ICC drops batting Powerplay, makes cricket bowler-friendly

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Bridgetown (Barbados), June 27 (IANS) In a bid to make the sport more balanced between bat and ball, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced several changes which will make the game a little more bowler-friendly when the rules come in to effect from July 5.

The biggest change that will come about is that the sport’s governing body has decided to drop the batting Powerplay which is held between overs 15-40. The ICC also decided to do away with the compulsory catches rule in the 10 overs.

Another major change that will help the bowlers in the death overs is that from July 5 onwards five fielders, and not four, will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle in the last 10 overs. These rules are applicable in One-Day International (ODI) cricket.

Another change that will be applicable in both ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals is that all no balls, and not just foot faults, will result in free hits.

“We have thoroughly reviewed the ODI format after a very successful World Cup. There was no need to make any radical changes to what has proved to be a vibrant and popular format but we wanted to take this opportunity to make the format simpler and easier to follow for the public as well as maintaining a balance between bat and ball,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said in a statement on Saturday.

“In making these adjustments, we have tried to ensure that ODI cricket retains the attacking, aggressive and thrilling brand, which has recently become the hallmark of 50-over cricket and sets us on a positive path to the next World Cup in England in 2019.”

All the decisions were taken during the ICC Annual Conference which concluded here on Friday under the chairmanship of Narayanaswami Srinivasan, who is a former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president.

The changes to the playing conditions were approved by the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee, which is chaired by Richardson, on Monday and Tuesday. The recommendations were made by the ICC Cricket Committee.

The key changes:

– No compulsory catchers in overs 1-10 (ODIs)
– No batting Powerplay between overs 15-40 (ODIs)
– Five fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle in overs 41-50 (ODIs)
– All ‘no balls’, not just ‘foot faults’, to result in a free hit (ODIs & T20Is)

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