As it turns out, 2017 was just the beginning. The MCC’s decision to impose a penalty on any fielding side that attempts to sell a dummy to the batsman by faking a throw was only the beginning of a revolution that changed the game and forever enhanced the joy fans derive from it.

According to the MCC’s new Law 41.5 which was then introduced: “It is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball.”

Given how the 2017 decision was hailed as a stroke of genius, the MCC has now decided to bring about wholesale changes (of course, all designed to help the batsmen) to the fielding conditions.

From October 1, 2030 the following decisions will come into force.

No relay throws allowed

The reasoning behind it is simple. Cricket is a gentleman’s game and a gentleman should be able to do his own work. Also if you have had to run for 40 yards and then throw the ball back to the keeper, your throw will be considerably less powerful than someone who might have trailed behind at half pace.

Diving/sliding is outlawed

This law serves two purposes. It keeps the whites from getting dirty and, secondly, prevents injury. Cricketers must look presentable at all times and you can’t have your best cricketers (read batsmen) getting injured trying to save a solitary run. It is just not worth it – for the player and for the fan.

The only thing fielders will now be allowed to do on the field. BCCI/Sportzpics

Restrict the movement

We have all played table cricket at some point or the other. You set the field, you bowl the ball and then you hope the batsman hits the ball to you. This is primarily a variation of that. Given that the players are alive and can move (as compared to table cricket), we will give them a restricted movement area of 1 meter from their original fielding spot.

A huge technological innovation (namely very accurate GPS tags) will be used to enforce this. Additionally, the fielder will be given three warnings to stay within the circle. If he fails to comply, he will be sent off. It will leave a huge gap in the field but it will essentially mean more fours and sixes.

Field evenly divided

One further innovation that could have a huge impact on the game is the introduction of fielding placement rules. At any point in the game, the fielding captain will have to ensure that there are at least four fielders on either side.

Too often in the past, we have seen captains load up one side and then ask bowlers to stick to a line and length. This makes for a pretty bowing phase of cricket as the batsmen rarely get any value for their shots. With the new rules, bowlers will not get button-holed and will have the freedom to bowl where they want and how they want.

One hand only

In a nod to baseball, it has been decided that fielders can use only one hand to take catches. Over the years, many brilliant fielders have shown that it is possible to take catches with one hand. It means that this is a skill that can be worked on. We all look to get better and this is our way of telling our fielders that they can get better.

Happy fielding!

P.S. We hope that none of this will ever happen but with the MCC you never know.