MCC debates on DRS, bouncers

The MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) committee has discussed on DRS, short-pitched bowling and applying saliva on the ball.

Players wait for DRS outcome. ©


Umpire’s call for lbws in Decision Review System has been a debatable topic over the years since its introduction. The members of the committee asked to consider making the rules of the game look easy for the spectators although some agreed the current lbw rules should stay on.

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“The committee debated the use of ‘Umpire’s Call’ for LBW decisions made via the Decision Review System, which some members felt was confusing to the watching public, particularly when the same ball could either be Out or Not out depending on the on-field umpire’s original decision. They felt it would be simpler if the original decision was disregarded on review, and that there was a simple Out or Not out, with no Umpire’s Call,” a MCC release stated.

“The ‘hitting zone’ of the stumps would still be retained, which had to be hit by at least 50% of the ball for an Out decision. If such a protocol was introduced, they felt it should also include a reduction to one unsuccessful review per team, or for the relevant review to be lost irrespective of its outcome.

“Other members were satisfied with the current system, feeling that it was important to retain the human element of the on-field umpire’s decision, which takes into account the ‘benefit of the doubt’ that has existed in umpires’ decisions for many years. They felt that supporters did understand the concept of ‘Umpire’s Call’.”

The MCC also discussed on allowing a substitute player barring concussion when a batsman is hit on the body. The Australia-India Test series saw a number of batters getting hit on the body.

“There are important aspects to consider in the consultation, namely the balance between bat and ball; whether or not concussion should be recognised as a different injury to any other sustained; changes which are specific to particular sectors of the game – e.g. junior cricket; and whether or not lower-order batsmen should be given further protection than the Laws currently allow.”

Virat Kohli ducks under a bouncer. ©BCCI


Whether to change the laws, a survey will start from March 2021 but final decision will not arrive before 2022.

“Data is to be collected from these stakeholders by the end of June 2021, after which the results will be debated by various committees and sub-committees within the Club as mentioned above, as well as the International Cricket Council (ICC), during the latter half of the year.

“The final proposal and recommendations, whether for a change of Law or not, will be decided by the MCC Committee in December 2021, with any decision to be publicised in early 2022.”

Players have been told to avoid using saliva on the ball to eliminate the risk of spreading coronavirus. The MCC committee debated on banning the use of saliva permanently.

“The committee debated prohibiting the use of saliva on the ball on a permanent basis and whilst there was a significant level of support for such a recommendation, some members felt that eliminating the use of saliva on a permanent basis is premature, and that it may be possible to allow its use once again in a post-Covid world.”

The MCC committee members:

Mike Gatting – Chairman, John Stephenson – MCC Assistant Secretary (Cricket), Suzie Bates, Sir Alastair Cook, Kumar Dharmasena, Sourav Ganguly,Tim May, Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting, Ramiz Raja, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Skerritt, Vince van der Bijl, Shane Warne

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