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ICC chief backs new ODI rules

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 3, 2013

Comments: 24 | Text size: A | A

Dave Richardson at the ICC Awards shortlist announcement, Mumbai, December 3, 2013
Dave Richardson said ODI totals have not changed significantly since the rule changes came into effect © Getty Images

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Plal 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by alidaas 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by TheCritique 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by chakay-pay-chaka 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!!

Posted by CricketChat 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.

Posted by CodandChips 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)

Posted by PratUSA on (December 3, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

Here is my suggestion, Make the 30-yard circle the boundary line and allow no fielders inside the circle, so it will ensure no ones or twos or catches (except may be a caught and bowled) will ever happen. In fact I think it will ensure at least 200 sixes in every 50 over innings. How about that for making the game more exciting?

Posted by   on (December 3, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

just change Allow 5 fielders for last 10 Overs and have longer boundaries Rest is fine

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (December 3, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

@cricketchats "dwindling crowd for odi" i really donot know where u r living?

Posted by viru-319-219 on (December 3, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

So clearly ICC feels ODIs are for runs and entertainment... I don't like the new rules as they make good bowlers look ordinary ........ ICC should atleast make the boundaries 80M minimum, spinners in subcontinent are going to fade away as even mis-hits are going over the ropes and there is nothing they can do to stop that with heavy bats,smaller boundaries and muscular batsmen (I don't really want to call them batsmen they are just hitters or sloggers .. batting is the art of maneuvering the field and there are very few who are doing that).

If ICC wants ODIs to be played this way its fine,give something away for bowlers in tests atleast. -Allow body-line bowling,It is no longer dangerous with all the protecting equipment available. -Allow fielding teams to have any number of fielders any where on the field, let it be 5 around batsmen's hips. -Give new ball after 50 overs when the fielding team wants it

Then you can shift ODI balance towards batsmen

Posted by   on (December 3, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

I can remember how Richardson interpreted the World Cup rule in 2003, forcing Sri Lanka to win the final round match against South Africa outright to qualify than any improvement in the net run rate. Eventually, his former side was eliminated. He is such a biased person against Asian Countries, that is why he is instrumental in introducing rule changes. By introducing this new rule change, he wanted to get away with spin bowling and allow Swing Bowlers, especially of hemisphere countries to dominate up until the 2015 world cup. We will see the effect in 2015.

Posted by Cyril_Knight on (December 3, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

The solution to dull one day cricket has always existed, it's 40 over matches. They are/were superb entertainment. The perfect length. 50 overs is just too long. 100 overs of big hitting gets dull, 100 overs of tight bowling gets dull. 80 overs of either can be the right amount if the pitch is flat or difficult to play on.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

Then let the teams use bowling machines in Sub continent pitches instead of bowlers. Why unnecessarily risk bowlers getting injured, when they already know the result. We don't want many 300+ totals being gunned down by chasing teams or many 50 ball 100 etc.., it is better to protect the bowlers, they can spend time better in their own academies training for their next away. I think, ICC will wake up if one of the newer/lesser teams chase down India/England/Australia/SA's 300+ totals in Sub continent. What if Bangladesh chase down a 300+ total and defeat India/Eng/Aus/SA teams. Then let us see, whether the ICC and all boards will say, Bangladesh has raised their standards or will they criticize the rules?

Posted by   on (December 3, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

I personally love LOW-SCORING encounters where 200 runs are the fighting totals. I love to see the matches on bowling friendly wickets so we can test the batsmen skills.

Posted by CrICkeeet on (December 3, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

Two bouncers & two new balls r fine.. bt maximum 4 outside the ring is mayb too much! really feeling sorry for the bowlers... nd this 4 fielder rule is spoiling the 2 bouncers facility.. only having 4 outside the ring, how many pacers have the courage now 2 bowl 2 bouncer in an over? where a simple edge can make it six when u havnt enough protection, only 4 in the boundary! (dont giv me d xmple of style, phillander. cricket is nt only fr 2 bowlers, nd dont name other bowlers.. only few more u can find xcpt them, fast bowler decrsed 4 t20)

Posted by   on (December 3, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

I will cut short 50 over to 40 overs and then have a go at the rules

Posted by satishchandar on (December 3, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Let us keep it simple. The rule is advantage in bowler friendly conditions(wherever it may be in the world). You will have a extra fielder preventing the single and will make strike rotation tough. And many captains use the extra fielder in slip which increases chances of wicket taking too. The option And is a massive disadvantage in batting friendly conditions. You can hit thru the line and one fielder inside circle will take out the mishit option out of mind of the batter. Even if mishit, goes for 4 atleast. You MUST bring in thirdman/fineleg/midon/midoff for sure and too easy to play in to these areas for set batsmen.

I would put it to the conditions too for the heavy scoring in that one series along with the rules. probably 50-50.

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (December 3, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

I am big fan of odi game. I want few new rules to be introduced to make More intresting.

1) no powerplay for last 30 overs. 2) no fielding restriction ie) only 4 on leg side like that during non power play overs. 3) allow one prime bowler to bowl 2 extra overs, ie 10+2 and for another 10+1. 4) no white balls, only red balls. 5) no two ball rule. 6) boundaries should be no less than 80 metres. 7) allowing unlimited bouncers, shoulder level while standing. 8) strict protocol for batting width,height and for handle height

Posted by CricketChat on (December 3, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Though not happy, I have to agree with Richardson's point of view out of reality check. Since ICC can't truly enforce preparation of 'balanced' pitches (which I believe is the prerogative of the hosting country's cricket board) to ensure fair play. ICC went along with the propensity of hosting nations to prepare flat pitches, in the hope high scores will shore up dwindling crowds for ODIs, only adding a little bit more juice by changing the rules to facilitate possibility of even higher scores. The majority of fans and sponsors want high scoring matches that go the full distance to get more for their buck, not low scoring matches where batsmen struggle to put bat on ball that end well before their allotted time.

Posted by bobagorof on (December 3, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

I guess it all depends on what you consider 'exciting'. If the totals have remained the same, but the number of boundaries has gone up, then the number of runs from other sources (singles, twos and threes) must have gone down. So if the number of singles has reduced, there will be more dot balls. This would tend to undermine Richardson's statement that the game is 'more attacking and more exciting'. Of course, I can find excitement in the drama of several overs where not a run is scored in a Test, but I doubt many followers of ODIs share this same view - and I certainly wouldn't call it 'attacking' from the batsman's point of view!

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