ALTHOUGH players can be sent from the field this summer, they will not be shown red or yellow cards.

“That was never on the cards,” quipped Oxfordshire umpires performance officer Ian Royle at one of a series of meetings to introduce the new code of the laws to officials and players.

The 2017 code, introduced by the MCC last autumn, which will come into operation this summer, allows umpires for the first time to dismiss players from the field – either temporarily or permanently – for serious breaches of discipline.

There are four levels of offence, which are now brought into the laws for the first time.

The first two, which involve serious dissent and threatening language, will be punished by five penalty runs and reports to the authorities.

However level three and level four offences can lead to dismissals from the field.

For intimidation or threatened violence, players can be removed for a number of overs – normally about ten – depending on the length of the match.

However, level four offences, such as a physical assault, would result in a suspension for the rest of the match.

But umpires will have no red or yellow cards.

Two new signals, which involve a waving arm, have been introduced to indicate to scorers, players and spectators the nature of the penalty.

There are two further changes under the new code.

Batsmen can now be caught, stumped or run out after the ball strikes a helmet being worn by a fielder – in the past, the ball was called dead in such instances.

The second involves fielders leaving the field.

Whereas there used to be a 15-minute grace period, players will not be allowed to bowl for the length of time they have been off.

Now if a bowler leaves between overs, he will be unable to bowl the next.

Other minor changes involve a restriction on the thickness of bats, while substitute fielders will be allowed to keep wicket.

Cricketers wishing to know more about the new code can visit

Clubs seeking advisory sessions can contact Royle on 07850 072262.