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MCC amends laws to protect wicket-keepers from freak injuries 

THE MARYLEBONE CRICKET CLUB (MCC) has decided to alter Law 8.3 with an aim to protect wicket-keepers from freak injuries. 

The MCC has ratified the use of tethers to limit the distance that that bails can travel when the wicket is broken. Following an approach from a UK and a South African company, who have submitted designs for mechanisms that tether the bails to the stumps, without limiting their ability to be dislodged, the MCC has decided to amend its law. As reported by EspnCricinfo, Fraser Stewart, MCC’s Laws Manager, said,

“If it prevents someone losing their eyesight, it’s got to be worth considering. 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.”

It is learnt that the UK version, designed by Gus Kennedy, a former Oxford and Cambridge MCCU wicketkeeper, 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.

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