ICC cricket committee's recommendations

ICC's mixed bag for bowlers

Two bouncers an over is good news for fast bowlers but taking away an outfielder is bad news for spinners

Aakash Chopra

June 4, 2012

Comments: 76 | Text size: A | A

Sunil Narine celebrates David Warner's dismissal, West Indies v Australia, 5th ODI, Gros Islet, March 25, 2012
First two new balls, and now one less outfielder? ICC's making it hard for the spinners © Associated Press
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With the 50-over format going through so many changes, it's fair to assume it had holes that needed to be plugged. The biggest of those is the disparity between bat and ball. Matches in which 300-plus totals are scored and chased successfully can work only as an aberration and not as a norm. The moment one-day cricket becomes a competition between the batsmen of two sides, it isn't any different from an extended Twenty20 game.

In order to correct this imbalance, the ICC cricket committee recommended several changes. The ICC's general manager Dave Richardson feels they will "help enhance what is still an exceptionally popular form of the game," but a closer look at the changes makes his statement sound hollow.

The decision to allow two bouncers in an over instead of one empowers the fast bowlers. In the current scenario, once the bouncer is out of the way, the batsman is likely to come down the track or line up for a reverse-sweep for the remainder of the over. So thumbs up to the fast bowlers. But this arrangement comes with a rider: There can be only four fielders, as opposed to five, outside the 30-yard circle for the non-Powerplay overs, which means there can't be more than four fielders outside the inner ring throughout the match.

I wonder how Ravi Shastri, a former spinner and member of the committee, agreed to recommend such a move? While the ICC has addressed fast bowlers' woes, spinners have got a raw deal. A year ago the same committee introduced the rule to use two new balls in an ODI innings, one at each end, which meant that in the 50th over, the ball was only 25-overs old. This has had a radical impact on the way spinners operate. To their credit, they managed to stay relevant by bowling flatter and focusing on line and length rather than on spinning the ball. Turning the ball may be a spinner's main weapon but to expect a new ball to grip and turn on good batting surfaces is ambitious.

Now, reducing the number of fielders outside the circle by one is going to make it tougher for spinners. If the recommendation is passed, a spinner will have to bring the sweeper-cover or deep midwicket or long-leg inside the circle, unless he sacrifices a long-on or long-off.

With shorter boundaries, flat pitches and two new balls, the spinners already have it tough. If they lose an outfielder as well, they won't have a choice but to bowl wicket to wicket with very little variety with regards to spin.

Now, an offspinner's doosra or a legspinner's googly will become opportunities to score, for there won't be protection in the deep. While these are tools for deception, they do get picked and batsmen will go after them if there are more gaps in the outfield. And if the bowler chooses to have protection for these variations, he'll be revealing his ploy.

Conversely, it will also encourage batsmen to try their hand at the switch-hit and reverse-sweep because not having anyone patrolling the square boundary makes it safer to play those shots.

The basic premise, and the reason for 50-over cricket's popularity, was for the ODI to be played like a Test match, with bowlers and captains always trying to take wickets and the only difference being getting the result in a day.

As the format evolved, however, the organisers figured the crowd enjoys fours and sixes more than a battle of attrition. Hence, the rules and playing conditions were tweaked regularly to ensure high-scoring matches, which are not necessarily the most enjoyable contests. While it worked for the longest time, the advent of Twenty20 cricket has shaken the foundations of 50-over cricket. The new rules and recommendations have failed to address these issues successfully.

So how do you ensure balance between bat and ball? We can start by identifying the period during which an ODI becomes stale - the middle overs, when the fifth bowler, usually a part-timer, is operating with the sole aim of not conceding boundaries. The batsmen play along by taking the safe route, milking those overs and waiting for the end overs to accelerate.

How about taking away the part-timer's 10 overs and increasing the maximum number of overs a bowler can bowl to 12? Two bowlers can be given the choice of bowling 13 overs each, which will ensure a better contest because a proper bowler is always in operation. The Powerplay can then go back to being 10 overs in the beginning and a five-over block each for the batting and bowling side. Those five-over blocks did bring a bit of excitement to those mundane middle overs and hence must be used judiciously.

And for the spinners' sake, it will be just to allow five fielders outside the 30-yard circle during non-Powerplay overs. Otherwise make it mandatory to have at least 75-yard boundaries on every ground.

In order to find the right balance, one must walk a tightrope.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

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Posted by Meety on (June 7, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

@shibuvin - in Oz - where bowlers are allowed to bowl more than 10, in actually leads to four QUALITY bowlers & it can limit the amount of overs required for part timers. This leads to more difficult run scoring. I am not a big fan of materially changing the fundamental rules of ODIs, but I do like this rule! @Wefinishthis - crowds were excellent in Oz for the ODIs. ODIs are the best format to hold a W/Cup. The only "problem" with ODIs is, that despite still being the biggest revenue earner for the ICC, there is too many matches played thru out the year. If we do away with ODIs, Test nations may as well be capped at 10, as the bridge between T20s & Tests is too far!

Posted by shibuvin on (June 6, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

I don't agree Mr.Chopra's idea of 13 or 12 overs to a bowler, as It's simply becomes a batsmen's game again. Because, If the allowed overs are increased for a bowler, The quantity of the bowlers will be reduced to two or three and an all rounder. Hence the team gets a chance of including a parade of batsmen. I would say the allowance of the overs for a bowler must be reduced to 8 or less. Hence, The team ll be cautious in batting and not explosive like in T20... Think about it, ICC....:)

Posted by maddy20 on (June 5, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

4 fielders outside the circle can be a bane for fast bowlers as well. Usually when a hook or pull shot goes wrong it ends in the hands of deep mid-wicket, deep sqaure leg or in the region around fineleg. Now you surely cannot have 3 fielders just on the leg side and only one on the off-side . Captain has to choose from extra cover, deep thirdman, long off. If the bowler only chooses one filder on the leg side at deep mid-wicket or deep-square leg, then he might as well announce in the loud speaker that he is gonna bowl a bouncer. It will be interesting to see how this goes, should the new rules come into play.

Posted by Wannabekenobi on (June 5, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

Test Cricket and ODIs are the real game, T20 has destroyed the finesse of cricket. No more Warnes and Muralis now. The art of spin bowling is ruined due to the nature of the game now, no flight, no guile, just flat and straight. Sixes and fours are fun alright, but at the end of the day whats great is a super finish to a game. No bat vs bat, should be team vs team. How exciting it was in the IPL to watch Dale Steyn setup and remove the most accomplished T20 batsman in Chris Gayle. Took my breath away.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

Agree with nusratv, always been for the batsman. Bowlers have had the short end of the stick from day one!

Posted by Wefinishthis on (June 5, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

How about just not have ODI's in the first place other than perhaps as a warm-up before a T20/Test series? T20 is everything ODI's should have been, and that is microwave cricket. It would certainly solve the problem of too much cricket being played. Beating the dead horse that is ODI's only devalues both Test and T20 cricket. The no.1 Test team holds the title of the best cricket team in the world, the no.1 T20 team holds the title of the best short form version of cricket, so where does that leave the no.1 ODI team? They can rejoice knowing that they're the no.1 "not really cricket, but not really short form cricket either" team in the world. Simple fact is that people don't care about ODI any more and the attendance worldwide backs that up. No amount of rule tweaking will fix the underlying problem. thenoostar you are 100% correct and that is the reality of the situation whether others want to agree with us or not.

Posted by Udendra on (June 5, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

ICC wants to make Spinners extinct! the governors of the game are killing it.

Posted by MAK123 on (June 5, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Only four fielders outside the circle, abosultely rediculous. I say back to square one. For spinners, the limit must be enhanced to 6 fielders outside the circle

Posted by Herath-UK on (June 5, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

What about tweaking the new rule a little and allow five fielders ONLY for the spinners? Ranil Herath _Kent

Posted by   on (June 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

are these recommendations made former/ex players! cant believe y they make such idiotic and unwanted changes, its keep on spoiling the game.

Posted by Jimmers on (June 5, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

Do whatever you want to ODI rules, it's a dying format. Pietersen if the first to jump ship, but more will follow soon - just concentrate on Tests for people who like cricket, and T20 for those who don't.

Posted by satish619chandar on (June 5, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

My possible tweak to the format : 1. Bring back the supersub.. Just because the teams didn't use it properly, it was skipped.. Since we dont allow runners and drinks, we can always have supersub to replace a fatigued player.. 2. get away with the mandatory powerplay and have 7 over batting and bowling powerplays between 6 to 40 overs.. Mandatory powerplay never makes any sense.. 3. Let the fielding restriction be same as now.. 3 outside in powerplay and 5 out for other overs.. 4. Allow two bowler to bowl 12 overs.. To reduce the burden on teams to find a good fifth bowling option.. This would make lots of sense and provide equal battle between bat and ball..

Posted by ramanish on (June 5, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

If a bouncer is called as a wide or no ball it should be treated as a free hit.Then let us see how many fast bowlers venture bowling bouncers .

Posted by   on (June 5, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

This is riduculous!!! if anything the ICC is just making cricket about batting, theres two sides to the coin, give the same advantages to bowlers! maybe even bowlers shouldnt announce which side and which arm they will bowl with,! 4 fielders outside? what nonsense! make the game fair!

Posted by nusratv on (June 5, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

Why is there a restriction on the number of overs a bowler can bowl? There is no such restriction on a batsman facing a limited number of balls. If the balance between bowlers/batsmen is to be maintained, there should either be no restrictions on bowlers bowling a max of 10 overs or imposing a similar restriction on batsmen, i.e no batsman should be allowed to face more than 60 balls.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

Reduce 50 over ODIs to 40 over ODIs with 15 powerplay overs and it will take away boring middle overs and still there will be enough for batsman to construct an innings and bowler to bowl a decisive spell.

Posted by Captain_Crick on (June 5, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

With short boundaries around, this new rule would now force the spinners to bowl flatter and quicker more regularly. And the spinners would want to bowl those 2 bouncers as well to stay in the game. Someone like Afridi has the potential to bowl a 130 Kmph bouncer (aimed at the body) in between when the batsman is expecting a leg spinner or a top spinner. Top class spinners would still find a way to survive and dominate the batsman.

Posted by swapnilagarwal on (June 5, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

I don't believe the changed rule of allowing only 4 fielders outside the 30 yard circle will hurt the spinners. Aakash, you are right that on one hand, spinners will have few fielders on the boundary to play with, which means that the batsmen can now look to be more aggressive and take the aerial route. But this also means, that the batsmen will have to take that additional risk to score. How often did we see in the middle overs when the spinners were bowling, that the batsmen would just milk the bowling around and take singles at will. What this new rule would do is to force the fielding side to have more fielders inside the ring, which would make it difficult for batsmen to take singles and hence take more risk to score. Which would in the end only benefit the spinners as they would start to get more wickets, which would encourage them to use the most potent weapon they have - flight!

Posted by hari040761 on (June 5, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

INSTEAD OF 35OVERS WITH FOUR FIELDERS OUTSIDE, 10 OVERS CAN BE WITH FOUR FIELDERS. 10 WITH 2FIELDERS, 5 WITH THREE FIELDERS (BATTING POWER PLAY) ANOTHER 10 WITH FOUR FIELDERS (LAST 10OVERS).16 TO 40 WILL HAVE 5FIELDERS.

Posted by hari040761 on (June 5, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

VERY BAD DECISION. INCREASE IN ONE BOUNCER IS NOT GOING TO HELP THE BOWLER. INSTEAD IF YOU HAVE SIX PLAYERS OUT SIDE THE CIRCLE THENIT WILL BE AREAL BATTLE BETWEEN BAT AND BALL. HITTING SIXERS AND BOUNDARY ALONE IS NOT CRICKET. THE BATSMENT SHOULD THINK HOW TO SCORE RUNS. EVEN SINGLES AND CONVERTING ONES INTO TWOS WILL WIN A MATCH INSTEAD GOING FOR BIG HITS. ALREADY 15 OVER POWER PLAY FOR THE BATSMEN. APART FROM ONLY 4 FIELDERS OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE MEANS IT IS A 50OVER POWER PLAY. ONLY TEAMS WHICH HAVE PENETRATING BOWLING CAN PLAY UNDER THSESE RULES. 10 BALLS ENOUOGH FOR BOWLING TO WIN THE GAME BUT 300 BALLS REQUIRED FOR BATTING TO WIN A GAME. SINCE 5 FIELDERS INSIDE THE CIRCLE BATSMEN WILL GO ARIEL SHOTS BUT EVEN MISHIT WILL ALSO FETCH RUNS AS GAPS ARE MORE ON THE OUT FIELD. IT WILL BECOME AGAIN POWER GAME LIKE T20 AND NOT A TECHNICAL GAME.

Posted by saikarthikg on (June 5, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

Un-necessary changes. The older rules were much better than all these, restrictions for the first 15 overs, 4 fielders outside the circle... these were much better than these new tweaked rules. @D.V.C: Brilliant idea man, appreciated it. Apart from test matches, cricket game is always in favour of batsmen, so, it would be better to change the rules that will help the bowlers out. Is it supposed to be the end for "Good old spinning"??? Bad decisions, really bad decision. Hope some of the recent day changes will be reverted back. Let 50 over cricket be a game of endurance for batsmen, not hippidy-hoppidy hitting.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

I don't understand why so many ppl are with 4 bowler suggestion. Look it in this perspective that now teams will only require 6 specialist batsman and 4 bowlers with 1 batsman who can bowl and one bowler who can bat a bit. Now, think how many of the greats we will not see in the international cricket if that happens. Even those who have improved 1 thing over the yrs would not have entered the world erana like Watson or Afridi in their young age cannot enter their respective teams. Same is the case with Symonds, cairns, even flintoff and likes. The 5th bowler provides the most important balance probem in odi cricket which makes the players like Kallis and Shakib and Watson and Afridi so important and exciting. It makes the selection and everything before the match important cuz any team can find six v good batsman and 4 v good bowlers. Its this 5th bowler that provides the versatility. I don't think 50 over cricket should be ripped off with this most absorbing part of the game.

Posted by CricketWins on (June 5, 2012, 3:20 GMT)

The game of cricket also with spin bowlers and I agree the new rules are unfair for spin bowlers. Also, "I wonder how Ravi Shastri, a former spinner and member of the committee, agreed to recommend such a move?" For me he was never a good spinner, he was an average spinner who adopted to spin as per captain wish or to remain in team

Posted by darsh127 on (June 5, 2012, 3:20 GMT)

@D.V.C, I really like your idea which you mentioned about the "gaining overs by taking wickets", brilliant!

Posted by satish619chandar on (June 5, 2012, 3:15 GMT)

With the current proposed change, make it 12 overs max for a bowler.. It will allow captain to have a cushion in case he is not able to maintain the spinner for longer period.. But, even pace bowler will be ineffective in flat tracks to bowl with one fielder lesser in the out field.. Set batsman can make merry in any case.. Two bouncers wont change much.. We get tracks where the ball mostly sits up for hitting these days and two bouncer wont have the same impact..

Posted by satish619chandar on (June 5, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

Yes.. No allowance for spinners and in fact, they have additional burden to bowl with one more fielder now inside circle.. Usually spinners beat batsman in flight to make them hit in the air and caught in the deep is an attacking option for them.. But no more now.. One fielder less will surely make it easier for the batter to pick his spot and with reverse sweep and switch hit still there, it will make things tougher.. If run scoring is the priority, why allow two bouncers then? Spinners will be allowed a margin in leg side wide? On flat tracks, spinners will have no say now.. As a captain, one would be worried to pick a spinner for sure..

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (June 5, 2012, 2:39 GMT)

I have got an Interesting Idea as far i feel so. Here is my idea --- We will use 2 balls per innings but, both will not be same new balls. 1 ball is new ball and 2nd one is older ball , a nearly 30 overs used ball. Bowlers here will have luxury to use any ball any time. This is Fair, like how batsman can use bat of any weight they prefer any time. This brings balance, for example: a spinner may use older ball or new one as he feels. A fast bowler may use new or old ball, may be reverse swing if he wants he uses old ball..so this two new ball one 30 overs old and one new should be used through out one innings, and so for a match 4 balls can be used. This Balances the act of ball and bat , if batsman is given luxury to change balls why nt bowler to use different balls which are available in match. Even bowler can change bowl to old one in middle of over. The 2 balls one 30 over old and 1 new one are present with each umpire respectively.

Posted by SpyderOnNet on (June 5, 2012, 1:57 GMT)

@Frank Musa: love your last (5th) suggestion. It's high time adminstrator think of something like that to kee over rate in control.

Posted by AussieGreek on (June 5, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

The team most affected by these constant rule changes, especially that of using two new balls is Pakistan. Pakistan is the main international side which depends mostly on their bowling than their batsmen. The two new balls has reduced the effectiveness of their top class spinners and their fast bowlers ability to use reverse swing. These new rule changes would further reduce the effectiveness of their bowling attack and rob the viewer of opportunities of watching a top class bowling attack in action. These rule changes would only benefit the non Asian sides of Australia, England, South Africa etc.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2012, 0:09 GMT)

It is a mistake to write off 50 over cricket so soon after the inclusion of 20 over cricket. The games serve different purposes, even if 50 over cricket is for the batsman, they must play in a very different style to 20 over cricket particularly with the increased role bowlers play in 50 over cricket. We are often critical of the so called "middle overs" of 50 over cricket, but that is an example of allowing the batsman to play a more controlled innings. Why should 50 over cricket be the ball by ball excitement of the 20 ovr game. 20 and 50 over cricket are different games.

Rule tweaking has been popular and predominately failed to impress fans most of the time. The old idea of simple being better seems lost on administrators of 50 over cricket. If things need changing then its a roll back of 50 over rules

field restrictions for first 10, No bouncer restrictions, More lenient on leg side wides for spinners, ban switch hit in 50 overs not 20, Allow defensive fields.

Posted by bolyston on (June 4, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

Agreed. There could be rules like having the team use their best resources in the game twice. For instance if you see, in each team there's at the most 3-4 players who play best and bowl. In case of a crisis he can use his discretion to utilize these resources more effectively. Example even if his best batsmen gets knocked out once in the game, the captain can chose to bat the same player again instead of a bowler. Similarly if a bowler has taken 3-4 wickets in the game but his quota is done and the Captain can ask him bowl more overs instead of a fifth bowler only during crisis. Donno if this makes sense. Just a thought!!!

Posted by D.V.C. on (June 4, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

"The basic premise, and the reason for 50-over cricket's popularity, was for the ODI to be played like a Test match, with bowlers and captains always trying to take wickets and the only difference being getting the result in a day." I have what I think is a great suggestion Akash. Set the limit of overs per bowler at 10 as it is now, but every time a bowler takes a wicket they get one more over they can bowl added to their maximum. This would encourage attacking wicket taking play because your better bowlers will get more overs by taking wickets, and the more wickets you take the fewer overs the 5th bowler has to bowl. Teams will also attack and try and get wickets more earlier in the game so as they still have time to use those extra overs gained for that bowler. The chance of bowling a team out will increase since the better bowlers operate for longer actually trying to get wickets. The spinner's role then becomes more attacking as well - being a restrictive spinner has less mileage.

Posted by Harsha_Reddy on (June 4, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

i agree with akash chopra on 4 fielders outside the circle but would not agree on increasing the overs for a bowler ...what it would do is basically play 4 bowlers and that leaves the dependency on all-rounder spot who in one days adds a lot of value ..

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

@Frank Musa: You are the new Andy Zaltzman. @Amrit Datta: Clearly the post World Cup celebrations in India, reactions to South Africa's defeat, Ireland's Kevin O'Brien's blitzkrieg against England show the format is still alive.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 22:08 GMT)

I always thought how cricket is a batsman's game?lA bowler gets 60 balls and if he has a bad 20 balls he has the remaining 40 balls to make up.but for a batsman, if he plays one bad shot, he could be out irrespective of the number of balls he faced.a bowler can keep on bowling for 60 legal balls if the captain desires to.Similarly, a bowler can always decide where to put the ball, and the batsman has to play accordingly its not the other way.so its actually a bowler's game with all the decision making power to them.The batsman just responds.Have quality players and you can have a good contest.We have seen the likes of Ishant, Sreeshanth or other fast bowlers bowl very poorly on a track where Zaheer had been spectacular.All three bowled to d same batsmen.bowlers wer of different quality.Talking of the new rules, Bring back the Supersub rule with a bit of a refinement, allow, only 1 new ball, the mandatory ball change after 33 overs nd bwl pp wid max 6 fielders outside d circle.Howzaat?

Posted by thenoostar on (June 4, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

Bite the bullet. One dayers were a marketing novelty of the 70s and none of the changes have really improved the boring middle overs. The real action happens in t20. Cricket can't afford to carry 2 languishing formats and most cricket fans would agree test cricket is worth saving. In 5 years IPL/Champions League will be seen as the pinnacle of cricket. Like the champions league in football, the best of the best playing each other.

Posted by Zak1234 on (June 4, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

For once, I do not agree with Akash Chopra. I think this move "forcing" captains to have attacking fields will get spinners more wickets and will be a blessing in disguise for them.

Aksash Chopra you are thinking too conservatively.

However the point about letting proper bowlers operate for 12 and 13 overs is a good one.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

Some revolutionary ideas for improving marketability of 50 overs cricket. 1. Have two wicketkeepers instead of one at either end. Any one can bat depending on captains fancy. 2. Have an umpires less period of 10 overs calling it the powerless play. Cricketers can decide on their own in these 10 overs. 3. Bowlers to be allowed one deliberate no- ball for every switch hit attempted. 4. Let the openers chose whom they would like to face in the first ten overs power play. 5. Captain to bat without the BOX in case of slow over rate against new ball.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 19:34 GMT)

We are making things complex ourselves by suggesting so many changes in the existing rules in the name of making ODI cricket more interesting. Let everybody be very clear that the only way this game can remain entertaining for both batsmen and the bowlers is to have a balance playing field which means a supportive pitch to play on. Play on good tracks with 75 + meter boundaries and you would have an entertaining game of cricket. Allowing 13 overs to a bowler would mean that they'll be more exposed to injuries which would lead to all of us blaming the rule.So this rule twaeking saga would continue forever and would only harm the game.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 19:29 GMT)

why take so much pain trying to fix sumthing that is already on its path to extinction.....get rid of this format.....there is no place in the international or domestic cricket calendar for 50 over....thats the bottom line!

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

KingOwl: It won't be easier for the top spinners but it sure would provide them with a lot more wicket taking opportunities than before. We all know that spinners only play a holding role in the ODI's where their main goal is to contain the batsmen and may be get a wicket somewhere.Bowlers like Ajmal, Swann, Afridi, Hafeez would actually love the batsmen to play cross batted shots as it would fetch them more wickets.I'm sure they are competent enough to strangle the batsmen even with only 4 fielders outside the ring. That's just my take on this matter.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

A few years ago the ICC allowed the spinners to flex their elbow to 15 degrees, so it hasn't been all that bad for the spinners.

Posted by KingOwl on (June 4, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

Salman Ali Rai: OK, new rules make it more difficult for part time spinners to be successful. Let's say it is a good thing. But, I don't understand how it makes it easier for top class spinners either. One cannot set such attacking fields in One day cricket as to surround the batsmen with close in fielders. Therefore, good spinners will also find it more difficult, which cannot be a good thing.

Posted by KingOwl on (June 4, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

Balldinho II seems to have got his logic twisted. Playing matches between top nations and third rate teams is NOT MEANINGFUL. It is a WASTE of everyone's time.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

Well articulated . Spinners too are bowlers , with new rules you will hardly hv spinners in the side.

Posted by yorkslanka on (June 4, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

More bias for teams with a pace bowling centred attack I.e eng,aus,sa.spinners get an even rougher deal...

Posted by kalyanbk on (June 4, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

I think the 10 over restriction is good to ensure that side play 5 quality bowlers or pay the penalty. How you manage your bowling resources is a key aspect of the game. Otherwise we will soon see someone like a Murali or Srinath bowling all the overs for their team and become just workhorses. Just standardize the weight of the bat and standardize boundary lengths and increase the penalty for slow over rates (ban the captain for a whole series) to ensure that spinners get an even chance.

Posted by vrn59 on (June 4, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Very good article... really makes me think... Yeah, five outfielders seems better for the spinners, and the new bowling rules sound interesting too; I dunno how the ICC will feel about that, but it's fun to discuss nevertheless...

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

I say move the mandatory power play to over 15 - 25, other two powerplays have to be taken between 25 - 40 over.. :)

Posted by Rally_Windies on (June 4, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

and 1 more thing...

Is Sunil Narine the new poster boy for international Spin?

why not have a picture of Ajmal or Swann for this article?

The kid has played 2 T20I's and 8 ODI's and Zero Test's .....

Doesn't the use of Narin's picture in this article prove that 20/20 is the best marketing tool the ICC has for cricket?

The best organisations EMBRACE change and change themselves to suit the environment ...

trying to change the environment to suit yourself (which is human nature) will never work unless you have 100% agreement with the accepted changes. Your efforts will be futile if different groups have different agendas and are all trying to influence the environment to their own needs .....

instead of making 50 over into what You (the ICC) wants it to be, they should try to mould it into something that fits into society ...

These changes seem backward to me.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

Cricket is not only fast bowlers' game ! or batsman's game ??? Spinners also play a big role here ? 2 new balls from both ends .... this rule is a funny rule...... it is all Australia / England / South Africa and West INDIES 's game !!!

Posted by Rally_Windies on (June 4, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

with 20/20 becoming the marketing tool to best introduce the game to nations with short attention spans, 50 over no longer needs to be a bat dominated run fest..

I see the proposed changes as being detrimental to the games development.

Fledgeling nations cannot play the top nations in Tests , but 50 over is a nice intermediate format for the fledglings to test the waters against the big boys ...

these changes are going to make 50 over cricket more like 20/20 and will increase the skill gap between limited overs and Test Cricket..

if the ICC want 50 over cricket to survive, they should balance the bat/ball contest and make it a truer reflection of the talent of the teams ....

if bowlers develop in 50 0ver and 20/20 cricket, they will never be able to get 20 wickets in a Test match ...

I see 20/20 as the money making and marketing tool and the 50 over as the gauge to be used to see when Nations are ready for Test Cricket ....

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

More than 10 overs will in a way assist the batsmen. 10 overs is already taxing to the bowler. The bowler would bowl like a part timer in extra overs. I think radical changes are required to spice up the competition.

1. Leave the powerplay choice to the fielding team. 2. How nice it would be if fielding captain shuffles the bowler in the middle of an over. This gives the captain a strategic weapon to change bowler on the fly depending on the batsman and situation. Imagine, Suresh Raina clubbing the spinner for first 2 balls. Here the captain decides to bring a fast bowler for rest of the over and bowl 2 bouncers. How critical this could be. To me 6 balls is way too long to wait and watch. 3. Leg side wide ball is way too strict. This is true for poor spinner. Relax this. Batsman should know how to play little wide ones in the leg. 4. How about a penalty of bowling one less ball in an over when a batsman runs in the middle of the pitch? This is fair if you consider a free hit now

Posted by bvnathan on (June 4, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

The comments on the new recommendations for 50-50 are: (1) 2 bouncers per over (as per the rules defined) will be music for fast bowlers; (2) taking away the bowling powerplay of 6 overs - removes the advantage a bowling side extracted on the first 10 mandatory overs; (3) Reducing the number of fielders outside the ring to 4 - removes the advantage for a spinner and also will reduce the efficiency of the players/team to maintain the rhythm; (4) Making the playing conditions same across all grounds in the world, as Chopra recommeds - well this may not make it possible for geographic reasosns, changes to exisiting infrastructure and which may limit the number of spectators for the match, which will not be entertained for obvious reasons. A valid recommendation would be (as Chopra has indicated), may be allow 2 bowlers to bowl a max of 15 overs or 3 bowlers a max of 12-13 overs, to reduce the chances of FIFTH bowler (or combination) being taken to CLEANERS

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

how abt first 10 have 2 outside the inner circle. Last 10 have 5. The middle 30 can have 4 with 2 batting power plays that can only have 3 outside the inner circle.

Posted by BapiDas on (June 4, 2012, 17:16 GMT)

Akash Chopra is right, However, I seriously doubt if the changes recommended by him will make much of a difference! The disparity between the bowler and the batsman will not go away from the shorter formats be it 50 overs or 20 overs. The bowler has to declare if he would be bowling left handed Or right handed; over or round the wicket; seam or spin. However, the batsman can switch hit OR reverse sweep without having to alert the umpire! The bowler will always be disadvantaged.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

Liked the 12 over suggestion. It will make things more interesting. If the best batsman can bat for 50 overs then 13-13-12-12 quota would be great.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

Since the fast bowlers get to bowl 2 bouncers why not give the spinners some leeway by allowing them to bowl down leg with out being called wide unless it was far enough down leg that a batsmen could not reach.

Posted by rajesh_sehwag on (June 4, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

Sir a very good analysis of the new rules.I completely agree with your argument that the new laws would favor the speed bowlers a bit but the game is still heavily tilted in batsman's favor.50 overs cricket would be left as a mere extension of T20 version and the game might end up giving a wrong example for future bowlers.I quite like the way you build your articles....amazing work.....kudos Mr Chopra.

Posted by Ammy_rd on (June 4, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

Who says the middle overs don't suit ODIs? They are the perfect time for a quick nap or a few chores otherwise even consistent boundary hitting can't make one glued to the tv for 7 long hours....there is too much tweeking going on with cricket rules these days which may result in cricket losing its essence entirely! Agree with your other suggestions though. We don't want the breed of spinners to go extinct.

Posted by montys_muse on (June 4, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

This IPL, during one of the matches, the commentators raised a genuine question regarding limited overs cricket which was a bowler bowling a restricted no. of overs while a batsman can play till he gets out. So a new rule has to be that if a bowler can bowl a restricted no. of overs, a batsman has to play a restricted no. of overs.

Posted by Scrop on (June 4, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Perfectly fine with your recommendations. But lets have 15 over PP - 5 over Mandatory, 5 overs for batting and Bowling each.

Posted by maddinson on (June 4, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

Brilliant article by Aakash, however I don't agree with the bowlers allowing to bowl more than 10 overs as it will more batsmen in playing XI. Size of boundaries should be reasonable, I like 250-270 kind of ODIs rather than watching high scoring matches in small outfields.

Posted by cric_follower on (June 4, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

I like the idea of 12 overs a bowler. Akash should be BCCI rep on the ICC panel. Cricket is about a fine balance between batting and bowling. Lets not break that.

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (June 4, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Excellent points . Hope somebody in icc realises that fans enjoy the game most when there is equal contest between bat and bowl.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

nice ICC people will like these rule very well . because it make 50 overs cricket more excited and attractive.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

Continuing on my earlier post, I think the tweak in the field restrictions rule would produce and help more spinners like afridi ,ajmal, hafeez, vettory, herath, rehman, swann who can deceive any batsman irrespective of the number of fielders outside the circle. So more bouncers per over would require high quality all round batsmen and more fielders inside the circle would induce batsmen to go over the top thus resulting in more wickets for spinners. P.S. As a Pakistani, I am thrilled with this new law because I feel ajmal afridi and hafeez would be more productive if they bowl with people crowding the bat thus increasing the number of dots and inducing batsmen to go over the top that might result in more wickets

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

The 1st rule that needs to be changed for 50 over Cricket is the limit on Bowlers overs, be done with it so only specialist can bowl. Second bouncer is key for keeping batsman at bay. But like i said before, it needs to be more MEANINGFUL 50 over tournaments. There is no point of a 5 game ODI series. Why not have a African Championship between South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana. Round Robin then Knock-Out phase, surely that will be better for the growth of Cricket then a SA vs England 5 ODI series?! Or have a REAL Asian Championship (Unlike the ridiculous one in place now) with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, UAE, Afghanistan and Nepal. MEANINGFUL GAMES, MEANINGFUL tournaments! Its time for Cricket to evolve from the same 10 teams playing over and OVER. 100 years of this sport and it hasn't change... the time is NOW with 50 overs and T20's

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

A thinking article. I always felt that various evolving rules in limited overs cricket are not making it fair and equal contest between bat and ball. Looking at Malinga in T20 cricket, it seems that someday another rule of allowing only one or two yorker per over may evolve. How about allowing only one switch or reverse hit per over? Anyway, test cricket is the actual cricket, where at least some fair contest between bat and ball can be expected.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Some very valid points discussed here, though I have a different take on this matter. In my opinion these rules are going to increase the quality of cricket. The batsmen would have to adjust their techniques in order to cater the two bouncer rule and only batsmen with a strong technique would flourish.Similarly only those spinners are going to flourish who have a large bank of variations along with strong control over their line and length. In recent times, we see part time bowlers operating with likes of raina, sehwag, peitersen, dilshan, clarke, smith,guptil, which makes the passage of play highly boring to watch so with the fielding rules tweaked, we are in for proper spinners getting preference over part timers in the playing XI, thus improving the overall quality of cricket.

Posted by KingOwl on (June 4, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

Aakash's comments make a lot of sense. I would like to hear the rationale for the other side. I am especially concerned about spinners getting a raw deal. Spinners in top flight (and that means, really giving the ball a rip) are great to watch and the new rules seem to be really limiting the spinners.

Posted by natmastak_so-called on (June 4, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

just cant agree more.

Posted by zaman123456 on (June 4, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

Pathetic decision to allow four fielders to allow outside the circle in non-power play overs, agree with two bouncers for an over. A great idea increasing the number of overs one can bowl in ODI's in a needed a such..... When a batsmen don't have any restriction on how many bowls he should face maximally, why on earth restricting bowlers to ball, obviously one can't bowl all the balls, but 10 overs not enough, And 4 overs in T20 not enough at all

Posted by   on (June 4, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

Chopra makes so much sense, wish there more of his kind

Posted by HawK89 on (June 4, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

The point is to not make the captain sit back and see how it goes. That is why a fielder is brought in, bowlers cant ball where they please and expect protection. Bowl to a plan and that will show who the smarter cricketer is. Giving 4 bowlers more bowling overs makes not think on when to use or not to use your strike bowler. 2 bouncers make batsmen not get 1 bouncer and expect fuller pitched deliveries. These changes ain't just to balance bat and ball, but to involve the captain more. The game should be about, how many can we get in 50 overs, not bat out 50 overs and see what we have.

Posted by Bangla_Cricket on (June 4, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

ICC should rethink about the proposal of reducing one outfielder. For the spinners, it will be a horrible field set up when the batsman in song. We would be able to see much miss hit and edges are touching the boundary rope. Two bouncer will come good for the fast bowlers and hopefully make the contest between bat and ball much interesting. However, bowling with two new ball was not a good decision by ICC. I think changing the ball after 33rd over was a good one for both the fast bowlers and the spinners. One must mention that it will be difficult for the captains to finish 50 overs within time because reducing spinners would extend the time. Even the captain will not go for the per time bowler if ICC allows only four fielder outside. Overall, it will be a joke and no one wants to enjoy CIRCUS in a cricket match.

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Aakash ChopraClose
Aakash Chopra Aakash Chopra is the 245th Indian to represent India in Test cricket. A batsman in the traditional mould, he played 10 Tests for India in 2003-04, and has played over 120 first-class matches. He currently plays for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy; his book Beyond the Blues was an account of the 2007-08 season. Chopra made a formidable opening combination with Virender Sehwag, which was believed to be one of the reasons for India's success in Australia and Pakistan in 2003-04. He is considered one of the best close-in fielders India has produced after Eknath Solkar.
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