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    ICC announces rule changes to playing conditions

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    The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced several changes to its Playing Conditions just before the 2022 T20 World Cup to be held in Australia.

    As per the new rule, following a catching dismissal, new batters will be at the striker’s end even if the batters cross while the catch is taken.

    The main changes to the Playing Conditions that come into effect on 1 October 2022 are:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 ninety seconds in T20Is remains unchanged.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.

    Likewise, 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.

    ICC also decided to use hybrid pitches for all Men’s and Women’s ODI and T20I matches, if agreed by both teams. Currently, hybrid pitches* can only be used in Women’s T20I matches.

    *Hybrid pitches are curated with a blend of natural grass with artificial turf

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