Cricket’s lawmakers are set to begin a “global consultation” that could result in laws around short-pitched bowling being changed for good.

The MCC recently held a wide-ranging meeting via conference call which included a discussion around whether bouncers are still “fit for the modern game”.

The number of balls over shoulder-height are limited under the current MCC laws, but a greater understanding of concussions in sport and degenerative brain conditions have led to increased debate around the ongoing use of short-pitched bowling.

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As such, bouncers formed a key discussion point during the meeting of the MCC’s World Cricket Committee, which includes Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting.

The MCC will now examine whether the rules around bouncers should be updated, starting with a survey to be issued to a variety of stakeholders in March.

Data from the survey will then be discussed by the MCC, while any changes to current laws will need to pass through various committees and subcommittees, as well as the International Cricket Council.

A final decision will then be made by the MCC Committee in December 2021, with any decision to come into effect in 2022.

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

The consultation will consider the battle between bat and ball, whether concussions should be recognised as its own class of injury, and the use of short-pitched bowling in junior cricket.

Furthermore, the consultation will consider whether the laws for bowling to tailenders should be different to those higher in the batting order.

The MCC said its committee is unanimous, however, in recognising short-pitched bowling as a “core part of the game, particularly at elite level”.

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IMBALANCE IN WOMEN’S CRICKET SCHEDULE

Also discussed by the committee was the lack of international women’s cricket played since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The committee acknowledged that many nations haven’t played a single match since the COVID-19 outbreak, which coincided with the final stages of the 2020 T20 World Cup.

“The committee heard that a disproportionate amount of international women’s cricket has been played since the pandemic began, in comparison to the men’s game,” the MCC said in a statement.

Concerns were raised in the meeting that some nations cannot afford to play given the extra costs associated with touring in a pandemic.

The committee agreed to discuss the future of the women’s game “in more detail at the next meeting”.

“The committee is very keen to see women’s cricket grow and thrive across the globe,” the MCC said.



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