Cricket lawmakers are resisting calls to ban the bouncer by deciding not to ban him after an 18-month review… with the MCC to instead provide more education to players and coaches about concussions
- MCC, the guardians of cricket’s laws, resisted bouncer ban
- They will continue to promote concussion education for players and officials
- Bouncers have been key to some of the most thrilling stretches in Test history
The MCC, the guardians of cricket’s laws, have resisted the bouncer’s ban after 18 months of consultation.
Concluding that any changes to the current guidelines would alter the balance between bat and ball in a detrimental way, no laws were changed with respect to short-pitch bowling in the game.
Instead, the MCC will continue to promote concussion education for players and officials.
MCC cricket lawmakers chose not to ban bouncer after 18-month review
The quality of protective equipment has also improved significantly following the death of Australian fly-half Phil Hughes (pictured left) who was hit by a short ball in 2014.
Although such episodes are minimal compared to sports like rugby codes, research has shown that hits to the head have increased since the introduction of helmets, and therefore the safety aspects of short-pitch balls will continue to increase. to be monitored.
Laws currently allow short-pitch bowling up to head height. Anything above head height is a no ball.
Changes to certain aspects of cricket have been considered, such as changing the laws at junior level or providing additional protection for less proficient hitters.
However, respondents were overwhelmingly in favor of children learning to play it in preparation for senior cricket.
And umpires will continue to be able to call there is no ball and remove bowlers from the attack if there is a repeat offense, to protect less skilled players under current Law 41.
Jamie Cox, MCC Deputy Secretary, said: “As with any potential change to the laws, the key aspect is to make sure it’s suitable for all levels of the game.”
“The results of the consultation show that short bowling, within the law, is an important part of the makeup of the sport and in fact changing it would change the game significantly.”
Bouncers have been a feature of some of the most thrilling playthroughs in test history
Australian talisman Steve Smith (bottom) had a superb battle with England fast bowler Jofra Archer (out of shot) during the 2019 Ashes which resulted in him being hit in the neck
“However, since the laws allow umpires to intervene if they believe there is a safety consideration with the striking batter, we encourage them to use discretion and minimize any risk of injury.”
Cricket has worked hard in recent years in its duty of care to players in this area, with mandatory checks after head shots, decisions as to whether it is safe to continue in such cases only between hands of doctors and authorized concussion substitutes in all professional matches within the jurisdiction of the ECB.
Similar protocols are common in the global game.
The bouncer has always been a prime delivery in the fast bowler’s arsenal, a weapon providing precise recall if a batsman takes the liberty of jumping on the front foot, testing their ability to duck and weave and one providing a wicket taking option against those confident of taking a back foot hook.
It has long been accepted as part of the game and at the highest level it has been a feature of some of the most thrilling game passages in the history of the test.
These include England fast bowler Jofra Archer’s Ashes duel with Steve Smith at Lord’s in 2019 which resulted in Marnus Labuschagne becoming Test Cricket’s first substitute with a concussion.
The quality of protective gear has also improved significantly, with players now wearing neck protection uniformly following the death of Australian Phil Hughes, who was hit by a short ball in 2014.