can be shown in other cases(clearly defining legetimate mode of ball tempering).Check for cleanly shaved of nails before taking the field. 6.More bouncers - NO. But bouncers that were called no ball or wide should not be counted in the rule. 7.Substitutes - YES.Have a playing 13 rather than 11-allow to chose any 11 to bat and any 11 to field. Can be used as secret weapon. 8.Allow the fielder - NO. 9.Ban overthrows - YES. 10. Allow 12 overs - YES. Infact allow 4 bowlers to bowl 12 overs. 11.Dont give batsman out in air - yes. 12.Penalise wides by runs and no rebowling that will save time. 13.Make ODI a 40-40 contest, again to reduce time and and make it less boring.

  • on May 22, 2010, 1:42 GMT

    Great Ideas.. and with you on all of them except for two: 1. Allow more bouncers - At present one bouncer per over is allowed, so you suggest to increase it to two.. But someone can argue about why to stop at 2 bouncers per over. In the spirit of manhood and bravery lets allow unlimited bouncers.. But in reality, bouncers are usually unplayable and very similar to wides.. need to limit the area of ball delivery where the ball can be in play.. And the current rule is farcical.. You can wrong once but not again - Brilliant.. 2. Changing the rule to allow touching the boundary rope - Changing the rule does not really change much in practice.. If this rule comes in play, then we would be watching if the fielders foot touched the ground on the other side of the rope while his foot was on it..same difference !

  • TATTUs on May 22, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    Some of the changes are stupid! One is the disallowing of leg byes! Then what about byes?? Its the fielding team who should be on their toes. And why are the boundary ropes for, if fielders are allowed to touch it!? Dont compare with baseball. In baseball a fielder can even jump over the boundaries and take a catch, if he can! that is! The batsman should take care whether his bat is in the air or not. If the face is grounded, there is no way the bat can be in the air. If there is no way that the bat can be grounded when he dives, then the change can be considered, but not when there is this basic thing which solves the problem. The most stupid of changes is the ball tampering! If you legalise it, you have no idea what tools the players will bring on while on the field! The failure to implement a law shouldn't mean it should be legalised!

    I agree with 2,3,4,6[ most important] 7and 10.

  • A.Nadeem on May 22, 2010, 1:24 GMT

    Allow at least one bowler to bowl 5 overs in a twenty20. I think 4 overs aren't enough.

  • thewayitwas on May 22, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Dead set brilliant suggestions! i have been thinking these very things for years.. the ball tampering one is something that will help test cricket in particular, but sadly this is unlikely to ever be legitimised.. the restm brilliant!!

  • kaushiq on May 22, 2010, 0:05 GMT

    icc is supporting batsman too much..i propose banning free hit. most points mentioned here worth changing. but what should be changed first is icc officials. players like Holding, Steve Waugh, Imran Khan who understand and feel cricket should be in ICC. i back unlimited bouncer in ODI. if it is allowed in tests then why not ODI. i was always against leg byes. one more important thing, pls bring referal in ODI n T20. brad haddin was clearly not out in the finals and he deserve to stay. plus if a batsman shows negetive attitude he is fined but why not umpires are fined for all the wrong decision they make? why are umpires never reviewed. if a umpire makes mistake we all say they are human too. arent batsman human too? batsman will be more emotionally attached in a match so they have more right to be emotional and have reaction to a bad decision. i never see batsman getting fined who raises their bat trying to tell the umpire i havent hit it so dont give me out? such unfair rules.

  • patroclus on May 21, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    does a lot of good for the poor bowlers. will be really a fair game..

  • Markus971 on May 21, 2010, 22:50 GMT

    I agree with 3 of the Rule Changes only. 1. Disallow backing up & 2. Ban overthrows for direct hits. & 3.Not giving a batsman Out! if he is In! These are no brainers!

  • mubeenkemisaal on May 21, 2010, 22:49 GMT

    So many changes are not good for any sport..!! Game of cricket should have balance between fair play and fun..!! If you start making all the decisions with the help of technologies, in coming years you will see robots in the field instead of umpires..: )

  • Peligrosisimo3 on May 21, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    Substitutes should be allowed to participate fully in cricket. I don't know what's so holy about cricket that this can't happen(injury has to be acquired during match). Batsman gets injured and his team is disadvantages. It is the same for the bowler which isn't fair. Other sports allow substitutes to take part fully. Say j is injured and can't continue then K replaces him fully as batsman j. Touching the boundary can be allowed for 4's, but Im not so sure how its gonna work for 6's. We could basically see fielders on the boundary jumping outwards to prevent 6's. I not sure for the 6's. Ban overthrows for direct his is ridiculous. What's more unfair(stated earlier) is when the batsman is denied runs by the wickect, his teammate, umpire etc. If a run is available why shouldn't it be taken. Is everyone just supposed to watch while the ball is retrieved? 10 no-no. The last rule is 50/50. You have to be in when the other team is inquiring if you are in. I can agree, can disagree with it.

  • Itchy on May 21, 2010, 22:10 GMT

    I agree with most of your proposed changes (the ball tampering one may be controversial) although they will take some of the fun and post-match discussion away from the game - what will all those ex-cricketers talk about when the days play is over? A lot of these changes would require more intervention from the third umpire as they add to the role of the umpire (eg. bouncers to both batsmen) - the upires job is hard enough so let's give them a bit of a break!

  • Peligrosisimo3 on May 21, 2010, 22:02 GMT

    banning leg byes not a good idea. The batsman basically runs when the fielding side isn't good enough to prevent him running. Should everyone just watch while the ball is retrieved? Leg byes result from bowlers bowling down legside. I think that the non striker should be allowed to be run out. The only thing as one person suggested that the bowler at least be penalised in some way if unseccessful, that way this(run out) wouldnt be attempted 6 times in an over. Rule 3 a no-no. Would cause more confusion. Remember its not just line but also the bounce/height of the ball. Umpires job is already difficult, that would complicate game more and take up time. Umpires would have to assume a lot more. And the leg side LBW allowance is ridiculous. The law is there to prevent bowlers from firing the ball into batsman pads. Most of these deliveries on the angle would be hitting stumps. Bowling intentionally into the batsman pads needs to be deterred. #4 ok, 5 no-no, 6 ok, 7 ok.

  • TimEaston on May 21, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    I agree with all of those, though ball tampering should be heavily regulated. I also think the heavy roller should be banned after the toss, as they have in County Cricket in England. I think there should be a fourth umpire dedicated to checking for no balls or some sort of Cyclops, where if the beam isn't broken then it is a no ball. I agree with Dunkin Jalki about naming one 12th man that can be substituted for any player but if a second player gets injured the fielding side can only have 10 fielders. I think ODIs should be 40 overs a side. Tim Easton

  • on May 21, 2010, 21:10 GMT

    Another important miss. There should be still a free hit, if the bowler uses a beamer or IInd bouncer.

    Upto this time, there's been 116 people giving away free advise to ICC. Who cares really.

  • Bombayorker28 on May 21, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    None of your suggested new rules make sense.

  • on May 21, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    The best new rule would give batsmen out if struck on the helmet by a fast bowler.

    Before helmets bouncers which struck batsmen in the head usually ended their innings. Helmets have made batsmen who cannot play short- pitched bowling safe from fastbowlers- they get struck in the head and shrug it off.

    If giving them out is too harsh at least make them retire hurt (akin to a TKO) for 10 overs in a ODI and 4 hours in a test match.

    Give the fastbowlers back some teeth!

  • BoomBoomAdnan on May 21, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    wat about stupid rule of free hit also there shudnt be any fielding restrictions with the circle so ubnfair for a bowler when he cant sit the field the way he wants this wud be the best thing for cricket then u wud really c a contest between bat n ball

  • on May 21, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    How about naming a 12th player before the toss. A team should be allowed to use only this 12th man as a substitute for anything. If he too is injured (besides another one from the playing 11) then the team should play only with 10 players -- no substitute fielder and no runner.

  • kartikvenu13 on May 21, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    I agree with...said writer, great additions to the laws. However, I do feel that ball tampering would be pushing a little too much, as that gives the fielding side license to bash the ball with a mallet, provided they can fit it into their trousers. Maybe even the boundary lines could be standardized, so that in the future we don't have any Suresh Raina 'pull shots' that are miscued for six :P

    I wish the IPL'd take out those stupid timeouts. How many advertisements can people take these days, my god

  • sifter132 on May 21, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Ban leg-byes? Half agree, maybe in ODI cricket Disallow backing up? Agree, especially now that players are learning to exploit it Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump? Maybe. Good in theory, maybe an ODI or T20 rule. Don't offer players the light? Agree Legitimise ball-tampering? Strongly disagree. Should we allow steroid use at the Olympics, speeding on our roads etc just because a lot of it is undetected? Plus you'd end up with a ball looking like a peach seed after the biting and stomping finished. It would be a totally barbarian move IMHO. Permit more bouncers in ODIs? Maybe but bowlers don't use the rule enough as it is. Why extend something there aren't pushing? Be consistent in the use of substitutes and runners? Agree Allow the fielder to touch the boundary rope? Agree Ban overthrows for direct hits? Agree Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings? Agree Don't give a batsman out if he is in but his bat is in the air? Agree

    7 Agrees, 3 Maybes, 1 Never.

  • on May 21, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    another rule is to increase the minimum boundary dimensions...the sizes of some of the Indian and South-African ground sizes is abysmal...

  • knowledge_eater on May 21, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    Agreed with all rules, time has come. Rules are there to be change, but just to note one thing: when batsman get out, there is no chance for batsman to bat again, when bowler gets for 6 or 4, he/she at least have 5 other bowl or may be few more overs to get back into game. Just saying. However, looking at pitches these days and batsman's bats' technology, its time for to give back to Bowlers.

  • knowledge_eater on May 21, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    Agreed with all rules, time has come. Rules are there to be change, but just to note one thing: when batsman get out, there is no chance for batsman to bat again, when bowler gets for 6 or 4, he/she at least have 5 other bowl or may be few more overs to get back into game. Just saying. However, looking at pitches these days and batsman's bats' technology, its time for to give back to Bowlers.

  • on May 21, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    all these changes to the rules will make the game more fair but less fun!

  • kiranksl on May 21, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Some very good points re. the leg byes and overthrows but going along the lines of people watching the sport...legalize ball tampering and the next thing we'll see is cricketers biting and chewing at the ball on air blatantly...we all know afridi already doesn't mind doing it on live TV.

  • HenkCornetto on May 21, 2010, 18:38 GMT

    Good article and good ideas. I like the bouncer idea! The one thing I'd like to discuss is the " 3rd umpire and being out on a no-ball"...

    Should a batsman have the opportunity to ask the umpire iff the bowlers front foot was correct?

    In my opinion that's the most extreme the sport of cricket should go in regards to television replays's... ( keep the 3rd ump like it is but add this to it?)

    Get rid of this udrs....The umpires are amazing and do a hell of a job!

  • Kavi_KR on May 21, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    How about tweak the Law 10. Caption wins the Toss, Can choose either Batting/Fielding or 12 over option for 2 Bowlers. Suppose captain wins the toss - Who can opt for 12 over option. Then toss losing captain can choose either Batting/Fielding. This way Toss alone will not decide the match.

  • on May 21, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    leg byes are good enuf.. but why was Mankading outlawed?? beats me..

  • crictonite on May 21, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    With regard to the boundary, I would eliminate the rope altogether and paint a circle on the field. The Authors' proposed rule would be easier to implement that way. However, I know that's not going to happen considering the rope is used for marketing.

  • on May 21, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    the light should be decided by the umpire.. if it is good enuf for the umpire to umpire the game.. i find it senseless that a 20-year old youngster cant spot a ball, that a 50-60 year old has to judge from 22 yards further..

  • khurramlone on May 21, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    All of them are very good suggestions. An umpire should be able to declare a batsman LBW on any ball that in umpire's view would hit the stumps. We should do away with the nonsense of ball pitching outside the off stump or leg stump, or the batsman having edged the ball. The game has become too batsman oriented. We should also come up with a way to penalize home teams that prepare dead pitches after they have won one test.

  • VisBal on May 21, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Great ideas, I hope the MCC takes note and decides. Just one more addition, allow lbws for balls pitched outside the leg stump. This will reward the leg spinner - a dying breed, and encourage more taking up the lovely art of leg spin and at the same avoid the boring sight of the batsman deliberately padding up at anything outside the leg stump. Siva from Singapore

    Dear Siva, LBW is not given for balls pitching outside leg because (i) the ball passes through the batsman's blind spot (for a faster bowler), and (ii) to discourage leg-theory.

  • Jasonharcourt on May 21, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    The one thing I'd like to see is a clean-up of the law around catches where the player tips the ball in the air, leaves the field, returns and completes the catch. Currently this is not a fair catch, but when ICC Umpires are so in the dark about this that they have allowed several illegal catches like this (most recently David Hussey in the last IPL), should something be made explicit in the laws to either allow or disallow these catches rather than the law on this being split between two sections that have to be joined together?

  • _Rafi_ on May 21, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    Make some law to resist Indiam and Pakistan to make flattest tracks.

  • 504429641 on May 21, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    all the changes in rules mentioned are worth implementing except may be the ball tampering rule, which sounds funny. also, the 12 overs for two bowlers in ODI's looks fine but what about in those ODI's where the overs are reduced due to rain? I think it should be based on percentages like two bowlers are allowed to bowl 25% of the max overs.

  • on May 21, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    10. Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings Yes. It can be made a little more flexible of giving the option to the fielding side to use the four overs amongst the bowlers each bowling not more than 12 overs. Maybe 4 bowlers can bowl 11 overs. 11. Don't give a batsman out if he is in but his bat is in the air Yes 12. No Ball It's very harsh to give a free hit of a no ball. It gives only 5 legitimate balls in the over for the bowler to take wickets. As such he gets to bowl only 4 overs to bowl in a match and the batman can play maximum of all 20 overs if he wants to. 13. Wide It's unfair to give a wide and an extra run if the batman is foxed and stumped. It should be treated as a legitimate ball. 14. Wrong decisions Third umpire should be given the powers to overrule the umpire's decision irrespective of whether it's referred to him or not. Obvious blunders like it happened to Rohit Sharma and Haddin can be avoided. 15. Duckworth Lewis Scrap this for T20

  • on May 21, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    Break the laws 1. Ban leg-byes Yes 2. Disallow backing up Yes 3. Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump Give lbw to any type of ball going to hit the stumps. Third umpire should be given the rights to overrule the umpire. 4. Don't offer players the light It's the discretion of the umpire. It should not depend entirely on light situation. Should let the match proceed if the light is tolerable and the match is very close. 5. Legitimise ball-tampering Only the Umpires should have the discretion to change balls. 6. Permit more bouncers in ODIs Permit any number of bouncers per over, but none out of reach of batmen. 7. Be consistent in the use of substitutes and runners Yes 8. Allow the fielder to touch the boundary rope Yes 9. Ban overthrows for direct hits Yes. It's unfair to penalise a good throw and you have no control of where its going to fly after hitting the stumps. 10. Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings Yes.

  • on May 21, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    I think the MCC has been pondering over getting some of these considerations in effect, already.

    Readers, check out http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/458423.html for more information.

    Good suggestions, some like the LBW rule and 12 overs / banning legbyes though I never think will happen.

  • kunalpoddar on May 21, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    The most ridiculous rule that exists today is when a batsman has made his ground and can still be given runout. If the bat/foot is in the air at the time the bails comes off a batsman can be given out even if has made his ground and then put the bat in the air. Sachin's dismissal in the Kolkatta test against Pakistan is a classic example. The rule should be once the batsman has made his ground, no way he is out.

  • Psyc_s on May 21, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    Nice article with some compelling points to change the way cricket been played now. 1]Allowing more bouncers could make the difference between ordinary and a world class player, 2]LBW's outside off stump is a very interesting thing which makes test matches eventful and i am sure pitches assisting spin will produce result within 3 days even if the team has couple of decent spinners, 3] allowing 12 overs to a bowler makes a good contest between bat and ball, with pacy pitches will make batsmen sweat...Cricinfo can conduct a poll about implementing these rules in present day cricket...Well done.

  • BapiDas on May 21, 2010, 2:36 GMT

    I think all the suggestions are worth considering, except for allowing ball tampering, for restoring the balance between the bat and the ball. Even if Sir Hadlee feels Ok with the idea, I don't. I also suggest that there should be no runner for an injured batsman nor substitution for an injured fielder. If you get injured or cramp up, tough luck, you simply go back to the dressing room! And yes, if the bowlers have limited number of balls to bowl, the batter should also be limited to the number of balls to hit, be it 75 or 100 balls in 50-over games and fewer in the 20-over format

  • on May 21, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    The last thing we need is them changing the rules...AGAIN.

    One of the reasons cricket is annoying is because the ICC keeps changing the rules of the game. To hell with them and their incessant fiddling. The sad part about the loveliest game in the world is that it's regulated by a bunch of suits without brains, not lovers of the game. Nobody cares about the cricket fan or cricket. Since the 70's how many more countries have started playing quality cricket? Has the ICC done anything for the growth and development of cricket at all? All they've done is fiddle with Powerplays, Supersubs and whatnot, making life difficult for fans whether ardent, or otherwise. It's hard to learn and love game where the rules keep changing, not to mention being fairly complicated to begin with. I do, but don't expect the same from the Americans or the Dutch, and I do hope we see them play Tests some day.

  • Dubby49 on May 21, 2010, 1:06 GMT

    1. Never could understand the leg bye rule.. 2. No running out of non-strikers - ridiculous.

    Given the plethora of comments on all these issues, how about cricinfo running a poll. readers can approve or disapprove each proposed change. Perhaps the ICC may take cognisance of the public's opinion, but as magic_torch_jamie says, most unlikely.

  • on May 20, 2010, 23:57 GMT

    Give ouit LBWs using the same guidelines as we have now for those cases when the ball hits the bat first. If the ball hits the bat and then hits the wicket the batsman is out. Why not use the same rationale for LBWs?

  • abhinav_invincible on May 20, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    a last bit... standardise the boundary dimension in all playing grounds 80m in tests n (75 to 80m) in odi n t20 when yuvraj hit 6 sixers in durban ,the leg side of the boundary was only 55m ..i think on either fourth r fifth ball of broad's over he just cleared the boundary whheaeas in other grounds he would hav been caught! atleast gibbs hit those 6 sixers in a more larger ground... in the recent t20 matches in barbados there was a boundary measuring 58 m n with the pitch offering true bounce even a tailenders shots r mishits went to six! plz prepare sporting tracks n why not try a bowling powerplay in which more than five fielders can b allowed to stand outside the circle.. in t20 3 overs of batting powerplay n 3 overs for bowlers otherwise the game is completely loaded against bowlers only with a condition that bowl pp must b taken after bat pp

  • on May 20, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    I agree with rain rule. Umpires should decide when to stop play. I also agree with more bouncers per over in ODI's.

  • abhinav_invincible on May 20, 2010, 23:38 GMT

    ban overthrows for direct hits.A pet peeve of Sunil Gavaskar's. Why should a fielder pay for a direct hit, a show of excellence? a batter cant b given out once he had made the ground in testmatches a bowler can bowl 45 overs of the permitted 90 oversfor a day n v hav no qualms abt it so even in a odi r t20 a bowler should be allowed to bowl as many overs as they can..do u think a bowler can bowl 25 overs in an odi r 10 overs in t20 on the trot..its not possible with the fitness of present day bowlers if there is a restriction on the bowlers to bowl only a certain no of overs then even the batters shd have it-a batter shd b allowed to bat only 60 balls n retire after that n the retired batters can then come in any order if they r req to bat fo rthe second time(i mean a team collapses) otherwise u could see sachin r jayawardene batting for 50 overs n scoring even 300 n these guys r slated to play zimbabwe in an odi tri series..i bet jayawardene can definitely do it con his great form

  • abhinavpraneet on May 20, 2010, 23:30 GMT

    @Arvian: I think that is not a fair constraint on a captain. It is a team's outlook to decide whether they want to play 5 bowlers or 3/4 bowlers and 2 allrounders. After all, most of the good allrounders do a good job of bowling too. If the so-called allrounders get a consistent pasting in the bowling department, the captain and the team would soon realise the non-benefits of missing out on specialist bowlers.

  • abhinav_invincible on May 20, 2010, 23:25 GMT

    A very well written article! banning leg byes is a good thing as most teams scamper for a run even when the bowler has delivered a beauty giving lbw to ball pitching outside the offstump must be the first rules to b newly inducted as most batsmen just pad up for balls pitching outside off stump in a test match umpires should decide whether to call of the play in case of bad light bowling more than one bouncer can be allowed by allowing one ball to be bowled over the head calling it 1 for the over n the other balls can follow the existing bouncer rule if runners r not allowed then subs r not allowed(in the champions trophy match btw eng n sa smith was clearly struggling..strauss shd hav allowed him a runner..that was not good sportsmanship ..refusing runner showed strauss fear that smith would lead sa to victory) batsman after batting first should never b allowed a sub present boundary rope rule is ok-see to it tat std is well maintained as there r some double stds involved

  • abhinavpraneet on May 20, 2010, 23:18 GMT

    Well written article. I am sure some or most of the points highlighted in the article have been burning topics at many a bar and living room conversations, evoking supportive and disapproving remarks and comments. In the rut of minting money out of the sport (read IPL and T20 barrage), the guardians of the sport fail to realise to re-invent, re-energize and refine the sport itself. The archaic rules in some of the cases can be the difference between a win and a loss, between heartbreak and rejoice and in some cases path to self destruction (ball tampering has had its share of victims). In my personal opinion, #2 should be be modified to say that backing up is allowed, but a bowler is also within the rights to run out the batsman. This way, both have the risk and the gain from the same action. #10 is contentious. How will the line be drawn to legalise how much "tampering" can be done with the ball? Shahid Afridi would sure have his 2 cents to offer!

  • Subra on May 20, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    Great ideas, I hope the MCC takes note and decides.

    Just one more addition, allow lbws for balls pitched outside the leg stump. This will reward the leg spinner - a dying breed, and encourage more taking up the lovely art of leg spin and at the same avoid the boring sight of the batsman deliberately padding up at anything outside the leg stump. Siva from Singapore

  • Yusuf.Raja on May 20, 2010, 22:02 GMT

    There are some valid suggesstions, although i dont agree with all of them. Nevertheless, i reckon that the best thing for the 50 over game is to remove all the restriction and just play, i.e. no bowling or fielding restrictions. The ICC think that the only way to improve the game is by innovating, but there comes a stage when enough is enough. By removing restrictions, the better teams will emerge based on the quality of their players. The balance of teams will change and the bits-and-pieces players will find it hard to compete. In any event bits-and-pieces players have 20Twenty to ply their trade. By removing all restrictions from ODI's you create 3 formats of the game where different skills & levels of application are required. It may prove beneficial for the game

  • ygkd on May 20, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    I didn't think you'd come up with 11 laws to change, but you've done well. Not totally sure about the lbw one but, why not eh? Batsmen get it too easy at times, although on dodgy tracks at local level it might make it too tough. Again, the bat-in-the-air would be hard to judge without a tv replay, but at elite level would be fine.

  • jessiedog on May 20, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    Interesting article like some of the ideas more bouncers,reallocation of overs,overthrows,runners,backing up. However undelying tone of article is rewarding excellence, think then that rewarding the feilder for trying hard but not succeding, as in the idea of allowing them to touch the boundary rope as interesting. Agree with a comment made that all grounds should be standardised in boundary length. Is a joke at the moment the size of some of the boundaries,with subsequent commentry of "that is huge" as it just goes over the rope and mesures only 70m. bring back t old MCG boundaries..

  • BenGundry on May 20, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    I agree with most but suggestions, but not with the 12-over limit. Limiting the overs to 10 ensures better balance between teams. Eg. NZ benefits from having a string of all-rounders bowling a few overs each, which makes them more competitive against sides like Australia with 4 great quicks. Also the rule changes about ball tampering would not work. Sides would start wearing things like metal belt buckles to get around the rules of only using what is on your person.

  • pochard on May 20, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    Very good article, I hope some of these get adopted. Two things I disagree with though: 1) Disallow backing up. No, silly idea. Just get rid of the daft notion that one should not run someone out who's backing up. Bowlers should do this whenever possible, nothing unsporting about it whatsoever. 2) Just give ball tampering blanket approval and make the umpires responsible for checking the state of the ball and changing it when it gets too rough. As someone else said, your suggestion leaves the door open for too much abuse.

  • DADA on May 20, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    I have one more suggestion, for ODIs. Make the maximum number of balls a batsman can play as 75. Just like 10 over limit for the bowler. This means no wasting of balls or dragging till the end to complete 50s or 100s.

  • Arvian on May 20, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    I would agree with most of the things here, but Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings??? If you implement this, you will never see any team play 5 bowlers in the side. As most of the teams already playing only 4 genuine bowlers in the side these days, with this idea you are saying there is no place for the 5th bowler in the side. You are not helping here….As 4 bowlers can bowl 44 overs, now all I have to worry about is from where to get the 6 overs as compared to 10 overs. I hate the captains who sacrifice a genuine bowler for the sake of an all rounder in the playing XI. If you want to balance the contest between bat and ball on the field, you should balance it before getting into the field by selecting 5 bowlers + 5 batsmen and a WK. May be we should learn from England the only team who played 5 genuine bowlers in World T20 and we all know who the winner is……..

  • Apu_the_ripper on May 20, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    I love all of these changes except for the fielder being allowed to touch the rope. That sounds too baseball-ish to me. Also, i'm not so sure about allowing ball-tampering but if someone like Hadlee says it's ok, then i guess i'm ok with it.

  • vg30aug on May 20, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump Don't give a batsman out if he is in but his bat is in the air(only if the bat has grounded before) Be consistent in the use of substitutes and runners Legitimise ball-tampering Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings Permit more bouncers in ODIs(but only in ODIs)

    These are the laws that need to be implemented but the rest mentioned here are not fair and shouln't be changed. Banning leg byes can lead to negative bowling by the bowlers, backing up by the non-striker is a fair law and does not affect too much, even if it is banned, it will be tried which will only lead to confusion , allowing the fielder to touch the boundary rope is really a bad idea, not offering light to the batsmen is again an infair law which can have a drastic effect on the game and overthrows on direct hits add to the excitement, so this must be the way it is. Another law which could be made is to let the teams make 2 changes in the match.

  • vg30aug on May 20, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Some laws which could be made are: 1.In the batting power play, one over will be called as the power over in which every run will count as its double. 2.If there are power plays for the batsmen, why not a phase of 5 overs when the fielding side can keep 6 fielders outside the circle.These could be taken separately and not during any power play, umpires need to check these. 3.URDS may be insulting for the umpires but it is the need of the hour. In the era of commercial cricket especially when the stakes are high, any wrong umpiring decision can frustrate the viewer. Thus two chances should be given to the batting as well as the fielding side to review any umpiring decision but only in the case of a dismissal. 4.Free hit on waste high no-balls. 5.Two overs batting power play in Twenty20.

  • magic_torch_jamie on May 20, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    Have to say, I read this article with some trepidation and I'm a traditionalist who would rather keep things as they are, but these are very well formulated and some too persuasive to ignore. In that category I put leg byes, backing up, offering the light, bouncers, subs, direct hits. I think the rest are contentious or fussy but that's a good hit rate!

    To the writers, or Cricinfo: please save this, rate what you really feel must be done out of this lot and see in 5 years what's progressed! I bet it'll be the wrong ones.

  • Saim93 on May 20, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Sorry but of your XI only 3 make sense, others would just make the game silly. There would be way too many easy way outs. If I were a judge I would only permit 3, 7 and 9.

  • santhoshkudva on May 20, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    1-STANDARDIZE GROUND DIMENSIONS.

    2- to mitigate the luck factor, the toss losing captain can make one team change depending on whether his team is batting first or fielding.

  • santhoshkudva on May 20, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    allow one free delivery above shoulder below head, and the subsequent bouncers as legal balls off which a batsman CANNOT be out caught by a fielder outside the circle. this will encourage fearless hooking. if off the second or subsequent bouncer a batsman is caught by a fielder within the circle, it means the bowler has bowled a good delivery to merit a wicket.

  • santhoshkudva on May 20, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    the last rule follows the simple law of cricket that a batsman is over if stumps are broken when he is out of the crease. now if he has made the ground before stumps are broken and then the bat is in the air, he should by all means be given out, but one run must be added since the run was completed before the stumps were broken. if one goes by the logic that the 'next' run wasn't 'attempted' then we might as well rule stumpings as not outs.

  • santhoshkudva on May 20, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    declaration in ODIs. if team batting first is 5 down or less at the beginning of the 45th over, it should enjoy the option of declaring its innings closed. a score correction shall be made and the extra runs shall be included under extras as 'declaration bonus'. and this additional score shall be calculated at the current run rate. the advantage? if the team declares x overs before 50, then while defending the total, the fifth bowler will bowl that many overs less.and these overs will be shared among the other bowlers. these overs may be shared among 4,3, 2 bowlers or may be all bowled by one bowler. team 1 - 299/3 after 46 overs. corrected score 325 when defending, team 1 can bowl the 5th bowler for only 6 overs. the remaining 4 can be shared among 1,2,3 or 4 bowlers. eg 14,10, 10, 10, 6 or 12, 12, 10, 10, 6 or 11, 11, 11, 11, 6 or 12, 11, 11, 19, 6. it is a double edged sword, since no team would want to declare after being only 5 down after 45 overs for a small corrected score.

  • on May 20, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump Don't give a batsman out if he is in but his bat is in the air(only if the bat has grounded before) Be consistent in the use of substitutes and runners Legitimise ball-tampering Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings Permit more bouncers in ODIs(but only in ODIs)

    These are the laws that need to be implemented but the rest mentioned here are not fair and shouln't be changed. Banning leg byes can lead to negative bowling by the bowlers, backing up by the non-striker is a fair law and does not affect too much, even if it is banned, it will be tried which will only lead to confusion , allowing the fielder to touch the boundary rope is really a bad idea, not offering light to the batsmen is again an infair law which can have a drastic effect on the game and overthrows on direct hits add to the excitement, so this must be the way it is. Another law which could be made is to let the teams make 2 changes in the match.

  • mani86 on May 20, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    some of these suggestions are good - but ball tampering?? that is so difficult to judge as to whether that is being done by "whatever means they have on their persons". you can rip a ball to shreds even by that logic (say using spikes). also once you have allowed that, you are basically opening the door for dishonest cricketers who will bend this "on their persons" rule.

  • on May 20, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    I like all the changes except for one, the very first one. If they ban leg-byes as it gives advantage to batsman, then LBW should also get banned because it is similar version of advantage to bowler. Plus I think Instead of allowing ball tempering make boundaries little bigger. May be somewhere from 80-85 meters. In IPL and many ground in England and NewZeland have boundaries of only 55 meters, thats too small. If you compare baseball to cricket MLB players hit ball about 380 feet when they hit home runs, thats about 110-115 meters, I know baseball bats are thicker than cricket bats, but now a days cricket bats are very powerful to so we can at least make boundaries 3/4 of baseball boundary(fence).

  • AliHaydar on May 20, 2010, 15:56 GMT

    Fair warning: I have not read all the comments, so I don't know if this has been addressed yet. To my understanding, the MCC is actually planning on instituting your last proposed change in their latest revisions of the Laws. Batsmen, once making their ground, will considered to still be in their ground even if their bat pops up due to the rough of the bowler's runup. That aside, you have some good ideas like the changes regarding light, bouncers, and backing up. The banning of overthrows will be a legitimately good change if you mean the ball is dead once it hits the stumps. Fun article!

  • Omarrz on May 20, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    12 overs idea was mine...nobody will believe me..but I posted that in Orkut Cricket Community in 2005...

  • Lancashirefan on May 20, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    backing up - a BIG problem in T20 just finished and needs to be addressed. Run out with bat in the air after grounding it I never understood. Thought if the bat had been grounded the run was completed; and a batsman lying flat out on the ground is hardly attempting another run .....

  • on May 20, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    I feel majority of the suggestions are acceptable, especially the one for leg byes and more bouncers per over. However, I feel 5 of the suggestions are maniac in nature and cannot be accepted. Ban backing-up ? Why ?. The batsmen are already paying penalty for it and there is a direct law which gives the right to the bowler to dismiss the batsmen. Bad.

    Ball tampering ? This is the murkiest of all. I don't want to see a Cricket game being influenced not by the skill but by changing the condition of the ball. Not Taken.

    Touching rope and Not Out for bat in the air after reaching the crease. It means for more sense in having balance and control over yourselves. That's Cricket.

    Direct hits are of course a skill of excellence, but why give the fielder a cushion of throwing the ball at will instead of being sensible and throwing only when required. Bad judgment should be penalized.

    - Vivek

  • JeffG on May 20, 2010, 15:00 GMT

    How about going back to uncovered pitches? That would certainly help bring the balance back towards the bowlers. And, as an added bonus, you would see the return of the occasional reversal of batting line ups. I feel cheated that I've never seen a match on one of those old sticky wickets where captains sent their tailenders in to open while the pitch was drying after a thunderstorm.

  • JeffG on May 20, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    @Nipun - changing the law on lbws to balls pitching outside leg may well help bowlers and umpires but it's sure as hell not going to help spectators. It would turn cricket into the dullest sport on earth. Remember that Eng vs India series a while ago when England almost exclusively bowled outside Tendulkars leg stump in an effort to stop him scoring? Well, that was without any chance of getting an lbw. If the law was changed as you suggest, then this is how every match would be played - run rates would probably fall below 1960s levels - and we certainly don't want to go back there.

  • MSDH on May 20, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    In a test match if 90 overs are lost in the whole of 5 days either due to rain or bad light ensure 360 overs is completed in at least 6 days time. In India and Pakistan in recent past we have seen test matches start delayed by fog and ends early, The players and viewers of deprived of result and most teams will not take bad light for granted becos they need to play extra day.

  • thrash_metal on May 20, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Disagree with every single point, except the last one. Waste of virtual space. If you want to help bowlers more, prepare more sporty pitches. Simple

  • King_Anish on May 20, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    1. Offering lights should be stopped - Floodlights should be turned on. 2. 100 overs per day in Test cricket - more results possible. 3. Touching the rope - Boundary should not be awarded if some portion of the body of the fielder is inside the ropes. 4. Legbyes should be taken-off. 5. If batsman hits the wicket on the other-side, it should be called dead-ball and reball should be bowled. 6. Two fielders in catching positions (funny rule) should go. 7. No powerplays in last 10overs of an ODI (undue advantage). 8. All types of no-balls in limited overs to get free-hit. 9. More strict wide-calls in Test cricket. 10. Ball should be called no-ball if bowler contacts with the wicket at bowling end. 11. Should be given out if ball hits wicket, even if bails stay. 12. Boundaries should not be shorter than 75 metres in any form of cricket (including IPL).

  • Regata4 on May 20, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    these are some good suggestions. Its a common perception that ODIs and especially Tests are gonna die with the success of T20s. Night tests are already on way but these ideas (or most of these) can bring real cricket (tests/ODIs) back to life.

  • cricdeep on May 20, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Most of them excellent suggestions. Things like legitimising ball tampering, is not on. Then you will have cricketers training for this particular skill along with batting, bowling and fielding. ICC would do well to introduce few of the suggestions so that they can make the ball and bat equal. As of no, the dice is loaded in favour of the bat. If all suggestions were to be followed, then you will have a situation where ball dominates. Whatever said and done, only when more runs are scored, the sport becomes interesting for the spectators. A match full of runs are more interesting compared to one where more wickets are lost.

  • on May 20, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Why the rubbish about banning overthrows for direct hits? This bores me every time i hear it. If a fielder panics and throws a ball when he doesn't need to, why shouldn't he be penalised. Its far more unfair when a batsman plays a glorious straight drive that hits the stumps at the bowlers end, depriving him of four runs. Worse still, what about when it deflects off part of the bowler without it being brought under control towards the stumps and runs out the non-striker If you're going to change one law you should change both.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on May 20, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    I think some of the ideas are good but I am not sure about banning leg byes. It would be akin to saying ban goals in Football where the ball went in off a deflection as it did not travel in the intended direction.

    And then there is this talk about ball-tampering...What does "something on person" mean? A fielder could wear a bracelet with sharpened edges; the hand protected by a wrist band and he could then use it to lift the seam?

    What about uncovered wickets for tests? Anyway that format of the game hardly earns any revenue but would be a wonderful test of players' abilities.

  • Anneeq on May 20, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    U have missed the obvious one, stop the batsmen from tampering with the pitch!!! If people like Afridi a bowler got a ban for tampering with the pitch. Why dont batsmen get banned for scraping their feet on the crease and prodding the ground with their bat when they get uneven bounce?

    The bat in the air when the batsman slides is a good one too. I disagree with ball tampering. Make the rule simple, only allow the opposition to rub the ball with clothing. None of this spitting on it, biting it, stamping on it or whatever. I agree with permitting more bouncers tho, the bouncers rule is pathetic atm!!! I agree with lbw as well, if the umpires are sure it will hit the wicket then give the batsmen out. None of this stuff about the pitching on off stump or whatever the silly rule is.

    I agree with banning leg byes as well.

  • gudolerhum on May 20, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    @raghaven_eee - no restriction on bouncers? Recall when WI had 4 tall, very fast bowlers who could bowl bouncers at will? That virtually spoilt any hope a batsman had of scoring. Head high balls are no fun to watch or face. Cricket was no longer a sport but WI were winning everything and were happy. One bouncer per batsman per over seems reasonable.

  • puneet_cricinfo on May 20, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    Any bowler should not be allowed to bowl 12 overs apiece in an ODI . The author compares the situation to the batsman getting a hundred, so something similar should be done for the bowler as well. Ideally only those bowlers should be allowed who has taken 4 wickets or more or who has given runs with an econ< 4.0. Also only one bowler should be allowed to do so as this would give undue advantage to teams which play with 7-4 combination. The rule of backing up should not be banned for the non- strikers instead the bowler should be allowed to run out him. This would automatically restrict the batsman & at the same time give the fielding side an another chance to get a wicket in nowadays batsman friendly games. I think runners should be allowed as the fielding team is also allowed substitutes. The decision to allow runners should not rest on the fielding caption instead a medical umpire should be introduced in cricket who will have the authority to decide on runner as well as substitute.

  • AsifRathod on May 20, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    I liked all the opinions. These r the best IDEAS to save ODI for next decade or two. People's interest in ODIs are certainly becoming less and less. But, guys major points raised here are in favor of bowlers and fielding team. If all of these rules get applied in ODIs than it will become highly bowler friendly game. And things will remain same. No fun for spectators until last 5 or say10 overs. Do any changes guys, ODIs will not be played after, 10-15 yrs. T-20 is such a hype it will kill ODIs... Evolution rule is applied everywhere.

  • dwhitworth on May 20, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    Oh and the bat in the air/run out issue has been fixed in the Octobwer revisions too.

  • dwhitworth on May 20, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    Keep Up ! The latest change to the laws (From October 2010) has removed offering of light to batsmen, it will be completely in the hands of the umpires. This is already in force of English county games, but there is a flaw. It give the power into the fielding side instead. Want to stay on ? Use your spinners. Want to come off ? Put your fastest bowler on.

  • Nipun on May 20, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Perhaps you've missed the most important tinkering:-Batsmen SHOULD be given lbw to balls pitched outside the leg stump if the ball is thought to be on its way to hitting the stumps.It would help both the bowlers & the umpires,& would address the balance between bat & ball a fair way.

  • on May 20, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Allow two bowlers 12 overs apiece in an ODI innings, Don't give a batsman out if he is in but his bat is in the air, Allow the fielder to touch the boundary rope, Permit more bouncers in ODIs, Give lbws on balls hitting outside off stump are the rules to look in to.

  • on May 20, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    All good, but the light offering doo dah is changing in October apparently.

    I'd like to see the benefit of doubt when a batsman comes a long way down the wicket go to the bowler... If the batsman is going to come out of his grounds, he knows he risks stumping etc, so why should he also not be more at risk to LBW too? a decent spinner should be deemed to be much MORE likely to get someone out if they come down the wicket like the arrogant people batsmen are, not less! Obviously the actual truth is not known, so the umpire should say, well it's your fault I don't know what the ball would do, so you're out base on the lesser knowledge I had.

    And cricket is compared to baseball as baseball is directly descended form cricket and there are huge similarities.

  • on May 20, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Further to my previous comments, I wonder why the umpire at the bowler's end continues to move square of the wicket when the ball is played. The line call is no longer his jurisdiction and all he does, in most cases, is block the view of the camera. If he wants to watch for a short run, which is now his only reason for moving from behind the stumps, let him move half way and watch that event only. If there is an appeal for a line decision, it should immediately be referred to the 3rd umpire for a decision. I would also like to see umpires taking responsibility for their incorrect decisions. If they are palpably wrong, as we saw a couple of times in the 1st T20 between South Africa and the West Indies last night, then the players should have the right to at least comment. The umpires are paid enough and are now professionals as well so I think that the protection that they are offered is ludicrous. I umpired cricket at a reasonable level for over 20 years so I am objective.

  • raghavan_eee on May 20, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    I also want to see the bodyline rules removed. When the batsmen were defenceless against bouncers, the rule of 2 fielders behind square leg made sense. But in the time of today's armour protected batsmen, it should be removed and the number of bouncers shouldn't be restricted.

  • peeeeet on May 20, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    I think the idea of being able to carry the ball over the boundary after catching it is a good idea. The fielder still has to receive the ball within the boundary, but then if his momentum takes him over the boundary it should be play on. Getting rid of the backing-up rule would be good too. Batsmen could still do it but risk getting run out. Maybe the bowler gets penalised a no-ball if he attempts to run out the batsman but he has stayed in his creased, that way the bowler has to be sure of it so we don't get him trying 6 balls in a row and slowing the game down.

  • NickHughes on May 20, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    I disagree with every single one of those suggestions. It's not like any of those things seriously affect a match or detract from it. The solutions offered sound a whole lot worse than the supposed problems. More bouncers in ODIs? Sure, let's not make bowlers bowl straight and accurately at the stumps. Touching the boundary rope? Sure, let's have fielders craftily manipulating the system so they can take a catch outside the rope so long as they have one toe touching it. And legalise ball tampering? Give me a break! This list is pretty much a charter for lazy cricket or out and out cheating.

  • ansram on May 20, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    Nice thoughts.

    1. I would like to see no over restrictions for a bowler in ODI - just two bowlers sharing all the fifty overs ( a theoretical possibility) makes the game quite unpredictable.

    2. The bowler should be allowed to bowl as many bouncers as he likes. Asking a bowler to stop bowling bouncers is not much different from asking pace bowlers to bowl at less than 130kph or asking the spinners not to turn the ball more than once per over!!

    3. The backup rule must be modified to subtract one run from the batting team if the non striker has backed too far - I am not for giving him out.

    4. Leg byes are ok.

  • lucyferr on May 20, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    I agree completely with these: Don't offer players the light, Legitimise ball-tampering, more bouncers (I'd say no limits on them, other than calling them wides if too high), Don't give a batsman out if he is in but his bat is in the air, and agree with most of the rest. But why ban leg-byes - that rule has allowed a lot of spectator fun when the tailenders get in! And as for backing up, don't ban it, but just re-allow non-strikers to be run out. Having the non-striker trying to steal a run is like stealing bases in baseball - more fun for spectators and actually more opportunities for runouts as the two batsmen are (collectively) more adventurous. Anyway, other rules I'd like to see are banning some sledging (some of those insults are way too personal - isnt this supposed to be a civilized sport?) and allowing more dissent. I'd also having gloves for slip fielders, but I think that suggestion might get me lynched! :-)

  • Gizmo.mp3 on May 20, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    Totally agree with the ball-tampering one. As you said - anything on the field of play is fair game. Sweat, suncream, dust, special polishing pad on the trousers, whatever. Tilit the game back in favour of the bowler.

  • ssivam82 on May 20, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    Cricket is now a truly batsmen game.So comes this idea. Dont give runOut for Non Striker getting runout by a straight drive touches the finger of a bowler and hits stumps. when batsman hits ball high into the sky and runs hard for two runs after that assume catch is taken by a fielder.Why not add that two runs to score.(when bowler can take wicket in a wide ball - stumping why not batsmen can score )

  • on May 20, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    How about run out double plays as in baseball?

  • SunnyP on May 20, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    I personally feel that some laws should be changed, such as the leg bye rule or direct hit over throws rule. But, what i fail to understand is why Cricket is being compared to Baseball? For Gods sake, cricket is cricket, and baseball is baseball, they will always be what they are. If you prefer baseball rules, then go freaking watch baseball, and leave watching cricket to those who respect cricket for what it is and not for what it can be if made like another sport. Oh and your suggestions of 12 overs for 2 bowlers - Fail. Like you said, a batsmen does not have to retire after reaching a century - which i think is a false comparison; however, once he is out he can no longer bat anymore. So as for the bowler, once he has bowled 10 overs he can not bowl anymore either. And the last example of not giving a batsmen out if he has already grounded his bat and then has been lifted in the air - agreed!

  • JeffG on May 20, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    Inspired by my memories of cricket as a small child, how about: 1) The "Tip and Run" Rule - if the batsman hits the ball, he has to run. Would greatly reduce defensive play! 2) The "One Bounce, One Hand" Rule - if the ball bounces once, the batsmen can be out if the fielder catches it with one hand. 3) The "Six and Out" Rule - if the batsman hits the ball out of the ground, resulting in a lost ball, he is out. 4) The "It's My Ball" Rule - the home team (who supply the balls, stumps etc are) allowed to storm off the pitch, taking the equipment with them, if they get a bad decision. Any match ending this way, will be declared a draw. 5) The "Little Sister" Rule - each team must contain at least one little sister of one of the players, but she's not allowed to bat or bowl and must field in the deep.

  • on May 20, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Another rule that should be implemented is giving the batsman to be LBW on the switch hit. If a right handed batsman attempts the switch hit but misses an the balls hits his pads, he should be treated as a left handed batsman and hence eligible for LBW provided all other criteria are met.

  • Tigg on May 20, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    I agree with most of the suggested rule changes.

    Backing up should not be banned but running out someone who has left there crease before the bowlers front foot hits the crease/ball is released should be allowed.

    The boundary rope is the limit of the pitch. I think if you touch it you have to count it as a boundary or what will happen? If the ball fails to cross the boundary it only hits the rope isnt a four?

    Leg byes also penalise bad bowling. You fire a ball down leg so far that the batsman can't get bat on it then runs should happen. Limiting backing up would help restrict the amount of byes a bit anyway.

  • on May 20, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    Excellent ideas. Here are my thoughts -

    1) The notion of a power-play - I've never liked this. Why should it be made more batsman friendly? Go back to 15 overs of restrictions.

    2) No-ball rule - Earlier, it used to be called a no-ball only if even the back foot of the bowler went over the crease, and not just the landing foot. This would do well

    3) Unlimited bouncers

    4) The above-mentioned LBW rule tweak

  • chaithan on May 20, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Instead of allowing fielders to touch the boundary rope(which will result in nothing but confusion) the rules should be changed so that it is okay if the fielder touches or crosses the boundary while holding the ball provided he caught(or collected) the ball BEFORE touching or crossing the boundary. this way boundary catches will increase and more athletic fielders can take spectacular diving catches. it would also remove the need of fielders to throw the ball back before they run or slide over the boundary. such a change would reward the better fielding sides and might even improve the status of fielding.

  • Inkyfingers on May 20, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    How about a rule in limited-overs cricket where a bowler earns an extra over for every wicket he takes? If a bowler is on fire, why shouldn't the spectators see more of him?

    A team would still have to select five bowlers, in case they didn't take many wickets.

  • on May 20, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    I agree with the need to review the game. Certainly I think that the ball should be deemed to be "dead" as soon as the stumps are broken and no further play of any description should take place thereafter. On another matter I really dislike the free hit concept in limited overs cricket. What are we; a group of primary school children. I do not believe that this adds any value. The penalty in terms of runs for no-balls could possibly be increased, say from one to five, but I do not believe that the batsman should have a free hit at the next legal delivery. On yet another issue I think that penalty runs should be added to an innings total where a team has bowled under the required over rate. Perhaps 10 runs extra for every over outside of the time limit? The only mitigation would be at the allowance of the umpires and this could be categorised to include interruptions for injury, moving sight screens, crowd interference etc.

  • Vivek.Bhandari on May 20, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    super piece...especially the boundary rope and the 12 overs rule for the bowlers... if i remember correctly when the Aussie grounds had fences, they too allowed the fielder to touch the fence...i remember how once Hrishikesh Kanitkar caught Inzy off V.Prasad by touching the square-leg fence

  • ToMegaTherion1986 on May 20, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    I think that some tweeks might be ok, but the 'bad luck' factor is an important part of any sport. The truth is there is bad luck in any sport where the best side is punished by the other teams mistake. Probably the only rule i would agree be discarded all together is the rule allowing batsman to back up without risk of a run out. I also believe that a direct hit should result in a dead ball, not that it unfairly punishes the fielder, but that the batsman can not be run out at that end if there is no bail on. For me that is a rule that could use tweaking. Ball tampering is another area I would like to see reviewed. I think as long as the altering of the ball dose not damage the balls, shape or integrity so it still lasts the same time. It is a way of guaranteeing more results in test cricket, making 50 over cricket more challenging for batsman when 200-220 is a good score instead of the usual 290-350. And it would balance out twenty20 cricket so it doesn't favor the batting so much.

  • akajaria on May 20, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    A nice piece... wish someone would listen! Regarding bouncers - there should be unlimited bouncers allowed - because the ball is called a wide if it is above head high anyway. So a bouncer is limited to a delivery which reaches between a batsman's head and shoulders - if a bowler is good enough to bowl 6 of them, why not? Also, in T20s, last two batsmen should not be allowed to bat. 8 wickets should constitute ALL OUT. It wouldnt make a huge difference as most teams on average lost only about 7 wickets. It would, however, allow more respect for each wicket as well as allow teams to pick two genuine bowlers without looking at their batting prowess.

  • __PK on May 20, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Banning backing up is a good suggestion, but wouldn't you need a special umpire just to enforce it? Unless the 3rd umpire checked every after ball that yielded runs. Actually, you should allow backing up, but call one short. And if the fielder can touch the boundary rope, how are you supposed to tell if it's four? Has the ball itself got to touch the ground behind the rope, or are we supposed to imagine some 3-dimensional extension of the boundary rope in the air? Oh yeah, that's going to be much clearer!

  • LeaderARH on May 20, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    I am not too sure about the other rules mentioned above,but the one regarding LBW's is absolutely spot on.When the ball hits the stumps without touching the batsman's bat,it must be given out whether the ball pitches in line or not.

  • John-Price on May 20, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    So we have teams playing in bad light, endless changing the condition of the the ball, LBWs for the ball hitting outside off. This would hopelessly skew the balance of bat and ball, especially in England where light can get very bad for extended periods. It all adds up to a new phenomenon - the one day test.

  • omelette_master on May 20, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    Why do you assume that all leg-byes are due to the batsman not being good enough to get bat on ball?

    Some batsman use the pads very well, especially to spin.

    Since they are being rewarded for a mistake, shall we ban all runs that come from shots that weren't intended? Or when the fielding side drops a catch?

    The baseball analogy isn't a good one....there's no rope in baseball

  • VisBal on May 20, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Disallowing backing up and one bouncer per batsman per over in ODIs were rules that existed previously and were specifically changed to increase scores.

    I do not agree with banning substitutes and runners. Cricket is not a short game and there is plenty of scope for getting injured. If a player gets fractured batting on Day 1, would you say the team has to field two innings with only 10 men? That seems harsh and more than a tad unfair. The rules are quite clear as to when a substitute or runner is permitted. As for the Smith issue, cramps being a 'medical' condition (he had been treated on the field) should have been judged by the umpires and not referred to Strauss. In such situations, if a batsman is not allowed a runner, then the fielding captain should not have the right to prevent the batsman's re-entry at the fall of a wicket later in the innings - this is not a tactical retirement but retirement for medical help.

  • on May 20, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Banning Leg bye is not a good idea when a batsman bowl a negative line down the legside. Some of the good ideas are like banning Backing up while bowler has not even delivered the bowl, Taking run as overthrow due to free hits , Increasing the no. of bouncer and one about LBW for the bowl pitching outside the Off stump. These four rules will definately balance the fight between bat and bowl.

  • VisBal on May 20, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    The last rule has also been ratified and is scheduled to be implemented from Oct 1.

    Agree with banning overthrows when the ball ricohets off the batsman. Overthrows should be banned off a direct-hit if in the view of the umpire there was a chance of a run out. We should not penalise fielders for legitimate attempts to run a batsman out.

  • Kheruvim on May 20, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    The ones I don't agree with:

    Banning leg-byes is not a good idea, and you've given the reason with the LBW leg stump rule. What will then stop bowlers coming round the wicket to a leg side field? Suddenly there are no runs for those deflections down leg side behind square! The batsman has to be playing a stroke anyway for leg-byes to count.

    Allowing 2 bowlers an extra 2 overs in ODI's. The game should be about balance and good captaincy. Look at the recent Twenty20 series, Australia could have been laughing if they'd have been allowed to use just Nannes, Tait, Johnson and to a lesser extent Smith. But no, they need five bowlers - that's where it fell down in the end. What if Australia could have played McGrath and Warne for 25 overs each - and we know they would let Warne bowl 25 if they could. Pack the line up with batsmen and three bowlers. The balance goes.

    Run out with the bat in the air is good but needs refining as does the ball tampering one, fingernails only?

  • binkaf on May 20, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    Going thru the lines, from top to bottom, I tend to agree more than disagree with the writer. A good proposal indeed! It sounds even more logical when the imbalance is considered between batting and bowling in present cricket. Since the bowlers are at the receiving end of all, some of the amendments will surely bring smile back to the faces of the bowlers. Especially, Banning of the leg-byes, Permitting more bouncers in ODIs, Bringing consistency in the use of substitutes and runners, Allowing the fielder to touch the boundary rope are some things that can lift the moral of bowler and surely do the good for the game. The article seems to be careful of batsmen's problem too and I whole heartedly support the idea of not giving the batsman out if he is in though bat is in air. Summing up, this article worth a serious thinking from ICC and that too, too soon!!!

  • on May 20, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Even saying no runners allowed, is not fair to the team batting second. However, it is the most practical thing to do. We could also have a real substitution, of the batsman in case of not being able to continue, be substituted in all depts and let the substitute bat the rest of the game? But Manjrekar saying that is funny because, there are lots of times he had runners. It makes more sense to have runners this day, because of the load of games they play. There is nothing wrong in having overthrow for direct hit. Eventhough it is a class-act, how many times have we seen fielders hitting the stump with no chance of getting the batsman out. Batsman hit amazing strokes but get caught in the deep, so those outs will not be counted too? Gavaskar cannot think straight - ever. Bowling 10 overs is not related to hitting a century in anyway. wrong comparison. And if a batsman cannot ground the bat, then what is the use of having a bat? Grounding is a must. It shows up lazy batters.

  • on May 20, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    I agree with most of what you said. However why the arbitrary 2 overs extension for the bowlers? We never seem to complain when the Shehwags and the Gayles are tearing teams apart....I'm sure none of us want them to stop once they've reached 120...I feel that the same should apply for bowlers, if they are in the destruction mode and if they can carry on...they should be allowed to bowl as many as half of the match overs (a little more radically....we don't disallow the batsmen facing consecutive overs.....so why restrict the bowlers? We can have a rule, similar to the batsmen taking a run off the last ball to retain strike, for the bowlers). I think the direct-hit penalty is fair and calls on the fielder's judgment besides his stump-hitting capability and I see no issues in that being tested, just as it does for the batsmen. It shows how well he is assessing the situation in the split-second...to run or not....to throw or not.....

  • on May 20, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    Ban leg-byes sounds good, so does banning backing up. I think that is not fair to the bowler. It is not even fair to the bastman, fair only to the runner. The runner then happens to push the batsman for a third and the batsman gets out while looking slower than his partner. The lbws should change for spinners. the spinners cannot be asked to bowl stump to stump to get a wicket. that is horrible. However, i do not agree with your lights comment and the one about ball-tampering. Your suggestions are not practical. Bouncers are the most exciting stuff in cricket. The pace bowlers making the batsman jumping around is so fun to watch. I agree with you on that too.

  • akhilhp on May 20, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Except for Bad Light issue I think other ten are good suggestions... I hope ICC Office Bears also go through this article.

  • Sreerang on May 20, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    Could not agree more. The ICC should just DO IT!

  • andrew.henshaw on May 20, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Great article. I hope that the MCC seriously considers the majority of these ideas as that make perfect sense. My only disagreements would be re: over restrictions in ODIs - why not make it completely unrestricted? Would be very interesting to see what type of composition teams would go for.

  • on May 20, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    All the rule changes given here make absolute sense.These should be tried out in T20 to make it more exciting and then phased in the ODIs to prevent the format from dying. 12 over for 2 bowlers will be very exciting with the teams nurturing the death bowlers. These bowlers and the batsmen( without runners) will become more fit and we can be proud of cricket for having man-beasts on the ground. These changes will definitely make cricket far more competitive than baseball where a batsmen can play only 3 balls per innings

  • SampathCFO on May 20, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    As for the suggestion regarding allowing 2 bowlers 12 overs apiece; Why just two overs.. Why don't you allow any bowler to bowl as many overs as he can with the only restriction being a player cannot bowl two overs continuously. It is for the team to manage the workload of their bowlers.. If an opening pair can stay in the field for entire 50 overs, why can't a bowler bowl during the entire match..

  • TheOnlyEmperor on May 20, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    More: 1. Don't give a batsman out when the onfield umpire has clearly made a mistake. 2. Don't standardise bat dimensions. 3. Don't provide fielding restrictions in the powerplays - it's a batsman's game anyways. Award the batsmen double the runs for every boundary scored during the power plays.

  • Sumeet.Gupta on May 20, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Seriously......the most stupid rule is the one where even if the ball is inside the field of play but the fielder's foot is touching the boundary rope, the batsman is awarded a four. and here i thought that a boundary is given when the ball crosses the rope!! in this case, the ball never crosses the rope, so how can it be a four? And add to it, it is such a waste of time where the 3rd umpire has to spend considerable amount of time to ascertain the decision. Sheer stupidity, given today's scenario where cricket needs to be made faster. My suggestion - make the rule simple - if the ball crosses the rope, it's a four. ICC - you guys better appreciate the fielder's effort!! but it seems so frustrating to see a good effort being made null and void for the boundary case. Though i agree that while taking a catch, if the fielder touches the rope, it should be awarded a six. fair enough for me

  • pj3000 on May 20, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    Loving all these! Quick question though, following on from the last point re not giving a batsman run out if he's made his ground, but his bat jerks up into the air at the point the bails are removed: would this have a natural extension to the stumping law? Ie) would it follow that if a batsman is in his crease when the 'keeper takes the ball, but then on losing balance leaves his crease, he can't be stumped? I'm aware that run-outs and stumpings differ in so much that stumpings only occur in the course of a batsman playing a shot...but it still looks a little wrong at times to see a guy stumped solely for the sake of losing his balance, when the ball, safely in the 'keepers' gloves, would be otherwise dead for all intents and purposes. Curious to know if you would see this as a logical extension of the change you suggest to the run out law...and, if so, would you advocate a like change to the stumping law?

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  • pj3000 on May 20, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    Loving all these! Quick question though, following on from the last point re not giving a batsman run out if he's made his ground, but his bat jerks up into the air at the point the bails are removed: would this have a natural extension to the stumping law? Ie) would it follow that if a batsman is in his crease when the 'keeper takes the ball, but then on losing balance leaves his crease, he can't be stumped? I'm aware that run-outs and stumpings differ in so much that stumpings only occur in the course of a batsman playing a shot...but it still looks a little wrong at times to see a guy stumped solely for the sake of losing his balance, when the ball, safely in the 'keepers' gloves, would be otherwise dead for all intents and purposes. Curious to know if you would see this as a logical extension of the change you suggest to the run out law...and, if so, would you advocate a like change to the stumping law?

  • Sumeet.Gupta on May 20, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Seriously......the most stupid rule is the one where even if the ball is inside the field of play but the fielder's foot is touching the boundary rope, the batsman is awarded a four. and here i thought that a boundary is given when the ball crosses the rope!! in this case, the ball never crosses the rope, so how can it be a four? And add to it, it is such a waste of time where the 3rd umpire has to spend considerable amount of time to ascertain the decision. Sheer stupidity, given today's scenario where cricket needs to be made faster. My suggestion - make the rule simple - if the ball crosses the rope, it's a four. ICC - you guys better appreciate the fielder's effort!! but it seems so frustrating to see a good effort being made null and void for the boundary case. Though i agree that while taking a catch, if the fielder touches the rope, it should be awarded a six. fair enough for me

  • TheOnlyEmperor on May 20, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    More: 1. Don't give a batsman out when the onfield umpire has clearly made a mistake. 2. Don't standardise bat dimensions. 3. Don't provide fielding restrictions in the powerplays - it's a batsman's game anyways. Award the batsmen double the runs for every boundary scored during the power plays.

  • SampathCFO on May 20, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    As for the suggestion regarding allowing 2 bowlers 12 overs apiece; Why just two overs.. Why don't you allow any bowler to bowl as many overs as he can with the only restriction being a player cannot bowl two overs continuously. It is for the team to manage the workload of their bowlers.. If an opening pair can stay in the field for entire 50 overs, why can't a bowler bowl during the entire match..

  • on May 20, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    All the rule changes given here make absolute sense.These should be tried out in T20 to make it more exciting and then phased in the ODIs to prevent the format from dying. 12 over for 2 bowlers will be very exciting with the teams nurturing the death bowlers. These bowlers and the batsmen( without runners) will become more fit and we can be proud of cricket for having man-beasts on the ground. These changes will definitely make cricket far more competitive than baseball where a batsmen can play only 3 balls per innings

  • andrew.henshaw on May 20, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Great article. I hope that the MCC seriously considers the majority of these ideas as that make perfect sense. My only disagreements would be re: over restrictions in ODIs - why not make it completely unrestricted? Would be very interesting to see what type of composition teams would go for.

  • Sreerang on May 20, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    Could not agree more. The ICC should just DO IT!

  • akhilhp on May 20, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Except for Bad Light issue I think other ten are good suggestions... I hope ICC Office Bears also go through this article.

  • on May 20, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    Ban leg-byes sounds good, so does banning backing up. I think that is not fair to the bowler. It is not even fair to the bastman, fair only to the runner. The runner then happens to push the batsman for a third and the batsman gets out while looking slower than his partner. The lbws should change for spinners. the spinners cannot be asked to bowl stump to stump to get a wicket. that is horrible. However, i do not agree with your lights comment and the one about ball-tampering. Your suggestions are not practical. Bouncers are the most exciting stuff in cricket. The pace bowlers making the batsman jumping around is so fun to watch. I agree with you on that too.

  • on May 20, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    I agree with most of what you said. However why the arbitrary 2 overs extension for the bowlers? We never seem to complain when the Shehwags and the Gayles are tearing teams apart....I'm sure none of us want them to stop once they've reached 120...I feel that the same should apply for bowlers, if they are in the destruction mode and if they can carry on...they should be allowed to bowl as many as half of the match overs (a little more radically....we don't disallow the batsmen facing consecutive overs.....so why restrict the bowlers? We can have a rule, similar to the batsmen taking a run off the last ball to retain strike, for the bowlers). I think the direct-hit penalty is fair and calls on the fielder's judgment besides his stump-hitting capability and I see no issues in that being tested, just as it does for the batsmen. It shows how well he is assessing the situation in the split-second...to run or not....to throw or not.....