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Much-criticised beamer law to be amended – MCC

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

The MCC have announced its amendment to law 41.7, which relates to the bowling of dangerous and unfair non-pitching deliveries, more commonly known as ‘beamers’.

A year ago, in the October 2017 edition of the Laws of Cricket, the law imposed severe penalties on bowlers who bowled beamers over waist height; irrespective of speed, if the bowler bowled more than one beamer they would have to be removed from the attack.

Many people involved in recreational cricket deemed this ruling too harsh on bowlers, especially young spinners still developing their craft. Persistent bouncers above head height could also lead to suspension.

Peter Hindstridge, the umpire co-ordinator for the Hertfordshire Cricket League and chairman of the Hertfordshire Association of Cricket Officials Committee, told The Club Debate earlier this year that the rule change had over-evolved.

Many leagues introduced their own version of the ruling, which rendered the law futile. In response to the feedback, the laws sub-committee, with the help of the cricket committee, world cricket committee, and MCC committee, came to the conclusion that the law should be adjusted, as of April 1 2019, to allow umpires to make a more subjective decision on whether a beamer is dangerous or not.

There will be other corrections and explanations from the previous law, which will be included in the revised edition. All of the changes will be announced by early 2019 ahead of the universal implementation on April 1.

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