Dubai: In a move to improve the pace of play and maintain the quality of pitches in international cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a series of changes to its Playing Conditions. These changes, which will be implemented on a trial basis from December 2023 to April 2024, include the introduction of a five-run penalty for slow over rates and a simplification of the pitch assessment criteria.
Five-Run Penalty for Slow Over Rates
A stopwatch system will be used to monitor the time taken between overs, and if a bowling team fails to initiate the next over within 60 seconds of the previous one being completed, a five-run penalty will be applied. This penalty will be applied for the third occurrence in an inning, with the first and second occurrences resulting in a warning and a fine, respectively.
Simplified Pitch Assessment Criteria
The ICC has also approved changes to the pitch and outfield monitoring regulations. The criteria for assessing a pitch will be simplified, with a focus on whether the pitch provides a fair contest between bat and ball. The threshold for a venue losing its international status will also be increased from five demerit points to six demerit points over a five-year period.
Trial Period to Evaluate Impact
These changes are designed to enhance the efficiency of the game and maintain the quality of pitches in international cricket. The stopwatch system for over-rate monitoring will undergo a trial period to evaluate its impact on the flow of the game and adherence to over completion timelines. The simplified pitch assessment criteria are intended to provide a clearer and more consistent approach to pitch assessment.