A host of changes have been announced by the ICC to the Playing Conditions, which will come into effect on October 1 2022.
The Men’s Cricket Committee led by former India captain Sourav Ganguly recommended changes to the Playing Conditions in MCC’s updated 3rd Edition of the 2017 Code of the Laws of Cricket.
The conclusions were also shared with the Women’s Cricket Committee, who endorsed the recommendations.
The new Playing Conditions will come into effect on October 1, 2022, which means the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia next month will enforce the news rules.
The main changes are as follows:
Batters returning when caught:
When a batter is out Caught, the new batter will come in at the end the striker was, regardless of whether the batters crossed prior to the catch being taken.
Previously, in case the batters crossed before a catch was taken, the non-striker would take strike the next ball while the new batter would be at the non-striker’s end.
Use of saliva to polish the ball:
This prohibition has been in place for over two years in international cricket as a Covid-related temporary measure and it is considered appropriate for the ban to be made permanent.
The outbreak of COVID-19 had enforced the rule to avoid transmission of the virus on the field. The rule came into play when cricket resumed after a break in July 2020 and will now be made permanent. During the saliva ban, the players resorted to the use of sweat to shine the ball, which has proven to be effective.
Incoming batter ready to face the ball:
An incoming batter will now be required to be ready to take strike within two minutes in Tests and ODIs, while the current threshold of 90 seconds in T20Is remains unchanged.
Previously, the incoming batter had three minutes to take strike in ODIs and Tests but it has now been reduced. Failing to do so, the fielding captain can appeal for timed out.
Striker’s right to play the ball:
This is restricted so as to require some part of their bat or person to remain within the pitch. Should they venture beyond that, the umpire will call and signal Dead ball. Any ball which would force the batter to leave the pitch will also be called No ball.
Unfair movement by the fielding side:
Any unfair and deliberate movement while the bowler is running in to bowl could now result in the umpire awarding five penalty runs to the batting side, in addition to a call of Dead ball.
Running out of the non-striker:
The Playing Conditions follow the Laws in moving this method of effecting a Run out from the ‘Unfair Play’ section to the ‘Run out’ section.
Previously looked down as unfair play, running out a non-striker for backing up too much will now be considered as a regular run-out.
Bowler throwing towards striker’s end before delivery:
Previously, a bowler who saw the batter advancing down the wicket before entering their delivery stride, could throw the ball to attempt to Run out the striker. This practice will now be called a Dead ball.
Other major decisions:
The in-match penalty introduced in T20Is in January 2022, (whereby the failure of a fielding team to bowl their overs by the scheduled cessation time leads to an additional fielder having to be brought inside the fielding circle for the remaining overs of the innings), will now also be adopted in ODI matches after the completion of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League in 2023.
The rule has already been implemented and has cost teams games due to them maintaining a slow over rate, one of the examples being the second match of the 2022 Asia Cup between India and Pakistan.
Ganguly praised all the ICC Cricket Committee members for their contributions to the recommendations.
“It was an honour chairing my first meeting of the ICC Cricket Committee,” he said.
“I was pleased with the productive contribution of the Committee members which resulted in key recommendations being made.
“I thank all members for their valuable input and suggestions.”
The ICC Cricket Committee:
Sourav Ganguly (Chair); Ramiz Raja (Observer); Mahela Jayawardena and Roger Harper (Past Players); Daniel Vettori and VVS Laxman (Representatives of Current Players); Gary Stead (Member Team Coach Representative); Jay Shah (Full Members’ Representative); Joel Wilson (Umpires’ Representative); Ranjan Madugalle (ICC Chief Referee); Jamie Cox (MCC Representative); Kyle Coetzer (Associate Representative); Shaun Pollock (Media Representative); Greg Barclay and Geoff Allardice (Ex Officio – ICC Chair and Chief Executive); Clive Hitchcock (Committee Secretary); David Kendix (Statistician).
China censors ‘Tiananmen’ image of Asian Games athletes hugging
A photo of two Chinese female athletes that made an inadvertent reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre has been censored on Chinese social media.
The race numbers for Lin Yuwei and Wu Yanni form ’64’ – a common allusion to the incident which happened on June 4.
Discussions of the incident remain taboo in China, with authorities routinely scrubbing any mention of the topic from the internet.
In 1989, troops shot dead hundreds of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing. It remains unclear how many people actually died that day, but human rights groups’ estimates range from several hundred to several thousand killed.
The athletes had embraced each other after a 100m hurdles race at the Asian Games in which Ms Lin won gold. She was wearing her lane number 6 next to Ms Wu’s lane number 4 in the photo.
Users had posted on Weibo, one of China’s biggest social media platforms, congratulating Ms Lin. However, posts which included the photo were replaced with grey squares. However, the photo does not appear to have been completely scrubbed off the internet, with some Chinese news articles still showing a photo of the two athletes.
China has won nearly 300 medals so far in the Asian Games, which are currently taking place in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. It is due to go on until 8 October.
All-round Afif helps Bangladesh survive Malaysia scare
Afif Hossain put on an all-round show as Bangladesh beat Malaysia by two runs to confirm their semi-final fixture against India at the Asian Games. Malaysia needed five in the last over with Virandeep Singh batting on 52 off 35, but Afif gave away just two runs to keep the upset at bay.
Afif varied the pace in each of the first three balls of the final over to frustrate Virandeep before lobbing one up outside his hitting arc. Virandeep tried to break the shackles but holed out to long-on with Malaysia still needing five. Afif then nailed two yorkers to give away just two runs and end the contest.
Chasing 117, Malaysia were reduced to 18 for 3, with Afif striking twice in the fifth over. Virandeep then stitched two key partnerships, adding 34 for the fifth wicket with Vijay Unni and then 40 for the seventh with wicketkeeper-batter Ainool Hafizs, to take his side close. But Malaysia faltered in the last over.
Earlier in the day, Afif found himself in the middle with Bangladesh three down inside three overs. He struck a 14-ball 23 with two fours and two sixes and added 38 in just four overs with captain Saif Hassan. Hassan struck a steady half-century – 50 off 52 balls – on a surface that slowed down considerably after the earlier game, between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, in the day.
Pravandeep Singh, Virandeep’s elder brother, finished with two wickets for Malaysia but Bangladesh managed to get to 116, which eventually proved to be just enough.
Bangladesh 116 for 5 in 20 overs (Saif Hassan 50*, Afif Hossain 23, Shahadat Hossain 21; Pavandeep Singh 2-12) beat Malaysia 114 for 8 in 20 overs (Virandeep Singh 52, Syed Aziz 20; Afif Hossain 3-11, Ripon Mondol 3-14) by two runs
Naib, Qais knock Sri Lanka out to take Afghanistan into semi-final
Afghanistan knocked an inexperienced Sri Lanka side out of the Asian Games to book a spot in the semi-final in Hangzhou. On a slow-turner, Noor Ali Zadran struck a steady fifty before three-fors from Oais Ahmad and Gulbadin Naib dealt the final blow to Sri Lanka, who had nine debutants.
After opting to field, Sri Lanka struck with the seventh ball of the match when Nuwan Thushara cleaned up Sediqullah Atal. Noor and Mohammad Shahzad then added 54 for the second wicket but both batters struggled against left-arm spinner Nimesh Vimukthi and took their time in the middle.
After Shahzad fell to seamer Lahiru Samarakoon, Shahidullah struck some lusty blows during his 14-ball 23. But then a collapse ensued that saw Afghanistan slide from 92 for 2 to be bowled out for 116. Thushara, with his slingy action and accurate yorkers, finished with 4 for 17.
In reply, Sri Lanka raced off the blocks, with Lasith Croospulle hitting Naib for a four and a six in an 11-run second over. Even though he fell in the next over, Sri Lanka reached 59 for 3 by the end of the ninth over.
That’s when Qais came into the attack and turned the game around with a two-wicket over. Ashen Bandara fell to a googly and played on while attempting a drive. Three balls later, wicketkeeper-batter Lahiru Udara was lured into playing a heave across the line to be bowled.
Captain Sahan Arachchige showed some resistance with his 22 off 29, and later, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth kept the slim hopes alive when 15 were needed from 12 ball and then nine in the final over. But Karim Janat knocked Thushara over with the first ball of the 20th over to kick-start celebrations in the Afghan camp.
Afghanistan 116 in 18.3 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 20, Noor Ali Zadran 51, Shahidullah 23; Nuwan Thushara 4-17, Sahan Arachchige 2-26) beat Sri Lanka 108 in 19.1 overs (Sahan Arachchige 22, Qais Ahmad 3-16, Gulbadin Naib 3-28) by eight runs
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