Bouncers, Saliva Ban & Women’s Cricket: Key Points of MCC Meeting

The World Cricket Committee is headed by Mike Gatting and includes the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Sourav Ganguly.

3 min read
Shane Warne, Mike Gatting and Kumar Sangakkara during an MCC Meeting

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), custodian of laws of the game, is open to changing the laws around short-pitch bowling, the DRS and have also promised to discuss the future of women’s cricket given the disproportionate amount of games that have been played.

Here’s a look at the key points of discussion at the recently concluded MCC meeting. The World Cricket Committee is headed by Mike Gatting and also includes the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Sourav Ganguly and Shane Warne.


The MCC spoke about the controversial umpires’ call for LBW decisions made through the Decision Review System (DRS) and the views would be forwarded to the ICC.

In terms of catches outside the 30-yard circle, more so near the boundary, the TV umpire would be the judge and the on-field umpire would give an ‘unsighted’ signal rather than the ‘soft-signal’.

The committee also hoped that the ICC would help provide uniform technology for the DRS, rather than depending on the host broadcaster.

"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.

"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."

The Indian women’s cricket team 
The Indian women’s cricket team 
(File photo: IANS)

Women’s Cricket

“There are a number of countries that are yet to play any international cricket at all since the outbreak of the Covid-19,” the committee’s said.

The increased costs of staging matches and touring were reasons and the MCC have decided to take a detailed look at the future of women’s cricket at the next meeting, in August 2021.


The MCC in their meeting insisted that a balance between bat and ball was absolutely essential and maintained that short-pitch bowling is a must.

Keeping this in mind, the MCC is looking into the rules and regulations about more protection that could be afforded to batters, especially at a junior level and for the lower order batsmen.

Last week, The Telegraph reported that the MCC is looking at making helmets compulsory, even when batting against spinners.

Virat Kohli using saliva to shine the ball before the COVID-19 Pandemic
Virat Kohli using saliva to shine the ball before the COVID-19 Pandemic
Image: BCCI

Saliva Ban

The Saliva ban, which was brought into effect after the coronavirus pandemic hit, is set to continue with the committee deciding that it was too premature to allow use of saliva on the ball.

The players would be consulted before the rule is modified in the future.

“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…’


The host countries umpires have been officiating games due to the pandemic instead of neutral umpires and the MCC is looking to keep the same process intact, but recommended that one of the officials could be neutral.

The MCC are also contemplating changes to how TV umpiring would work, much like the English Premier League and in the National Football League in the United States, the officials could be at a central location for all games.

The next MCC World Cricket committee meeting is due to take place at Lord’s in August 2021.

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