MCC To Amend Bail Technology to Minimise Injuries To Wicket-keepers
The Marylebone Cricket Club, which lays down the rules for international cricket worldwide, has ratified a landmark rule to minimise injuries resulting from bails flying off the stumps and hitting the wicket-keepers
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which lays down the rules for international cricket worldwide, has ratified a landmark rule to minimise injuries resulting from bails flying off the stumps and hitting the wicket-keepers that have resulted in the end to the careers of at least two international players in the past. Incidents like the one that happened with former South African wicket-keeper Mark Boucher and also former India 'keeper Saba Karim, both of whom had to leave the game.
The MCC has now ratified the use of tethers to limit the distance that that bails can travel when the wicket is broken.
Boucher had suffered a freak injury when he was struck in the left eye by the bails during the opening match of South Africa's 2012 tour of England. He had undergone surgery but eventually had to retire.
Saba Karim's career also ended after he had a similar injury during an Asia Cup encounter against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2000. An Anil Kumble that struck the batsman on the boot and rose to hit Karim on the right eye.
Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also was hit by the bail on his right eye while trying to go for a big shot in the final T20I against Zimbabwe last year.
MCC has decided to alternate Law 8.3, following an approach from two companies - one from South Africa and the other from the UK - who have submitted designs for mechanisms that tether the bails to the stumps, without limiting their ability to be dislodged.
"If it prevents someone losing their eyesight, it's got to be worth considering," Fraser Stewart, MCC's Laws Manager told ESPNcricinfo.
"The companies involved are still working on their patents, so this is very much a work in progress, but what MCC have done is make such devices permissible in the Laws. After that, it is up to the governing bodies to allow for their use."
Law 8.3.4 now reads: "Devices aimed at protecting player safety by limiting the distance that a bail can travel off the stumps will be allowed, subject to the approval of the Governing Body for the match and the ground authority."
The UK version comprises of two holes, drilled down into the off and leg stumps, and a tiny, lightweight ball, attached to a piece of cotton.
The ensemble rests on a platform so that there is no weight pulling on the bail, which is then able to travel no further than three inches when the stumps are put down.