IN the past if a player arrived 15 minutes or more late he was not allowed to bowl until he had been on the field for the length of time he had been off.

Under the new laws there is no leeway. A bowler arriving five minutes late cannot bowl until he has been on the field for the five minutes.

This applies throughout the game if he has to leave the field for any reason.

Take this scenario: the opening bowler bowls his first over and then decides he wants to change his boots.

The other opening bowler completes his over and his colleague at the end of that over is expecting to bowl over number three.

He is not able to do this as he has to be on the field for the number of minutes he was off.

Something similar happened in my game at the weekend when a bowler had to leave the field and upon return was thrown the ball to bowl straightaway, but had to be told he could not.

There is often a discussion as to when a fielder can return to the field of play.

Does he have to wait until the end of the over or can he return immediately?

He can return immediately with the umpire’s permission.

It’s important the fielding side is back up to 11 players as soon as possible.

If the umpire is not notified of his return and he then fields the ball, it will result in five penalty runs being awarded to the batting side as well as any runs the batsmen scores off that ball.

The problems arise if a fielder just goes off without informing the umpire.

This seems to becoming more prevalent. A player does not have to ask permission to leave the field but has to inform the umpire he is going.

An umpire will then note the time he goes and needs to know the reason he is going.

This weekend was in stark contrast to the Bank holiday weather where plenty of drinks were needed.

An umpire can agree before the start of play to have two sets of drinks during the innings. Batting in heat in helmets can lead to dehydration so an umpire will allow batsmen to take on extra water if he needs it.

However it is expected for them to notify their colleagues in the pavilion that they require a drink and it should be brought on at the end of an over, not during an over unless a wicket falls to save a bit of time.