DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, CMC-IANS – International matches are set to witness a slew of changes in all three formats with amendments to rules coming into effect from tomorrow.
One of those changes – the fielding side using two new balls an innings in One-day Internationals – will be seen in the five-match series between India and England, beginning October 14.
The amendments have been approved by the International Cricket Council’s Executive Board following proposals made by the ICC Cricket Committee at its meeting in London last May.
Several other amendments have been made in the 50 overs-a-side format.
While the total number of Power Play overs remains at 20 an innings with the first block of 10 being at the commencement of the innings (for an uninterrupted match), the remaining second and third blocks of Power Play overs may not be taken earlier than the 16th over nor later than the 40th over.
This restriction will not apply for matches when the overs have been reduced to less than 40 overs.
The minimum interval for an uninterrupted ODI match has been increased from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
With the latest changes by the ICC, a batsman can now be adjudged out for obstructing the field (all three formats).
An ICC media release said: “A new playing condition has been introduced, clarifying that on appeal from the fielding team, if the umpire feels that a batsman, whilst running between the wickets, has significantly changed his direction without probable cause thereby obstructing a fielder’s attempt to run him out, the batsman should be given out obstructing the field. It shall not be relevant whether a run out would have been affected or not.”
The circumstances described in the new playing condition (i.e. a batsman significantly changing his direction of running without probable cause) is only one example of an action which will qualify as wilfully obstructing the field.
Accordingly, it is still possible for a batsman to be given out obstructing the field in circumstances where he has not significantly changed his direction of running provided that the umpire feels that by some other actions it is clear that the batsman had intended to obstruct the field. This will depend on the circumstances of each case.
The rule changes also see a runner not being allowed any more across the three formats of the game.
Also, bowlers will now be able to attempt to run out a non-striker before delivery. Previously, the bowler could only run out a non-striker backing up if he did so before he had entered his delivery stride.
This meant that as the bowler’s back foot landed, the non-striker could move down the pitch before the bowler actually delivered the ball, gaining an unfair advantage.