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Law Changes and how they affect players
The MCC have introduced several changes to the laws of the game (around 50 in all many of which are simply technical). I'll try to summarise the main ones which affect players. However this list is far from exhaustive and if you would like to read the whole lot you can find them at https://www.lords.org/assets/2017-Law-Changes-Summary-Paper.pdf
All players can now be removed from the field of play by umpires for either a period of time or the whole of the rest of the game. Any such occurrence would involve penalty runs, a report and a likely suspension. The offence would have to be pretty serious but, as always, umpires will have their own interpretations. Contrary to common belief, however, umpires will not be carrying yellow and red cards. The procedure will be to request the captain of the offending player to send him off the field. If the captain refuses it will be construed as a refusal to play and the game will be forfeited.
As far as the SWCA is concerned this can only happen when there are TWO league appointed umpires standing.
All full pitched balls above waist height regardless of pace are now to be called as no balls. The first occurrence whether accidental or not will draw an official warning and a second occurrence will mean the bowler being taken off and being barred from bowling for the rest of the innings. The SWCA will only bring these sanctions into force if the high balls would have hit the batsman. Otherwise a high ball will simply be called no ball with no warning.
You can now be run out at the non-striker's end at any point in the bowler's run up until the ball leaves his hand. This goes back to the previous interpretation of the law before it was changed in 2000! The other law change regarding run outs is that once your bat or part of the body has been grounded behind the crease you cannot be run out even if you have nothing subsequently grounded when the bails are dislodged.
There is now no such thing as handled the ball. Any such offence is now given out as obstructing the field.
If you are off the field for a non external injury you cannot resume bowling for the same amount of time after returning to the field as you were off it. Previously there was a period of time which did not count.
The batsman is now prohibited from taking his stance at a point down the pitch where he will inevitably encroach on the protected area. In practice this means that umpires will probably stop you taking guard more than two feet outside the crease.
Mock fielding is also now prohibited. This is where a fielder pretends he has missed the ball although the ball will actually be in his hand.
Two major decisions were taken at the League AGM which will affect both of our Saturday sides.
In the top three divisions there will now be no transfer of overs if there is a declaration or if a side is bowled out in fewer than fifty overs. Should weather intervene in either innings, overs are lost immediately at the rate of 3.5 minutes per over and targets will be adjusted according to the DLS method (Duckworth Lewis). There will, therefore, be no longer such a thing as the no differential draw. The limit on the number of overs a bowler can bowl will also decrease proportionate to the new number of scheduled overs. In other words these are straight 50 overs rules as you see in the first class game (except that draws are still possible).
Having introduced the regionalisation of Division Six last year the AGM voted to return to a Division Six and Seven in 2018. This means our seconds will play in Division Six next year probably with the teams noted at the bottom of this column. Hopefully there will be fewer sides unable to raise teams in this new arrangement.
The playing rules for Divisions 4-7 remain unchanged but the possibility of playing on a Sunday should both sides agree has been allowed as have declarations, but without transfer of overs. Any club failing to raise a side will be fined not only the present £60 but also penalised the maximum number of points for a win in their division.
Finally, Premier League clubs have been barred from our cup competition.
Really finally, and not that it matters greatly, but a no ball that goes for byes or a leg bye will now be scored as such, i.e. one no ball + one bye or whatever it may be.
Likely members of Division Six: Llandysul, Maesteg, Dyffryn, Ammanford III, Great Western Railway, Landore, Kidwelly, Morriston, Ynystawe III, Pontardawe.