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Changes made in limited overs format with immediate effect
2008-09-30 11:31:01

By S.R. Pathiravithana
In a very positive addition to a better flow of the Limited Overs (50 overs-a-side) cricket, the ICC has decided to hand over one of the calls of the mandatory five overs of power play to the batting side.

For the past few seasons the ICC adopted a system of three ‘power plays’ with the first ten overs starting of automatically while two other ‘five’ over slots to be called by the bowling side during the next forty overs of play.

However, in future in limited overs cricket the batting side will be called upon to take the opportunity of calling one of the power plays. The power players are called up to give the batting side an opportunity of stepping up their run rate as there are fielding restrictions during these slot overs.

A three-day seminar was conduced in Dubai for the ICC's elite panel of umpires and match referees, intended to improve teamwork and performance levels. The meeting was also attended by the ICC's Associate and Affiliate international umpires' panel and the five recently-appointed regional umpire performance managers and umpire managers from the ten Full Members.

Besides the change in the calls for power plays, a change in the field restrictions also have been agreed upon. So far there were two fielders outside the thirty metre circle during the first power play and a three fielder restriction during the second power play. Now this also has been changed to three players on either call – batting or bowling. However the two fielder restriction with two in catching positions during the first ten overs will remain the same. These changes comes into effect from 1st October 2008.

Meanwhile the umpire decision review system will also be continued for the time being – for another four series which are to be named by the ICC. The ICC will trial the system to review umpire decisions in four more series before presenting a report to the cricket committee in May 2009. The system had been trialled during the three-Test series between Sri Lanka and India, and received mixed reactions. The ICC has not decided on the four series where the system will be tested.
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