The Marylebone Cricket Club on Tuesday released the fifth edition of the 2000 Code which features some significant changes in cricket rules, including the most high profile change in the no-ball rule which comes into effect from today.

According to Law 24.6 of ICC’s playing conditions, from now on if a bowler breaks the wicket during his delivery stride, it will be called ‘no-ball’.

Other changes to the laws include limiting being out ‘handled the ball’ to just the striker as he is playing the ball or immediately after; any other illegal handling of the ball by either batsman will be given out as ‘obstructing the field’.

Notable changes in the laws:

1) No-ball if the bowler breaks the wicket during his delivery stride.

2) A batsman with a runner is now protected if he is ‘stumped’ off a no-ball. Previously, he would have been out run out.

3) The moment at which a batsman can be out ‘handled the ball’ has been limited to when he is playing the ball or its immediate aftermath, i.e. when defending his wicket.

Consequently, only the striker can be out this way. Any subsequent handling by either batsman will be subject to ‘obstructing the field’.

4) Hit the ball twice — it is no longer possible to score any runs after making a lawful second strike (in defence of his wicket). Previously, runs could be taken after a lawful second strike only after an overthrow had occurred, but this option of run scoring has been removed completely.

5) Practice on the field — players are now allowed to bowl a ball to a fielder as a ‘loosener’, even if it bounces on the ground, as long as it does not waste time or is not being done to damage the ball. — PTI

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