ICC has also instructed international playing grounds to ensure that the maximum possible boundary dimensions are maintained at every international venue © Getty Images
The ICC, following their meeting on June 27 and 28 at Melbourne (which, incidentally, has been the first since the appointment of N Srinivasan as Chairman), has come out with a new set of changes in rules in the sport. Below is a list of answers to the possible questions regarding this matter.
Q: Hey, I’ve heard that the ICC is revamping some rules. Is that right?
A: Yup. That is correct.
Q: Can you spell them out for me? I’m not good at deciphering laws.
A: Sure. To begin with, they have asked the umpires and match referees to be more proactive regarding suspect actions of bowlers.
Q: Were they not doing that already? Darrell Hair…
A: True. But now they will put a keener eye on the bowlers.
Q: How will one get to know whether they are putting a keener eye?
A: Next question, please.
Q: Fine. What’s next?
A: To quote the new law: “A bowler who has spent time off the field in a Test will be allowed to resume bowling after he has either spent the same period of time on the field as he spent off the field, or he has been back on the field for 30 overs, whichever occurs first.”
Q: What is new in this?
A: The 30-overs bit.
Q: I get it. What else?
A: The spans of T20I innings has been extended to 85 minutes from 80.
Q: I’m sure that will change a lot of lives. Is there anything else?
A: There will be a trial run of the third one: the number of unsuccessful DRS reviews allowed to a team will be renewed after 80 overs.
Q: So, if a side has run out of reviews, he will get two reviews after 80 overs?
A: That is correct.
Q: What if a side has one or two reviews left? Will the number of reviews be increased to three or four in these cases?
A: No. The number of reviews will be converted to two irrespective of the number of reviews left.
Q: Hang on — wasn’t Srinivasan the president of the BCCI, who have opposed the Decision Review System (DRS)?
A: What is your next question?
Q: ICC has also instructed international playing grounds to ensure that the maximum possible boundary dimensions are maintained at every international venue.
A: Goody, goody! Does this mean that we get to see the ropes removed, the way it used to be in Australian grounds even till the 1990s, where you had to clear the fence to get a six and the sightscreen was often inside the ground?
Q: No. The ropes stay. I think they will do something about the maximum distance between the fence and the ground. That will ensure fewer boundaries.
A: So less Yes Bank Maximums sixes? That will reduce popularity!
Q: That may be true, but we guess that it will improve the balance between bat and ball.
A: That is something I will have to agree to. Finallycricket will become more competitive.
Q: Also, both Netherlands and Nepal have been granted T20I status.
A: Hang on! Does Netherlands not have ODI status already?
Q: They do, but that does not necessarily imply T20I status. Of course, they have that now — probably as a result of their super-chase against Ireland in the ICC World T20.
A: It is good for Nepal too. They are the sixth team from the subcontinent to get international status. Hey…
Q: It is because they have performed well, that is it. Did they not beat Hong Kong?
Q: All in all, a good meeting.
A: Indeed. Anything else?
Q: No, that is all as of now, though they have mentioned that there will be a bigger release.
A: Thank you. I may bother you again once that happens.
(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)