Laws of Cricket
The Laws of Cricket is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket worldwide. The earliest known code was drafted in 1744 and, since 1788, it has been owned and maintained by its custodian, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. There are currently 42 Laws (always written with a capital "L") which outline all aspects of how the game is to be played. MCC has re-coded the Laws six times, the seventh and latest code being released in October 2017. The 2nd edition of the 2017 Code came into force on 1 April 2019. The first six codes prior to 2017 were all subject to interim revisions and so exist in more than one version.
MCC is a private club which was formerly cricket's official governing body, a role now fulfilled by the International Cricket Council (ICC). MCC retains copyright in the Laws and only the MCC may change the Laws, although usually this is only done after close consultation with the ICC and other interested parties such as the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers. Cricket is one of the few sports in which the governing principles are referred to as "Laws" rather than as "rules" or "regulations". In certain cases, however, regulations to supplement and/or vary the Laws may be agreed for particular competitions as required. Those applying to international matches (referred to as "playing conditions") can be found on the ICC's website.