Substitutes to be allowed in ODIs
The primary change in ODI cricket will see an increase from 15 to 20 overs of fielding restrictions. These will apply for the first 10 overs of every innings, in addition to two blocks of five overs which must be selected by the fielding captain. The CEC decided that the additional 'close-catcher' field restrictions should only apply for the first 10 overs.
The CEC also approved the introduction of football-style replacements which will permit sides to replace a player at any stage of a match. The replaced player will be ruled out of the rest of the match while the replacement will be entitled to assume any remaining batting or bowling duties. Both players will receive a cap.
These two innovations may be trialled during the NatWest Challenge between England and Australia starting on July 7. The ECB and Cricket Australia will decide whether this is to be the case after consulting with their stakeholders to assess the feasibility of introducing the changes within the required timeframe.
As well as the changes to the ODI regulations, the CEC also endorsed the proposal to undertake a technology trial during the Super Series in Australia during October. This will allow on-field umpires to consult with the TV umpire on any aspect of any decision with the final decision remaining with the on-field umpire.
The only exceptions to this will be line decisions, which will be dealt with by the TV umpire in the same manner as at present, and clean catches, where the existing process will also be retained. The current practice for clean catches is that they are only referred where both umpires are unsighted as this is one area where TV replays have proved inconclusive.
The CEC also approved the establishment of an expert panel to work with MCC and bat manufacturers to review the laws and regulations governing the manufacture of cricket bats. It approved the recommendation from the Cricket Committee that the following principles should be taken into account by the sub-committee in its deliberations:
1. That the dimensions of the bat should remain the same
2. That the bat should have a conventional shape
3. That the splice and handle be clearly defined
4. That the blade of bat should be made of a single piece of solid wood
5. That the practice of injecting substances such as cork is to be illegal
6. That any cover should be used to protect, strengthen and repair the bat and not improve the 'striking power' of the bat
7. Whether the bat should remain the colour of natural wood
The CEC considered the specific case of the Kookaburra bat used by several international players and agreed that the bats should be allowed pending a final decision from MCC on their legality in relation to current regulations.
All of these decisions followed recommendations from the Cricket Committee which comprises former international cricketers and is chaired by Sunil Gavaskar. Other key agenda items from the CEC have been referred to the executive board for its consideration on Monday. The outcomes of the executive board meeting will be announced at the ICC Cricket Business Forum on Tuesday.