ICC news December 3, 2013

ICC chief backs new ODI rules

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, has defended the new ODI regulations - fewer fielders in the outfield and two new balls - saying they have made "the game more attacking and more exciting." He said the rules had not resulted in an overall inflation in totals.

"Overall, we are seeing that the total runs scored in an innings have more or less remained constant," Richardson said in Mumbai. "The average runs in a one-day innings is about 250 and the data shows that the only change is that a higher percentage of those 250 is scored in boundaries, as opposed to ones and twos. This is one of the reasons why we introduced the fielding restrictions in the first place, to try and make the game more attacking and more exciting. There are more wickets falling and more boundaries being scored and the totals on an average are remaining thesame."

The new rules have been criticised by players and boards in the subcontinent, with the BCCI opposing the use of new balls from both ends. During the recent home series against Australia, India captain MS Dhoni suggested it was becoming impossible for bowlers to contain boundaries with only a maximum four fielders outside the 30-yard circle. Nine of the 11 completed innings in that series produced 300-plus totals. According to Richardson that series may have been a one-off, but he conceded that bowlers might be having a harder time on subcontinent pitches.

"Conditions vary across the world and certainly in the subcontinent where you find yourself on a good batting pitch that is taking no spin, no seam movement, the bowlers really have their hands full," he said. "If you look at the results all over the world in other conditions like England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, you will find that the new fielding restrictions have worked well. Also the fact that we are using two new balls as opposed to one has allowed the bowlers to take more wickets, especially in the first 10 overs when the seam bowlers are at the batsmen. This has also worked well."

Richardson also said the ICC would instruct host venues in Australia and New Zealand to prepare balanced pitches during the 2015 World Cup.

"Certainly for ICC events, we do give directions to the host countries as to the preparation of the pitch. It will be the same as the World Cup that was held in the subcontinent," he said. "The difference being that in Australia and New Zealand, conditions tend to be more seamer-friendly as opposed to spin-friendly. So our direction would be we want a pitch thatprovides good bounce but not too much lateral movement, in this case seam movement. Generally in one-day cricket we try to favour the batting team and we look for totals between 230 and 260."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ravi on December 4, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    Cricket is more exciting when it makes fans curious. For that Cricket should be more competitive. Competition is not just hitting boundaries. Hitting boundaries has become more easy and cricket has lost its competitiveness due to that. Curiosity occur when the task became difficult. But with these new rules the team batting second have a good chance to win the match even though the opposition had a powerful bowling attack. Consider football. No goals are scored at all. But why people are so attracted to football? Because of the curious and the competitiveness. ODI cricket has lost its competition due to this new rules. Especially field restrictions rule must be changed as maximum 5 fielders outside the 30 yard circle before the CWC 2015.

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Replace ODI's with a two innings T20 format. I think it was Tendulkar's idea originally... and it's a good one!

    Then you have proper two innings test match long format, a two inning medium format and a slog fest, single innings short format.

  • Vinod on December 4, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Seriously!! ICC members should start interacting with general public instead of drawing the rules sitting in a board room. Who says Cricket is exciting anymore.. Seeing the batsmen hitting boundaries and sixes, has been killing cricket. There is no contest these days between the ball and the game.. The rules are bent so much so that even tailanders are hitting meaningless sixes these days. Gone are the days, when a bowler like Wasim Akram, Courtney Walsh or Ambrose bowled those lethal deliveries to win the games. More and more fast bowlers are bowling slow ball.. What is the point of cricket then? I urge ICC to allow to get rid of all the restrictions such as 30 yard fielder restrictions, and should let the teams play as per the test cricket rules. Cricket has matured so much that if we see test match rules in ODI and T20 game can get more exciting. Otherwise Cricket will continue to lose supporters like who have seriously lost in the meaningless cricket that is played these days.

  • ali on December 4, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    These news rules are exciting for the batsmen only and seriously difficult for even good bowlers. Majorit of cricket is being played in Asia so these rules will mean batsmen playing in their own countries and specifically in front of their own home crowd can easily score big centuries (even 200s) and cumulate huge batting career averages in excess of 50+ by slogging, hittng the ball hard, clearing in fields and getting easy boundries.

    Best days were when fielding restrictions were for the first 15 overs and more than 4 fielders outside the 30 yard circle. I bed if you give such conditions to modern day batsmen, they won't be able to have career averages of more than 45.

  • Dummy4 on December 4, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    I am not going to see any good bowlers in next 5 years. That says bowling is dead. We can't see legends in bowling but there will be legends in batting. Seriously you got to think better. ODI is already half dead for me with these new rules. People are not finding it exciting, I bet ODI will be dead in 5 years. For entertainment we have T20.

  • Gnana on December 4, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    I don't see why anyone should favour the batsmen even in ODIs, as Dave Richardson stated. We would like to see a fair battle between bat and ball without favouring either the bowlers or the batsman. The pitches too should neither be seamer-friendly nor spin-friendly. They should be balanced - that is, if it at all it is possible to make such pitches - knowing that different countries have different conditions. But it seems possible based on Dave Richardson's statement above, that ICC gives instructions on the preparation of pitches. Using two balls ensures that the spinners have a distinct disadvantage of not being able to bowl with an older ball to utilize their skills. These decision makers are cramping and killing the game.

  • Dummy4 on December 3, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    @EnglishFan - the issue with no fielding restrictions is that it gives an unfair advantage to the team batting first. Say a boundary is required off the last ball to win the match. In this case, without field restrictions, the bowling team will simply place all the fielders on the boundary which is unfair to the batting team as they did not know when they were fielding what EXACTLY they had to do in order to win the match. Further, in general, high totals like say 300+ will rarely get chased as captains will set a highly defensive field right from the start with most men on the boundary while the team fielding first were forced to balance attack and defense. Also, for obvious reasons, it would lead to far more defensive cricket from all involved.

  • Naeem on December 3, 2013, 23:18 GMT

    The new rules disadvantage the subcontinent bowlers - no reverse swing on offer & not too many wickets at the start either if played in the subcontinent where the wickets are flat. The spinners don't fare much better either!!

  • Steve on December 3, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    @ODI_BestFormOfCricket: Except in few locations, I have seen many ODIs played to less than half empty stadiums in recent times. Only T20s are selling out from what I have seen of late.

  • Paulo on December 3, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    Why not try no fielding restrictions? If you want 9 fielders down at deep fine leg so be it. Would make the ODI game more tactical, and would separate good captains (eg Bailey) from catains of good players (eg Dhoni)

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