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Amendments To Playing Conditions Take Effect From 1 October

Sept. 30th, 2008
Batting side to nominate one PowerPlay; no comfort breaks permitted; on-field officials free to consult third umpire if unsure of clean catch; regulations regarding ball change and free hits retained

In line with a decision made earlier this year by the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC), a range of new playing conditions for cricket come into effect from (1 October).

These amendments, which were unanimously approved by all 10 Full Members and the three Associate Member representatives on the CEC at its meeting at the end of June, are designed to improve the game for players, umpires and spectators. The decision was announced by the ICC at the time.

One amendment, which is to do with the interval between innings during One-Day International matches, was implemented immediately at the time of the CEC meeting at the end of June. All others come into effect on 1 October.

The amendments are:
Comfort breaks
Clause 2 of the playing conditions will be amended to provide for the following:

“Substitute fielders shall only be permitted in cases of injury, illness or other wholly acceptable reasons. “Wholly acceptable reasons” should be limited to extreme circumstances and should not include what is commonly referred to as a ‘comfort break’.”

Clean catches
Clause (b) of the playing conditions will be amended to provide for the following:
Should both umpires be unable to make a decision, they may consult by two-way radio with the third umpire as to whether there is any definitive evidence as to whether the catch was taken cleanly or not. Following such consultation, the final decision will be made and given by the bowler’s-end umpire. Should the bowler’s-end umpire still not be able to decide, a not-out decision shall be given.

Changing of the ball (ODIs)
It was agreed to continue with the playing condition that requires a mandatory change of ball at the commencement of the 35th over in ODIs.

Intervals (ODIs)
The following amendment was agreed:
“Where the innings of the side batting first is delayed or interrupted, the umpires will reduce the length of the interval.

“In the event of time being lost (playing time lost less any extra time provided) up to and including 60 minutes in aggregate, the length of the interval shall be reduced from 45 to 30 minutes. In the event of more than 60 minutes being lost in aggregate, the duration of the interval shall be agreed mutually by the umpires and both captains subject to no interval being of more than 30 minutes’ duration or less than 10 minutes’ duration. In the event of disagreement, the length of the interval shall be determined by the match referee.”

Free hits (ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals)
The current playing condition relating to free hits following a foot fault no-ball in ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals is retained.

PowerPlay overs (ODIs)
The batting team will be permitted to choose when one of either the second or third PowerPlays takes place.

It was also agreed that three fielders be permitted outside the field restriction areas during both the second and third PowerPlays. Previously, the third fielder was allowed outside the circle during either the second or third PowerPlay. (The idea behind the amendment is to offer greater opportunity for spinners to bowl with the safety net of more protection).

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