New ODI rules to benefit bowlers

Richardson believes that the new rules will help create a more even contest between bat and ball

Richardson believes that the new ODI rules will help create a more even contest between bat and ball

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The International Cricket Council (ICC) have implemented a number of new ODI rules that will ensure the format isn’t so batsman-friendly any more.

The new rules, which will come into effect on July 5, will see the removal of catching fielders in the first ten overs, the end of the batting Powerplay and five fielders being allowed outside the 30-yard circle in the last ten overs of an innings. In addition to this, free hits will be signalled in ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals for all types of no-balls.

These changes were recommended in May by the ICC’s cricket committee, which is headed by former India spinner Anil Kumble.

“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 ten overs of the innings,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said on Friday. “So to that end we have got rid of the requirement to have compulsory close catchers in the first ten overs.

“We have got rid of the batting Powerplay where you were only allowed three fielders outside the circle. It was normally taken between the 36th and 40th overs. So you had those 15 overs where it was all hell broke loose and especially if a batsman was set on a good batting wicket we were on a hiding to nothing.”

Richardson added that the ICC will work together with the MCC and consider changing the seam of the cricket ball.

“With MCC we will be looking at not only bats, but also the cricket ball,” he said. “There is a view if we sanction or look at some change to the thickness or the depth of seam it might actually be what we are looking forward to give the seam bowlers a little bit more help, also aid swing and to enable the spinners to get more grip and to spin the ball more if we tamper with the seam.

In February, Richardson admitted that batsmen had a huge advantage over bowlers due to their thicker and bigger bats. As a result, the ICC and MCC will also be deciding whether to implement certain restrictions on the bats used by batsmen.

“The bats are so good these days that the sweet spot is much larger than it would have been 10-15 years ago,” he had said in February. “The MCC, as law makers, and the ICC will be looking at giving perhaps some consideration to placing limitations on the depth of a bat in particular.”

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