In a big move, International Cricket Council (ICC) has made a number of amendments in the existing rules of cricket. The new rules will be effective in all series starting September 28 or later. However, these rules will not be applied in the ongoing India-Australia limited-overs series. One of the biggest of these decisions would be a player being sent off for misconduct – akin to a red card in soccer. Another significant change deals with a restriction on the dimensions of the bat, and changes to the Decision Review System. The new rules will only come into effect from the two upcoming Test series — when South Africa host Bangladesh and Pakistan take on Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates, PTI reports.
The size of the edges of the bats, as well as their thickness, will now be restricted in order to maintain the balance between bat and ball. “The restriction on the length and width of bats remain unchanged but the thickness of the edges can’t be more than 40mm and the overall depth can be 67 mm at the most. Umpires will be issued with a new bat gauge, which they can use to check a bat’s legality,” the ICC stated. The ICC also said that a player can now be sent off the field for the rest of the match for any serious misconduct.
“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,” it said. “..meaning it will apply to Level 4 offences while the Level 1 to 3 offences will continue to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct,” it added. Also, there’s is a change in DRS rules. “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.”
Also, in another major change, a batsman will not be given out if his bat is in the air but crosses the crease, however, he/she must ground his/her bat behind the popping crease. “An important change with respect to runouts is that 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 lost contact with the ground at the time of the wickets being put down, the batsman will not be run out,” it said.
The umpires will have to make same interpretation for a batsman trying to regain his/her ground to avoid being stumped. The report also said that for boundary catches, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from within the boundary. That is, if the catch is taken from inside the boundary even if fielder’s feet are in the, a boundary will be scored. Also, a batsman will be given out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmets worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper.