The International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced a number of changes to its playing conditions which will go into effect starting September 28.
The significant changes include a restriction on the dimensions of the bat, the introduction of player send-offs for misconduct and changes to the Decision Review System, all of which will commence from the upcoming Test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and between South Africa and Bangladesh.
“Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the Laws of Cricket that have been announced by the MCC. We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes and we are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches,” said ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, in a press release.
The restriction on the length and width of bats remains unchanged, but the thickness of the edges cannot be more than 40mm and the overall depth can be at most 67mm. Umpires will be able to use a new bat gauge to check a bat’s legality.
A player can now be sent off the field for the rest of the match for any serious misconduct falling under Level 4 offences. Threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, physically assaulting a player or any other person and committing any other act of violence all constitute Level 4 offences.
A DRS review will now not be lost in case of a decision that remains unchanged, solely as the result of an ‘umpire’s call’.
As for DRS in Test matches, there will be no more top-up reviews after 80 overs of an innings, meaning that there can only be two unsuccessful reviews in each innings, while the DRS will now also be allowed to be used in T20Is.
Regarding run outs, if a batsman is running or diving towards the crease with forward momentum, and has grounded his/her bat behind the popping crease but subsequently has lost contact with the ground at the time of the wickets being put down, the batsman will not be run out. The same interpretation will also apply for a batsman trying to regain his/her ground to avoid being stumped, the ICC release stated.
For boundary catches, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from within the boundary; otherwise a boundary will be scored.
A batsman can now be out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper, the release further stated.