The International Cricket Council (ICC) has attempted to address several key issues by bringing in new rule changes that will come into effect from today.

Every series beginning Thursday or later will have these fresh alterations in regulations.

The burgeoning size of bats has been among the major concerns. In a game favouring batsmen, these oversized willows were making the contest even more lop-sided.

ICC confirms regulation on bat sizes among other changes

Now, ICC has adjudged that no bat can be more than 40 mm in thickness at the edges and 67mm at any other point including the sweet spot.

Former India batsman V. B. Chandrasekhar said to Sportstar , “This should have been done long ago. Why did it exceed the limit in the first place?”

Having a different view was former India leg-spinner L. Sivaramakrishnan. “I don’t think this is going to make a big difference since the batsmen are hitting the ball into the stands these days, not merely clearing the ropes. They are into weight training and stuff like that. It is power hitting by them now.”

Another interesting change is the number of unsuccessful reviews reduced to two per innings of a Test; there will be no top-ups after 80 overs. However, the ‘umpire’s call’ will not see a team losing a review.

Chandrasekhar weighed in, “I think two unsuccessful reviews per innings are too little. In fact, I am in favour of two reviews per session considering the number of umpiring mistakes.”

Sivaramakrishnan opined, “With so much money being spent on technology for DRS, the move is certainly not cost effective and will eliminate fewer errors. In an entire Test, you are going to have a maximum of only eight unsuccessful reviews.”

A batsman can now be caught, run-out or stumped if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper. Chandrasekhar had an interesting question. “What will you do if the ball comes off the spider cam?”

Sivaramakrishnan observed, “Being dismissed off the helmet may not morally and ethically be right but I am fine with it. Here, at least, there is some relief to the bowlers.”

As per the new rules, a batsman who had grounded his bat or any part of the body behind the crease, cannot be run-out or stumped even if his willow or frame is off the ground when the bails are subsequently removed. Both, Chandrasekhar and Sivaramakrishnan had no problems with this.

The players can now be sent off for Level IV offenses, that includes physical violence. Chandrasekhar said, “In fact, in cases where the bowler stands in the way and elbows a batsman running between wickets, he should be warned once and then red-carded.”

A bowler sending down a ‘deliberate’ no-ball can be removed from the attack by the umpires. The batsman will not be allowed to take stance in the danger area.

We are in for interesting times.