West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13 November 28, 2012

New fielding rules hard on spinners, captains


Kieron Pollard, the West Indians' stand-in captain for the warm-up game against BCB XI in Khulna, has said the new playing conditions for fielding restrictions in ODIs were challenging for bowlers and captains. West Indies and Bangladesh will be the third and fourth teams to experience the amended playing conditions when they begin the five-ODI series on November 30.

"It was very challenging," Pollard said, after winning the warm-up match with the new playing conditions. "The bowlers have to mind their Ps and Qs. They can't let it stray because there are not many guys outside [the circle].

"Having said that, the rules have been set and players have to just follow, so I think it is something that we have to get used to. I hope we can get the right combination and have the right tactics to counter the restrictions."

Under the new conditions, only two fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle in the first ten overs, and three during the Powerplay. At other times, a maximum of four fielders can be placed outside the circle, a reduction from the earlier five.

The one-day series between Sri Lanka and New Zealand earlier this month was the first with the new restrictions and Mahela Jayawardene said they were harsh on the spinners. That sentiment was shared by left-arm spinner Enamul Haque jnr, who played for BCB XI against West Indians and Bangladesh, and had to bowl without that extra fielder outside the circle for the first time in his career. Enamul took 3 for 31 and 0 for 58 in those games.

"I think it is going to have a negative impact on Bangladesh's cricket on the international stage," Enamul told ESPNcricinfo. "We depend mainly on spinners but with this new rule it will become very difficult to cut out the runs. Today we conceded 12 boundaries from the one gap that couldn't be filled during those non-Powerplay overs. I think these extra runs will hurt the chances of Bangladesh because of the higher number of spinners we usually pick in limited-overs cricket."

The introduction of two new balls in one-day internationals was supposed to be a disadvantage for bowling attacks like that of Bangladesh, which depend heavily on spin, but Enamul said it wasn't as damaging as the new fielding restrictions.

"Spinners have been more adaptable to the new balls than the fielding restrictions. What this new rule does is it takes out the security of an extra man in the deep," he said. "The only thing to do is bowl as straight as possible and to think about using variations with a lot of accuracy. Otherwise runs will be leaked."

Pollard said the powerful batsmen in the West Indies line-up will enjoy the larger gaps in the outfield, but cautioned against playing over-ambitious shots. "It can be good and bad," he said. "If you want to hit the ball outside, being too eager because of the four fielders, you can still find one of them. We have a lot of power-hitters so clearing the boundary and the ball falling in gaps is important for us. Hopefully we can capitalise on it until there's any further changes.

"I think captains will have a hard job in setting the fields and bowlers will have an even tougher job trying to restrict the batsmen. You'll see a lot more 300-run games in place of the 270-280 games because of that extra guy inside."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Spectators go to a cricket match mainly to see runs scored - the more, the merrier. we don't go to a match to see a bowler take 7 or 8 wickets for 15 or 20 runs. I would like to see even further restrictions in all forms of the game. In the ODI format, I would add 6 more overs (56) maximum of 8 per bowler; employ one power play - the first 20 overs, 3 fielders outside the circle, but none behind point or square leg. Keep the wide for any delivery passing outside leg-stump, and a foot outside off-stump. This would force bowlers to attack the stumps and not bowl 4 or 5 deliveries wide of off-stump. If a bowler takes 8 for 50, but the team scores 400 runs in an ODI, spectators would be happy. I know I would be! 20/20 format; a larger circle, (45 yds) no fielder outside the circle, 2 overs maximum per bowler, no-ball for balls shoulder high. Test: 5 fielders maximum, on either side of the field. New ball at 60 overs. Wides for balls passing over 2 feet outside off stump.

  • Underground on November 30, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    Reduction of a powerplay block more than compensates for the extra fielder. Remember that 400+ scores started appearing after the powerplay overs were increased from 15 to 20. Now we are back to 15 overs total of powerplay with two new balls. Note that ODI scores have dropped recently, producing low-scoring thrillers (e.g. Eng-Pak, Eng-SA, Asia Cup).

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    Fair is fair. With the introduction of the new fielding restrictions, which obviously benefits the batting side, the bowlers should be given some incentive. I suggest the re-introduction of the two bouncers per over & the spinners allowed to push it down the leg once it not too wide,ie the batter can play it.

  • Chatty on November 29, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Amazing that the BCCI agreed to this, given the spin focus in India. Can't think that a one sided rule like this would last long. Spinners are crucial for the game and it is a shame to disadvantage them like this.

  • Vivek on November 29, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Dear ICC, If you want to change anything, change the duckworth lewis method. everything else is fine so far.

  • Sammy on November 29, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    ODI cricket has become a comedy.All these rules are always made against the bowlers.ICC we want to see ODI cricket,not another T20 cricket .With such rules ODI crickets end is near.

  • Siva on November 29, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    @Andross, can't agree more. Atrocious ways to make the game more interesting is clearly waiving off the game lovers by bunches. Roll back the format and stop paying these useless fellas. I am equally suriprised that these changes are not drawing any opinions from the cricket experts, veterans !!

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    I totally agree! we need to have 5 fielders outside the circle otherwise the game will be favoured towards batsman.

  • Manish on November 29, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Please ICC panel try to understand ODI's are past now .... Don't ammend further... Try to add some realistic chqnge in Test's .... And if U R desperate then please fix POWER PLAY OVERS IN ODI's like 0-15 and then mandatory power play from 30 - 35 when it really gets boring. Or make it 2 innings of 30 and 20 overs each so arleast there is some fun class both simultaneously visible.

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    What? u can no longer pack the offside and bowl wide of off stump like sammy?

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