Explained | When are the new ICC rules coming into play?

Will ‘mankading’ no longer be considered unfair? What about the use of saliva to polish a ball? What are some other key changes? Can hybrid pitches be used for all matches now?

Will ‘mankading’ no longer be considered unfair? What about the use of saliva to polish a ball? What are some other key changes? Can hybrid pitches be used for all matches now?

The story so far: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has come up with a host of changes in the rules on playing conditions of cricket. The changes will come into effect on October 1. The men’s T20 World Cup, to be held in Australia from October 16 to November 13, will be played in accordance with the new rules. The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee has ratified the recommendations from the Men’s Cricket Committee, led by former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. The changes were approved by the Women’s Cricket Committee too.

Watch | What are the new international cricket rules from October?

What are the significant changes?

The practice known as ‘mankading’— a batter being run out by the bowler while backing up too far from the non-striking end — has been destigmatised. It has been moved from the section on Unfair Play to the one on Run Out. ‘Mankading’ became a topic of discussion after R. Ashwin ran Jos Buttler out in such a manner during an IPL match at Jaipur three years ago. It has been considered against the spirit of cricket, a game which has traditionally valued ethics highly, sometimes at the cost of losing a considerable advantage or even a match. West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh had famously refused to run Pakistan’s Saleem Jaffar out by ‘mankading’ in a match at the 1987 World Cup in Lahore. The host had needed two off the last ball when Walsh stopped and warned Jaffar. ‘Mankading’ is once again dividing opinions after India’s Deepti Sharma ran England’s Charlie Dean out in the third Womens One Day Internationals (ODI) at Lord’s on Saturday.

Other changes include the banning of the use of saliva to polish the ball. The ban had already been in place, as a temporary measure, following the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, some part of the batter or the bat has to remain within pitch. If the batter goes beyond the pitch, the umpire could call it a dead ball. Conversely, if a ball forces the batter to leave the pitch, it will be a no-ball.

Also from now on the new batter, coming in at the fall of a wicket, should be ready to face the music from ball one: it doesn’t matter if the batters have swapped ends before the catch is taken. Earlier, if the batters had crossed, the new batter would have walked up to the non-striking end. In precarious situations, the previous rule would have made life a little easier, especially for a tail-end batter. The new batter will also have a little less time to reach the middle. The time to take strike has been reduced, for Tests and ODIs, to two minutes, from three. The 90-second deadline stands for T20 Internationals, though. A penalty of five runs will be awarded to the batting side for an unfair and deliberate movement while the bowler is running in to bowl. Besides, that ball will be called a ‘dead ball’. The ball can now also be deemed dead when a bowler attempts to run down the striking batter who comes down the wicket before the former enters the delivery stride.

What about the use of hybrid pitches?

The hybrid pitches could now be used for ODIs and T20Is, for men and women if both the rival teams agree. At present it is used only in women’s matches. The hybrid pitches are made of natural grass (predominantly) and artificial fibre.

What about penalising a team for poor over-rate?

The penalty already in force in T20Is since January this year will be adopted in the ODIs as well, but only after the completion of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League (2020-2023), which is part of the qualification process of the 2023 World Cup (ODI). If a team fails to bowl its overs in the given time, an additional fielder will have to be placed inside the 30-yard circle, for the remaining overs. That could make saving runs tougher for the fielding side.

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