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2018 Law Changes Summary

28th April 2018 Posted in County Club and League and Over 50's and Umpires and Women & Girls and Youth by Michael Weeks

LWC Drinks Cornwall Cricket League

Laws of Cricket Changes 2018 Season

In October 2017, MCC introduced 270 changes to the Laws of the game.

The guiding objectives behind all the changes have been:

  • to make the Laws work in a way that makes sense to players, umpires and spectators;
  • to make the Laws as easy as possible to understand and interpret for new umpires, particularly those for whom English is not their first language;
  • to minimise the likelihood of types of misconduct that have been causing players, and particularly umpires, to leave the game;
  • to make the Laws as inclusive as possible to all who might play, umpire or watch cricket.

The redrafting process has taken nearly three years and has been driven by M.C.C.’s Laws sub-committee.

So what changes does it mean for Cornish League cricket?

The Umpires, Premier and County 1 captains attended a very well planned and delivered training afternoon which covered the main changes. On field sanctions (Law 42) and Penalty time (Law 24) was covered in some depth. The  Laws 1-pager (below) of the Major Law Changes for the 2018 Season and is a very helpful summary by the CACO.

Where appointed panel umpires are standing in any league game, obviously all Laws will be applied to the game. The  Law 42 Crib Sheet explains the process for decision making and involves a consultation and agreement between the two standing umpires for what can on occasions be decisions open to interpretation of events.

It the view of the LMC that it is unfair and possibly confrontational to allow player umpires or club umpires to make judgements and issue penalty runs on mock fielding (pretending to have or throw the ball when not in your possession) or making deliberate short runs to maintain strike. More importantly, regulating Penalty time and the implementation of Law 42 is not to be applied by club or player umpires. Any serious misconduct should be reported as in the past to the League Secretary and not dealt with by umpires on the day where appointed panel umpires are not standing

Cricket is highly valued by players for Spirit it is played in, and the role of the Captains on match day is vital in setting the standard of fairness and upholding the game’s traditional values. Captains and players do need to understand the new Laws and understand the guiding principles behind them so that they are applied sensibly, without the intent to gain an advantage.

In the lower divisions, a common sense approach between the Captains is therefore encouraged, particularly in the implementation of those Laws (old and new) which contain the harsher built-in penalties.


Further to the mass of information on new laws and regulations governing League Cricket, the LMC wishes to emphasis three points, agreed with the Umpires and for the benefit of players, these points having been discussed at the Captains/Umpires meeting on Sunday 8th April.


  • There is to be no practice anywhere on the square prior to or during play without prior approval of umpires and home club.


  • All cloths or other material for the purpose of drying a match ball must be inspected and approved  by the match umpires before being taken on to the field of play.


  • Umpires have been requested to be prompt and firm in dealing with bad feeling  – with particular emphasis on removing personal sledging and ‘send offs’  from the game.
An Informal Summary of the Major Law Changes for the 2018 Season
Law Law Description New Law Old Law
18 Byes and Leg byes off no ball Any runs in addition to no ball with be byes or leg byes All no balls
Deliberate Short Runs 5 Penalty runs immediately 1 warning
21 Chucking Only 1 warning, then suspension 2 warnings
24 Penalty time Starts from the minute a fielder leaves the field Used to be 15 minute grace time
Maximum penalty time 90 minutes No maximum
Applies to batsman as well.  Cannot bat until penalty time expires or 5 wkts Did not apply to batsmen
25 Batsman’s runner “backing up” Runner must stay behind popping crease at strikers’ end until ball reaches striker New Law
30 Bat bouncing up Striker deemed to be in once has been grounded even if it bounces up New Law
33 Caught/stumped off helmet Striker can be caught or stumped off a fielder’s/wicketkeeper’s helmet New Law
37 Handled the Ball Now Obstructing the Field
41 Unintentional beamers Now only one warning before bowler suspended 2 warnings before suspension
Beamers are waist height for all bowlers Over shoulder height for slow bowlers
41 Dangerous bouncers Now only one warning before bowler suspended 2 warnings before suspension
41 Intentional front foot no ball Immediate suspension for bowler New Law
41 Mock Fielding Attempt to deceive a batsman will cost 5 penalty runs New Law
41 Stance close to protected area Batsman cannot take guard in a position which will inevitably result in entering protected area New Law
41 Non-striker leaving early Must remain behind popping crease until ball should have been delivered.  No warning Non-striker was safe once bowler’s back foot landed
42 Level 1 1 warning then 5 penalty runs for further offence New Law
Level 2 5 penalty runs New Law
Level 3 5 penalty runs plus offending player(s) suspended for 20% of innings overs New Law
Level 4 5 penalty runs plus offending player(s) suspended for rest of game New Law

This is an informal summary prepared to give a snapshot of the changes to the Laws.  It does not contain all the changes, nor is definitive for the Laws it describes. Players and officials should not rely upon it but should consult the Laws for a full understanding.

Law 42 Crib Sheet


Player Behaviour online tool

ECB have developed an easy to use online tool to take you through the introduction of Law 41 Unfair Play and Law 42 Player Conduct

What changes have been made ahead of the new season?