Bad light protocol is set to be officially updated when members of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are asked to vote through a raft of changes to the Laws of Cricket tomorrow. The established system of umpires "offering" the light to the batting team is expected to be changed so that, in keeping with a new rule trialled in English county cricket for the past two seasons, the officials simply decide themselves when conditions have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer fit for play.
It is hoped the new method, which has worked well in English domestic cricket, will eradicate any possible tactical or partisan interpretation of the conditions by the batting side. Also up for approval - among a clutch of new laws which would come into practice in October - are recommendations relating to the position of a bowler's front foot in delivery and clarification on boundary fielding. There have been concerns that spin bowlers operating over the wicket have sometimes planted their front foot so far over towards the far side of the popping crease as to almost appear to be operating round the wicket.
The complication is that the bowler's arm may then not have the full background of the sightscreen behind it, therefore significantly inconveniencing the batsmen. On the boundary, increased athleticism in the Twenty20 era has seen a succession of spectacular attempts to effect catches - notably in the Indian Premier League over the last two seasons - by jumping from beyond the playing area and parrying a ball back on to the field. Under the new law, fielders must jump up to intercept the ball from inside the boundary. * Agencies