ICC bid to restore bat-ball balance

The ICC’s cricket committee has recommended removing the batting power-play and allowing five fielders outside the 30-yard circle between the 41st and 50th overs of a one-day international, the world body has announced.

The International Cricket Council said the committee, headed by former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble, recommended the changes to restore the balance between bat and ball since batsmen were seen to be increasingly dominating the game.

The committee has also recommended that the requirement to have two fielders in catching positions in the first 10 overs be removed.

“This means that for the first 10 overs there will be two fielders outside the circle, for the next 30 overs there will be four fielders out and for the last 10 overs there will be five outside the circle,” the ICC said in a statement on Monday.

“The committee was very encouraged by some of the attacking captaincy displayed during the World Cup (this year in Australia and New Zealand) and believes these changes will allow fielding captains greater freedom to both attack and defend when required.”

The committee, which met in Mumbai on Friday and Saturday, also suggested free-hits for all no balls in ODIs and Twenty20 games instead of only for front-foot calls as per present rules.

The recommendations need to be ratified by the chief executives’ committee (CEC) that will meet in Barbados during ICC’s annual conference from June 22-26.

On player behaviour, the committee felt that match referees should apply suspensions rather than fines for repeat offenders and for serious offences like physical contact.

The committee was satisfied at member countries dealing with “suspect actions,” ensuring they are dealt with effectively before reaching the international level.

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