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ICC gets rid of batting power play, five fielders allowed outside circle in last 10 overs of ODIs

By Agency
28th-Jun-2015       
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) took a major step in trying to restore some balance between bat and ball in One-Day Internationals when, on Friday (June 26), they announced the scrapping of the Batting Power Play and allowing five fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the last ten overs of each innings.
The requirement to have two fielders in catching positions in the first ten overs in ODIs was also done away with, but only two fielders will continue to man the boundaries for the first ten overs, while overs 11 to 40 would have four fielders outside the circle.
It was also decided at the ICC Annual Conference 2015 in Barbados that there would be free hits for all no-balls. The revised playing conditions will come into effect from July 5.
The pros and cons of the Decision Review System (DRS) as well as the possibility of implementing it in all international matches were also discussed, but there was no change in the stance on the part of the ICC: the decision to use or not use DRS in bilateral series would still be up to the host board.
"We have thoroughly reviewed the ODI format after a very successful ICC Cricket World Cup," said Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, at the end of the conference. "There was no need to make any radical changes to what has proved to be a vibrant and popular format but we wanted to take this opportunity to make the format simpler and easier to follow for the public as well as maintaining a balance between bat and ball.
"In making these adjustments, we have tried to ensure that ODI cricket retains the attacking, aggressive and thrilling brand, which has recently become the hallmark of 50-over cricket and sets us on a positive path to the next World Cup in England in 2019."
The ICC Board have chosen to adopt the recommendations of an Integrity Working Party, which had been convened in 2014 to review the risks created by the threat of corruption. The decision would lead to a greater role for the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit and paved the way for greater coordination of preventative and investigative activity around the world in a bid to keep cricket clean.
"This has been an extensive exercise, which clearly reflects our seriousness, endeavour and commitment to addressing and eradicating the menace of corruption from cricket," said N Srinivasan, the ICC chairman.
"The successful implementation of these recommendations will help reduce the threat level but we need to remain vigilant and maintain a zero-tolerance approach."
The board also approved a new strategy built around a vision of cricket becoming the 'world's favourite sport'. "It is an ambitious and long-term vision for the ICC and their members," explained Srinivasan. "We need the game to become more popular and sustainable in more countries. It is important that the ICC events continue to grow and that all international cricket becomes more appealing to the public.
"We also have an important role to play in protecting the integrity of the game and increasing the number of truly competitive teams."
Among other things, the ICC have stuck to their stance of staying away from the Olympic Games.
The ICC Board also confirmed the receipt of a presentation by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on their recent home series against Zimbabwe and noted the seriousness with which PCB had dealt with security challenges.
They also reiterated their earlier position that the appointment of an interim committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) by the government of Sri Lanka was a breach of the ICC's constitution and urged the sports minister of Sri Lanka to hold elections before the next ICC Board meeting in October, adding that the board reserved the right to take action against SLC in the event of further non-compliance.

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