The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has provided clarification on the implementation of law 38.3 relating to run out at the non-striker’s end before a bowler bowls a delivery.
In a statement, the MCC said, “We acknowledge that while this Law has generally been understood well by players and umpires, there is ambiguity in the wording which could lead to confusion.”
“The current wording led some to think that if the non-striker left his/her ground before the expected moment of release, then the Run out could happen at any moment, even after the bowler had gone through the bowling action. That was never the intention of this Law, nor the way it was ever interpreted by MCC.”
After the new update, law 38.3.1 reads as, “At any time from the moment the ball comes into play until the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the non-striker is liable to be Run out if he/she is out of his/her ground. In these circumstances the non-striker will be out Run out if he/she is out of his/her ground when his/her wicket is put down by the bowler throwing the ball at the stumps or by the bowler’s hand holding the ball, whether or not the ball is subsequently delivered.”
— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) January 19, 2023
Briefing on the instance of a bowler releasing the delivery, law 188.8.131.52 states, “The instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball is defined as the moment the bowler’s arm reaches the highest point of his/her normal bowling action in the delivery swing.”
Law 184.108.40.206 adds, “Even if the non-striker had left his/her ground before the instant at which the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, once the bowler has reached that point it is no longer possible for the bowler to run out the non-striker under this Law.”
The updated law is supposed to come into effect from January 19, 2023.
MCC further mentioned, “It is important to note that this does not change the way the Law should be interpreted – it has been interpreted that way for the past six years, without much misunderstanding.”
The ambiguity around the law came into discussion during the Big Bash League clash between Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades that featured Adam Zampa attempting to run out the non-striker, Tom Rogers, who was given not out by the umpires.