What Is the Origin of the Cricket Laws?


Quick Answer

Members of the British aristocracy issued the earliest known cricket laws in 1744 to standardize the game because large sums of money were often bet on the sport. Several cricket clubs revised these laws over the next 30 years, creating many inconsistencies. In 1788, the Marylebone Cricket Club drew up the first Code of Laws in a further attempt to standardize the game. Although the MCC laws were not quickly universally adopted, they eventually went on to standardize the sport.

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Full Answer

Marylebone Cricket Club continues to oversee the laws of cricket into the 21st century. The MCC laws govern all two-innings matches worldwide. Additions to the laws, referred to as playing conditions, apply for test matches and one-day international matches. The International Cricket Council oversees these special match rules. Also, many countries with domestic cricket clubs have their own augmented rules for domestic play.

As of 2015, the current version of the laws of cricket is the fifth edition, which was developed in 2000 and implemented in 2013. The laws govern players and officials, the equipment and pitch, the structure of the game, scoring and winning, and the mechanics of dismissal. Other sections govern ways to get out, definitions of different types of fielders, and descriptions of fair and unfair play.

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