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International Cricket Council Adopts MCC Rules for Ball’s Physical Specifications

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the international governing body for the game of cricket, with 104 member countries as of their 2008 – 2009 roster.  The ICC plays by the MCC Laws of Cricket with certain exceptions stated in ICC Playing Conditions.  The three types of contests governed by the ICC are Test Matches, One Day Internationals, and Twenty20 Matches.  The changes below are the ICC exceptions to the MCC Laws of Cricket.

Test Matches for Men

Law 5 – The Ball
Law 5.2 – Approval and control of balls
Law 5.2 shall be replaced by the following:
The Home Board shall provide cricket balls of an approved standard for Test cricket and spare used balls for changing during a match, which shall also be of the same brand. Note: The Home Board shall be required to advise the visiting Board of the brand of ball to be used in the match(es) at least 30 days prior to the start of the match(es).

The fielding captain or his nominee may select the ball with which he wishes to bowl from the supply provided by the Home Board. The fourth umpire shall take a box containing at least 6 new balls to the dressing room and supervise the selection of the ball.

The umpires shall retain possession of the match ball(s) throughout the duration of the match when play is not actually taking place. During play umpires shall periodically and irregularly inspect the condition of the ball and shall retain possession of it at the fall of a wicket, a drinks interval, or any other disruption in play.

Law 5.4 – New ball in a match of more than one day’s duration
Law 5.4 shall be replaced by the following:
The captain of the fielding side shall have the choice of taking a new ball at any time after 80 overs have  been bowled with the previous ball.

The umpires shall indicate to the batsman and the scorers whenever a new ball is taken into play.

Law 5.5 – Ball lost or becoming unfit for play
The following shall apply in addition to Law 5.5: However, if the ball needs to be replaced after 110 overs for any of the reasons above, it shall be replaced by a new ball. If the ball is to be replaced, the umpire shall inform the batsmen.

Law 5.6 – Specifications
Law 5.6 shall not apply.

One Day Internationals for Men
Law 5 – The Ball
Law 5.2 – Approval and control of balls
Law 5.2 shall be replaced by the following:
The Home Board shall provide cricket balls of an approved standard for ODI cricket and spare used balls for changing during a match (minimum of 12 cleaned and whitened), which shall also be of the same brand. Note: The Home Board shall be required to advise the visiting Boards of the brand of ball to be used in the match(es) at least 30 days prior to the start of the match(es).

The fielding captain or his nominee may select the ball with which he wishes to bowl from the supply provided by the Home Board. The fourth umpire shall take a box containing at least 6 new balls to the dressing room and supervise the selection of the ball.

The umpires shall retain possession of the match ball(s) throughout the duration of the match when play is not actually taking place. During play umpires shall periodically and irregularly inspect the condition of the ball and shall retain possession of it at the fall of a wicket, a drinks interval, or any other disruption in play. Where day/night matches are scheduled in a series white balls will be used in all matches (including day matches). Each fielding team shall have one new ball for its innings.

Law 5.4 – New ball in match of more than one day’s duration
Law 5.4 shall not apply.

Law 5.5 – Ball lost or becoming unfit for play
Law 5.5 shall be replaced by the following:
5.3.1 In the event of a ball during play being lost or in the opinion of the umpires, being unfit for play through normal use, the umpires shall allow it to be replaced by one that in their opinion has had a similar amount of wear.
5.3.2 In the event of the ball becoming wet and soggy as a result of play continuing in inclement weather or it being affected by dew, and in the opinion of the umpires being unfit for play, the ball may be replaced for a ball that has similar amount of wear, even though it has not gone out of shape.
5.3.3 If the ball is to be replaced, the umpire shall inform the batsman. Either batsman or bowler may raise the matter with the umpires and the umpires’ decision as to a replacement or otherwise will be final.
5.3.4 In addition, there will be a mandatory change of the ball at the commencement of the 35th over of each innings.
5.3.5 The mandatory replacement balls for each innings are to be preselected by the captains prior to the match from the supply of spare balls provided by the home Board as follows:
a) The fourth umpire will supervise the process.
b) The captain who has lost the toss shall be permitted to select two balls from the supply of cleaned and whitened used balls.
c) The fourth umpire will identify which ball has been selected by each team and shall pass it to the on-field umpires prior to the commencement of the 35th over.
Note: For the sake of clarity:
• The provisions of clauses 5.3.1, 5.3.2 and 5.3.3 above shall apply if a further replacement ball is required after the commencement of the 35th over.
• The provisions of clauses 5.3.4 and 5.3.5 above shall apply irrespective of the length of the innings.

Law 5.6 – Specifications
Law 5.6 shall not apply.

Twenty/20 International Matches for Men
Law 5 – The Ball
Law 5.2 – Approval and control of balls
Law 5.2 shall be replaced by the following:
The Home Board shall provide cricket balls of an approved standard for Twenty20 cricket and spare used balls for changing during a match, which shall also be of the same brand.
Note: The Home Board shall be required to advise the visiting Boards of the brand of ball to be used in the match(es) at least 30 days prior to the start of the match(es). The fielding captain or his nominee may select the ball with which he wishes to bowl from the supply provided by the Home Board. The fourth umpire shall take a box containing at least 6 new balls to the dressing room and supervise the selection of the ball.

The umpires shall retain possession of the match ball(s) throughout the duration of the match when play is not actually taking place. During play umpires shall periodically and irregularly inspect the condition of the ball and shall retain possession of it at the fall of a wicket or any other disruption in play. Where day/night matches are scheduled in a series white balls will be used in all matches (including day matches).
Each fielding team shall have one new ball for its innings.

Law 5.4 – New ball in match of more than one day’s duration
Law 5.4 shall not apply.

Law 5.5 – Ball lost or becoming unfit for play
Law 5.5 shall be replaced by the following:
5.3.1 In the event of a ball during play being lost or in the opinion of the umpires, being unfit for play through normal use, the umpires shall allow it to be replaced by one that in their opinion has had a similar amount of wear.
5.3.2 In the event of the ball becoming wet and soggy as a result of play continuing in inclement weather or it being affected by dew, or a white ball becoming significantly discoloured and in the opinion of the umpires being unfit for play, the ball may be replaced for a ball that has similar amount of wear, even though it has not gone out of shape.

5.3.3 If the ball is to be replaced, the umpire shall inform the batsman. Either batsman or bowler may raise the matter with the umpires and the umpires’ decision as to a replacement or otherwise will be final.

Law 5.6 – Specifications
Law 5.6 shall not apply.

References:
International Cricket Council – www.icc-cricket.com
MCC Laws of Cricket – www.lords.org/mcc/laws-of-cricket/
Photo – www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/may/19/mithali-raj-mcc-claire-taylor-charlotte-edwards-lords

About Sports Balls

Sports Balls is a group of sports enthusiasts interested in the official specifications of balls used as sports equipment. As hobbyists, we are continually amazed at the level of detail used to accomplish fair play.

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