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ICC impose in-game penalty for the Slow Over Rates in the T20Is: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday revealed its fresh attempt to tackle the ever ranging issue of the slow over rates in the game of cricket. The fielding sides sometimes takes extra minutes to finish their quota of overs in an innings which has been a long-standing issue for the governing body of cricket.

In the recent amendments, the ICC has decided to penalise the fielding team, in the T20I fixture, if it falls short to complete its quota of 20 overs in the specified time. As per the new rule put in place by the ICC, the fielding team will end up with one fielder short, outside the 30-yard circle in the T20Is if it fails to start the 20th over in the time mentioned by the match officials.

What does this rule mean?

In T20I cricket, each team is allowed to bowl 20 overs each in a match. Each innings last 85 minutes, as per the rule specified in the ICC. The fielding team must ensure that the 20th over of the innings must begin by the 85th minute. If the team successfully manages to complete this task, they will go with the usual field of a maximum of five fielders outside the 30-yard circle, otherwise, the match officials will penalise the fielding team to put one fielder short in the outer circle, which means that the fielding team, in a case of a slow over-rate, will only be allowed to place a maximum of four fielders outside the 30-yard circle.

“The over rate regulations are captured in clause 13.8 of the playing conditions, which stipulate that a fielding side must be in position to bowl the first ball of the final over of the innings by the scheduled or rescheduled time for the end of the innings,” the ICC stated.

“If they are not in such a position, one fewer fielder will be permitted outside of the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs of the innings.”

The on-field umpires will inform the fielding team and the batters about the time constraints and the scheduled time to begin the final over of the innings. Any time lost due to the DRS, injuries or ball being lost will be taken into account and accordingly, the umpires will rework the timers for each innings.

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It must be noted that under usual circumstances in T20I cricket, a maximum of five players are allowed outside the 30-yard circle during 16-20 overs. However, as per the new rule of the ICC, the fielding team will be penalised with one fielder if it goes past the scheduled time.

“Under normal regulations, five fielders are allowed outside the 30 yard circle after the first six overs.

However, in case of the schedule not being kept up by the bowling side, “no more than four fielders shall be permitted outside the fielding restriction area…”

The bowler’s end umpire will inform the captain of the fielding side, the batter and the other umpire of the “scheduled cessation time for the innings prior to the start of the innings, and of any rescheduled cessation time following any subsequent interruption to play.”

It is noteworthy that this specific rule has been picked from the inaugural season of England’s new T20I tournament ‘The Hundred’, which introduced the in-game penalty system for the slow over rates.

Optional Drinks Break:

Besides this, the ICC has also introduced the optional two and half minutes drinks break midway through the T20I innings. The break will be subject to the agreement between the two teams at the start of any T20I series.

The rules will be in action from the upcoming one-off T20I match between West Indies and Ireland at the Sabina Park in Jamaica. The fixture is scheduled to be held on January 16th.

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