Short-pitched bowling ‘core part of game’

India’s Washington Sundar evades a hostile short delivery from Australia’s Pat Cummins at Brisbane last month

The MCC’s World Cricket Committee says short-pitched bowling is a “core part of the game” as lawmakers prepare to begin a consultation on whether the law relating to such deliveries is fit for modern cricket.

The law currently permits bouncers up to head height, with anything above head height deemed a no-ball.

The review follows an increase in research into concussion in sport in recent years, with Premier League football beginning a trial for concussion substitutes this month.

The final proposal and recommendations, for a change or not, will be decided by the MCC Committee in December 2021.

The World Cricket Committee, which is funded and administered by the MCC and chaired by former England captain Mike Gatting, recently discussed the issue in a video conference call and was “unanimous that short-pitched bowling is a core part of the game, particularly at the elite level”.

The committee also discussed other aspects of the game at all levels that may mitigate the risk of injury and agreed to provide feedback during the consultation, which begins in March.

The consultation will consider such issues as whether concussion should be recognised as a different injury to any other sustained, and if lower-order batsmen should be given further protection than the laws currently allow.