The slow overrate penalty has become a major talking point in the cricketing world. Various teams have lost a few points in the World Test Championship (WTC) after failing to maintain the over rate procedure in the longest format.
Now, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken one step further and introduced an in-game penalty for slow overrates in both men’s and women’s T20I, which will come into effect this month. According to the new playing conditions, a fielding side will require to be in a position to start the final over of the innings by the scheduled time.
On failing to fulfil the requirement, the penalty procedure will jump in, and the fielding team will only be allowed four fielders instead of five outside the 30-yard circle for the remainder of the innings.
Notably, the regulation regarding forcing the extra fielder into the ring as a penalty for slow over rates was first introduced in the T20 Blast 2020 organised by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and then expanded to all domestic white-ball competitions in England in 2021.
Prior to the latest playing conditions, with respect to the fielding restrictions in T20Is, a fielding team was allowed to place only two fielders outside the 30-yard circle during the powerplay overs in a complete innings of 20 overs and five fielders in non-powerplay overs.
“The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, which regularly discusses ways to improve the pace of play in all formats, after considering reports on the effectiveness of a similar regulation that was included in the playing conditions for the Hundred competition conducted by the ECB,” the ICC said in a statement.
Further, as per the new playing conditions, optional drinks break midway through each innings in the bilateral T20I series will be allowed, provided both the participating teams must have decided this before the start of each series.