Index

Fast bowling restrictions



Limits on the number of overs and bowling spells (a spell is a group of overs) permitted to be bowled by fast bowlers under the age of 19 are set out in the Fast Bowling Directives published by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The number of permitted overs and spells varies according to the age of the young person concerned.
This very worthwhile initiative was introduced following growing recognition of the injury problems that excessive fast bowling can cause to young players before they have completed their physical development. Very often these problems will occur later in life and have been known to ruin promising cricketing careers.
Before a match starts, umpires in recreational cricket in England and Wales will require captains to indicate on their team sheet the names of any players who were aged 19 or younger on August 31 of the previous season. Once the match is in progress they will warn the captain if he is about to break the relevant limit set in the Directives. If the captain chooses to ignore this warning, the umpires will inform him that he is henceforth assuming personal responsibility for his action including the transfer of all legal liabilities from the umpires to the captain. After the match the umpires will file a report to the executive of the fielding side and the league or other governing body in charge of the match.
There are also ECB Directives for young players in respect of fielding restrictions and helmets to be worn by wicket-keepers and batsmen.