by Alexander Mackay
The MCC has announced that from *1st October 2013, the bowler breaking the stumps during the act of delivery shall be deemed a No ball.
The decision was made by the MCC in February 2013 following several incidents involving England's Steven Finn. It came to their attention after he repeatedly broke the bowler's end wicket in his delivery stride, beginning with the second test between England & South Africa at Headingley in 2012.
The current law allows the umpire to call (and signal) Dead ball if the striker is distracted. But following the recommendation of the MCC Laws sub-committee, the Law will change as part of the 2000 Code 5th Edition - 2013 of the Laws of Cricket.
"If, during the act of delivery, the bowler breaks the wicket, upon the ball becoming dead, the umpire shall call and signal No ball."
Some may remember a young pace bowler from 1973 who went by the name of Richard Hadlee, who frequently knocked the bails with his hand. It seems no-one was distracted then!
* This Law is already in force at ICC test cricket level, comes into effect in top class cricket in England on 1st October 2013, and in Switzerland for the beginning of the 2014 season.