There are a whole lot of MCC 2017 changes coming up: MCC Laws of Cricket 2017

Summary: Law Summary Paper

Do these changes apply to old matches which would modify their stats slightly?

  • 1
    Other than the "handled the ball" to "obstructing the field" change, is there anything else which could affect a match's statistics?
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 22:22
  • There are some no ball changes. Trying to get my head around these changes atm. Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 22:40
  • Ah yes, you're right. No ball + (leg) byes would previously (old laws 26.1, 26.2(c)(ii)) be scored as more than one no ball, but in the new laws (18.10.2, 23.1, 23.2.3) it's one no ball + a separate count of (leg) byes.
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 23:27
  • I guess that would be a hard one to change for old matches :) I'm leaning that old matches won't be affected by these new changes. Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 23:36

1 Answer 1


There are potentially two changes in the new Laws which could affect match statistics:

  1. The merging of the "handled the ball" dismissal into "obstructing the field". Given the small number of handled the ball dismissals which have happened in top-level cricket, it would be possible to re-write the score books to change all these into "obstructing the field". Frankly, all that's going to do is to change the answers to some trivia questions - e.g. "How many people have been given out obstructing the field in Test cricket?" would change from just Len Hutton to a set of eight people.

  2. A change in scoring when byes or leg byes are scored off a no-ball. In the old Laws, this would be scored as multiple no-balls (and thus all debited to the bowler) whereas in the new Laws it would be one no ball and a separate account of byes or leg byes (thus leading to only one run being debited to the bowler). As even for international cricket, full ball-by-ball scores don't exist from before the mid-1990s, it's just not possible to do this for a lot of earlier matches. More generally, this change is similar to that made in the early 1980s when wides and no-balls were first debited to the bowler - while some analyses have been performed under the "new" way of doing things, the official scorecard stands as it was scored when the match was played.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.