The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to permanently ban the use of saliva to polish the ball. The prohibition has been in place in international cricket for over two years as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19. While announcing several changes to its Playing Conditions, the ICC considered it "appropriate for the ban to be made permanent" from October 1.
The Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) ratified recommendations from the Sourav Ganguly-led men’s cricket committee, and it has been decided that when a batter is out caught, the new batter will come in at the end the striker was, regardless of whether the batters crossed before the catch being taken.
The other major decision is that 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.
Among the other changes, the striker's right to play the ball has also been introduced. “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,” the ICC said in a statement.
Any unfair and deliberate movement while the bowler is running into bowl could now result in the umpire awarding five penalty runs to the batting side, in addition to a call of the dead ball.
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. 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.
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.
It was also decided that the Playing Conditions for all men’s and women’s ODI and T20I matches will be amended to allow hybrid pitches to be used if agreed by both teams. Currently, hybrid pitches can only be used in Women’s T20I matches.
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