A Modest Proposal To Help Tailend Batsmen Earn A Draw In Cricket Matches
Proposed amendment to Law 16 section 6
Last hour of match: number of overs
Add at end of first paragraph
“Before that over commences, the batting side captain may on notification to the umpires decline during the next session of play the extra delivery which would normally be awarded for a no-ball or a wide under Law 22 or in the circumstances described in Law 22 (3) (v). This option may be exercised only at that point or at the commencement of a new innings, and shall be irrevocable. When that option is exercised, all references to an over in Law 16 shall mean six deliveries inclusive of any wides or no-balls or any delivery on which penalty runs are awarded. However, in all other respects the Laws related to wides or no-balls or penalty runs shall apply.”
Insert in second paragraph after “scorers.”
“He shall also indicate to them any exercise by the batting captain of the option to decline any extra delivery under the foregoing paragraph.”
Explanatory note (Not part of the Laws)
The purpose of this proposed change in Law 16 is to remove a long-standing unintentional anomaly, which affects timed matches at any level of cricket.
The side batting last reaches the last hour of play. It has no hope of winning: the batsmen are trying to earn a draw. In those circumstances, the extra delivery for a wide or a no-ball is of no advantage to them. Quite the contrary, it means that they have to stay at the wicket longer when the light and possibly the pitch are getting worse. If six wides or no-balls are delivered during the last hour, the batting side effectively has to face a full extra over in deteriorating conditions. A wide or a no-ball is a bad ball and the fielding side should not derive any profit from it. The proposal also prevents them from gaining an extra delivery if their conduct has given away five penalty runs.
The option would be irrevocable – the batting captain could not suddenly change his mind and go for a win after all.