A year after it made sweeping changes to One-day International cricket, an ICC panel has recommended further changes to spice up ODIs, giving bowlers some leeway by allowing two bouncers an over instead of one and doing away with the bowling Powerplay rule but restoring the balance by allowing only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the non-Powerplay period.
The ICC said on Friday the changes were intended to make the middle overs “more attacking” and perhaps give the pace bowlers a bit more play.
Also scrapped was last year’s ruling on taking the batting and bowling Powerplays between the 16th and 40th overs. The committee concluded that the move had had “little impact” in spicing up ODIs. The decision to use two new balls from each end, however, will be continued.
However, day-night Test matches, an area of evolving interest, have been left to the discretion of participation nations to “trial” should they chose to do so in bilateral series.
In ODIs, Powerplays are now to be restricted to the first 10 overs, apart from another five-over batting Powerplay to be completed by 40th over. Only four fielders, instead of five, will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle in non-Powerplay overs.
The recommendations headline a series of decisions taken at ICC’s Cricket Committee’s meeting at Lord’s over Thursday and Friday. The changes (will) “improve the balance between bat and ball and to create an identity for ODIs distinct from the Test and Twenty20 formats,” the ICC said.
“The changes will help enhance what is still an exceptionally popular form of the game. There is, though, a need to develop a strong identity for the 50-over game,” ICC’s general manager Dave Richardson said.
The committee’s decisions will be ratified by the ICC board in Kuala Lumpur later this month.
Apart from the rule changes to the One-day game, the committee also decided that the contentious Decision Review System (DRS) would be persisted with along with the Duckworth-Lewis rain-rule system.
The committee maintained there was significant improvement in decision-making in matches involving DRS, with a 4.27% increase in correct decisions. The committee said it “considered” Indian mathematician V Jayadevan’s VJD Method for calculating revised targets of rain-affected matches but concluded it wasn’t significantly different from the D/L method in use.
The switch-hit too will continue to be a legal stroke in cricket’s lawbooks.
The committee, chaired by former West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd, also recommended a stricter enforcement of regulations covering substitute fielders. It also said suspended players should not be allowed on to the field of play once a game has started. TNN