New ODI rules to benefit bowlers
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
The International Cricket Council (ICC) says it has introduced a number of changes to give bowlers more breathing room in the one-day international (ODI) format.
The new rules include getting rid of catching fielders in the first 10 overs, removing the batting power play and allowing five fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the last 10 overs of an ODI innings.
The ICC says the other significant change is that free hits will be awarded for all no balls in ODI and T20 internationals, not just when bowlers overstep.
"What we tried to do is make the game simpler for the fan and at the same time try and at least claw back a little bit of balance in favour of the bowlers, especially in the last 10 overs of the innings," said ICC chief executive, David Richardson, during a media conference here on Friday.
"So, to that end, we have got rid of the requirement to have compulsory close catchers in the first 10 overs."
changes to playing conditions
The changes to the playing conditions were part of the recommendations made last month by the ICC's cricket committee headed by the former India captain, Anil Kumble.
The modifications were approved by the ICC's chief executive committee and further ratified by the ICC Board at the annual conference in Barbados, which ended Friday.
"There is a great appreciation for the attacking nature of the play. The level of skills that batsmen have developed over the years are largely due to T20 cricket and just an overall attacking approach to the ODI game is actually welcome," Richardson explained.
"The indirect impact of that is the only way the fielding team can survive is (by being) more attacking themselves. So you see an effort to get wickets especially early on in the innings. So the overall attacking approach is certainly not something we want to get rid of."
Richardson defended the decision to remove the batting power play, saying bowlers were getting a "hiding to nothing" with batting teams going on a rampage during the last 15 overs.
"We have got rid of the batting power play where you were only allowed three fielders outside the circle. It was normally taken between the 36th and 40th overs," he said.
"So you had those 15 overs where all hell broke loose and especially if a batsman was set on a good batting wicket we were on a hiding to nothing."
The new ICC playing conditions are due to come into effect from the 5th of July.