About two weeks ago the committee of the M. C. C. (Marylebone Cricket Club) decided that "after the most careful consideration, they are not at present prepared to suggest any alteration in law xxiv of cricket." That means that for an indefinite time the body that governs the game in England and her colonies will allow the much-abused leg-before-wicket law to remain as it has been.
But within the last ten days, at the meeting held in Philadelphia, the United States Association decided to change the law so that a batsman shall be out if with any part of his person he stop a ball, which, in the opinion of the umpire at the bowler's wicket, shall have been pitched in a straight line from it to the striker's wicket, and would have hit it. The meeting was very fully attended. It is the first time in the history of the association that it has broken the record of conservatism and devotion to English custom. A number of able speeches were made, that of Mr. Newhall being especially convincing, and at times, when he referred to the English authorities, very witty and sarcastic. He referred to the time when rule xxiv was originally adopted, and described the cricket of that day as a game played in silk stockings, without pads, and with nothing but fast bowling; and very justly observed that under such circumstances a very stringent rule preventing a man from stopping a ball with his leg was not necessary. Now, however, he said, you give a man pads that are perfect protection, introduce slow bowling, and yet expect the same old rule to be effective. Finally the vote was taken and every club voted for the change.