In a move which will gladden the hearts of South Africa’s bowling attack, the ICC has decided to get rid of the batting powerplay in ODI cricket
But in return, they will want more discipline: they have decided to award a free hit for all no-balls, not just for those arising from overstepping.
From July 5, five fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle between the 41st and 50th overs, rather than the current four.
Meanwhile there will be no compulsory catchers from the first to the 10th over and no batting powerplays will be allowed between the 15th and 40th overs.
David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, said the modifications were made to make the “game simpler” for the fan and were approved by the ICC’s chief executive committee and further ratified by the ICC Board at the annual conference in Barbados.
“What we tried to do is make the game simpler for the fan and at the same time try and at least claw back a little bit of balance in favour of the bowlers especially in the last 10 overs of the innings,” Richardson said in a media conference. “So to that end we have got rid of the requirement to have compulsory close catchers in the first 10 overs.”
Explaining the move to remove the batting powerplay, Richardson said bowlers were getting a hiding to nothing with batting teams going on a rampage during the last 15 overs, taking advantage of the expansive gaps in the outfield, where only three fielders were allowed outside the circle.
From October 2012 the ICC altered the fielding restrictions to ensure that no more than four fielders could be outside the circle at any stage of an ODI; previously five was the maximum.