June 7, 2014

The Minus Rule and its pluses

What if batting teams were penalised for playing out dot balls in T20s?
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Sixes may bring in crowds in the short run, but for the game to truly flourish there must be an even contest between bat and ball. Dale Steyn was smashed in one over each by Yusuf Pathan for 26, MS Dhoni for 24 and AB de Villiers for 23 runs in the course of a single tournament. And five spinners, including international stars such as Pragyan Ojha, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra, were hit for more than 20 sixes in IPL 2014, more than any other bowler - not the sort of performances that will inspire youngsters to become bowlers.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad coach, Tom Moody already feels the IPL is a "quality product that has plateaued". This may become true of T20 cricket altogether, and by extension cricket itself, because its vehicle of growth will have lost its wheels.

So how can the playing field be evened out a little bit? T20's popularity hinges on aggressive hitting and fast-paced scoring, so we may not be able to equip the bowler with tools that curtail this too much. The fans make the game, and playing to the galleries is therefore not just desirable but necessary in this context.

But what if there was a Minus Rule: where the batting team was awarded negative runs for every dot ball faced? Other sports have changed along similar lines. Doubles tennis, for example, is played with the "no-ad" rule in some tournaments, whereby a game is decided by a single point at 40-40 to prevent viewer fatigue on account of back-to-back deuce-advantage situations. Field hockey, meanwhile, is set to become a 60-minute game of four quarters as opposed to the 70-minute game of two halves it currently is.

How will the Minus Rule work? For every dot ball earned by the bowling team, one run will be deducted from the batting team's total score. One run will also be deducted from the batsman's individual tally and correspondingly one will also be reduced from the column showing runs conceded by the bowler. The only type of dot ball that need not be penalised is a wicket-taking ball, because the bowling team is already adequately rewarded in that case.

This single step will provide greater reward to bowlers while giving batsmen more incentive to score runs off every ball. From a viewer's perspective, the dot ball will no longer be that dull moment between two scoring shots, but a moment that will be cheered because of the impact it has on the score and the match situation.

The effect of the Minus Rule may be better understood with a few examples:

Batsmen playing out dot balls: In the game between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium, Chris Gayle scored 38 runs off 24 balls at a strike rate of 158 - a good T20 knock by any account. However, in the 15 balls that he faced from Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard, he scored only 16. He played out eight dot balls and struck only two boundaries against them. He then went on to plunder 21 runs off a single Pawan Suyal over. Since he played a total of 12 dot balls in that innings, Gayle's contribution under the Minus Rule would have been worth 26 runs off 24 balls, at a strike rate of 108 - nothing to write home about in the T20 format. When batsmen play out bowlers the way Gayle did in this innings, those bowlers have nothing much to show for their good work, and it makes for dull viewing. Since fast-paced batting is the unique selling point of T20s, why not incentivise it even further, especially if it makes for better viewing and gives the bowlers a fairer chance.

How overall team scores will be impacted: Some may wonder whether this will make any difference at all in the long run because, after all, the same rule will apply to both teams. Let us say the team batting first scores 170, including 30 dot balls in the innings. While it may seem that the team batting second will only need to score 141 runs to win, they will in fact have a dynamic target depending on how many dot balls they play out. If they play zero dot balls in a clinical chase, they may need to score only 141. However, if the batsmen attempt to play out the better bowlers and smash the others, scoring even 180 may not be good enough if the team has played out more than 40 dot balls in the process. The Minus Rule will force teams to think more about strategy and pacing the innings.

Low-scoring chases: There are often situations when viewers expect the chasing team to wrap up the game quickly when the runs-to-balls equation is straightforward. However, some teams become overcautious and take the game to the very end, leaving fans bored and frustrated. A case in point is Chennai Super Kings' match against Sunrisers in Sharjah, where Super Kings needed only 22 runs to win off the last five overs, but eventually won with only three balls to spare. The Minus Rule will ensure that games don't drag on, thus staying in sync with the T20 spirit. Super Kings took no chances and played out six dot balls between the 15th and 19th overs of that match. If the Minus Rule were to be applied, they would have needed 11 runs to win off the last over, not as straightforward as the six runs that they in fact needed.

A foreseeable criticism of this model is that the move will be counterproductive and actually disincentivise strokeplay, because batsmen will poke and prod at balls to ensure they at least score a single run off it. For example, if the team batting first scores 150 with 30 dot balls, the chasing team can easily achieve their target of 121 by taking singles throughout the 20 overs. However, an educated fan will know this is not as simple as it sounds. Historically, we have seen that batsmen don't have the control to score off every ball, because if they did, they would have already been doing that in the numerous opportunities that low-scoring chases have presented them. Further, the Minus Rule will ensure that the pressure is always on the batting team even in a low-scoring chase. If a batsman plays out three dot balls and then scores a four, he has effectively scored just one run. Therefore, the boundary has not really released any pressure and he will be forced to go for another boundary in the over to ensure that the asking rate (even if it is only six runs an over) is kept in check. The Rule will incentivise attacking strokeplay, at least more often than not, while keeping bowlers in the game and ensuring viewers stay interested.

Potential glitches: There are a few foreseeable practical difficulties. The most significant issue will be around the scorecard representation of the negative runs. Another is the question around whether batsmen's milestones (such as fifties and hundreds) will be negated if a batsman plays out such a large number of dot balls after reaching the milestone that his score falls below the mark by the end of his innings. Also, another difficulty will be comparing individual and team scores played under the Minus Rule to past T20 matches.

A plausible solution is to make deductions from only the team total and not the batsman's individual score. However, the negative runs on account of the batsmen must be recorded separately. This can be done in the following manner. If MS Dhoni was bowled by Dale Steyn after scoring 75 runs off 34 balls it would currently be represented on the scorecard as below:

Current scorecard representation of a batting performance
Batsman Dismissal Mode Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s SR
MS Dhoni b Steyn 75 45 34 5 5 220.58

If the match is being played under the Minus Rule and Dhoni has played out ten dot balls, the scorecard could be shown as below:

Scorecard representation of a batting performance under the Minus Rule
Batsman Dismissal Mode Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s SR Minus Net SR
MS Dhoni b Steyn 75 45 34 5 5 220.58 10 191.17

This would ensure that batsmen's milestones and records will not have to be revoked once achieved. However, it is likely that there will be interesting scenes where batsmen are slightly embarrassed to celebrate their fifties/hundreds if they have gotten there after playing out numerous dot balls (like if he has scored 50 runs off 45 balls, including five sixes and five fours - this would mean that he has played out 35 dot balls, making his effective contribution to the team 15 runs off 45 balls). A similar system can be used to record bowling figures. Besides "runs conceded", additional columns can record "runs earned" and "net economy rate". Absurd situations such as those of batsmen ended their innings on a negative score (like of they score a five-ball duck) will also be avoided by this mode of data recording. This method also resolves any issues relating to scorecard representation, because the alteration from status quo is minimal. While match scorecards can record Minus Runs, Net Strike Rate, Runs Earned and Net Economy Rate, they may be ignored for the purpose of all other records. This will allow us to continue recording match data in the way they are today, thus ensuring that a separate database need not be created in relation to individual records (it may still be necessary for team scores and results) for matches played under the Minus Rule.

Under the Minus Rule, batsmen would not just be adding a run to their team's total by taking a single, but also ensuring that a run is not deducted from it. Essentially, a single will now be worth two.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bvnathan on June 11, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    The changes proposed / mooted are only for 20/20 games and no alterations to the TEST or 50/50 matches ... please

    As the S/R, Average, etc., for 20/20 records for the batsman, bowler, team remain the same with no changes, no changes are required to the current database or if required 20/20 games/matches can be maintained separately in a different database

  • bvnathan on June 11, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    Option (2) - Keep the 20 overs as the base, with runs reduced at the start and changed during chase. Increase the revised target by 1 run for every dot ball recorded while chasing Revised Target = 200-18 = 182 runs Overs available = 20 overs Run Rate required at start= 182/20 = 9.10

    Value Add - 1. A great entertainment value for the spectators. 2. Batting strategy for team B, during chase 3. The revised target score for team B increased by 1 run, for every dot ball recorded, while chasing the score for victory 4. No changes required to manipulate the statistics of Average, S/R etc. for the batsman, or the bowler, or the team - chasing or defending the score 5. Disciplined bowling and fielding efforts by team A, while defending

  • bvnathan on June 11, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    What are the options available for team B, during chase for victory and make it more challenging and interesting.

    Option (1) - with runs and overs limited during chase Revised Target = 200-18 = 182 runs Overs available = 20-3 = 17 overs Run Rate required = 182/17 = 10.71

    Value Add - 1. A great entertainment value for the spectators. 2. Batting strategy for team B, during chase 3. No limitations on the dot balls for team B, while chasing the score for victory 4. No changes required to manipulate the statistics of Average, S/R etc. for the batsman, or the bowler, or the team - chasing or defending the score 5. Disciplined bowling and fielding efforts by team A

    (Contd….)

  • bvnathan on June 11, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    The concept of 'Minus Rule' need not be complicated as indicated in the approach. With a delivery that is called wide, no-ball etc. provides an opportunity for the batsman to whack the next delivery to a four or six.

    Assuming the batsman to score of every ball is next to impossible - imagine a good yorker delivery that is blocked out, a batsman is beaten by the movement or the turn, no run scored due to excellent fielding, all these should not go against the batsman average, S/R or the runs scored by him with the balls scored.

    Any adjustments that may be required to make the match competitive should be at the team level. The approach can be simple. The risk and reward for the teams involved in the match should be made competitive.

    Assume Team A batting first scores 200 runs of its 20 overs. Also the team A consumed 18 dot balls due to great bowling/fielding effort by team B. (Contd….)

  • judedcouto on June 10, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    You dont have to worry about the Potential glitches Instead of deducting the run - each dot ball will reduce the total number of balls from 120 - 119 and so forth. this will not have any problem of the batsman's individual score after a milestone. this will also increase pressure on batsmen to score runs of every ball. A dot ball will increase the required run rate since with each dot ball the batting team will have to achieve the target with lesser number of balls. THIS I HAVE BEEN DREAMING OF - to create this even battle between bat and ball - India's bowling problem has escalated after the T20. though it is great entertainment. No one wants to be a bowler and be hated by the crowd when you get slaughtered in all parts of the world. Bring on this rule and you will see more bowlers coming along. Cause you could have bowling hero's - since batsmen will have to go after you at all times. and you can get them make mistakes.

  • Mannix16 on June 9, 2014, 0:12 GMT

    Sounds like a good idea, but in reality is way too complicated to be implemented.

  • Harlequin. on June 8, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    @sanjay ahuja. Good idea, I also think we should have 4 sets of wickets instead of just 2, because obviously that would double the fun. You wouldn't need stumps, maybe just mats on the ground would be enough. I also think that they should do something about the viewing angle for spectators, it seems unfair that people should pay money and not get a good view of the striking zone but if you only kept the bowling from one end then you could make the pitch into a diamond shape which would be better for everyone. Combine this with the recent suggestions on another comments board that bowlers should be able to throw in order to redress the bat/ball balance and it would make for a much better sport. Perhaps it would be a bit unsafe though, so I'd suggest the feilders should wear protective gloves or something like that

  • on June 8, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    It sounds good but with a bit tweaking , I honestly believe that the only way this may actually work would be for both teams to bat out their overs even then I am not sure if its going to work but I do agree that something must be done to assist the bowlers a little

  • on June 8, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    Why not keep it simple and implement the baseball rule of 3 strikes equals to 'Out'. Translation in T20 cricket three dot balls faced should be 'out'. This will apply some pressure on the batsman and equalize the playing field a little bit. I like the 'minus' idea but will be quite complicated to implement. 3 dot ball 'out' is easy to implement as its just another form of dismissal and will not create any issues with record books.

  • on June 8, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    As a bowler I love the concept, but the obvious flaw was only pointed out by Shemal Mustapha... The team batting second doesn't actually win when they achieve the target..! They would win when they have a safe margin...!

    Eg target is 125 and the team reaches there, but only one ball remains, the fielding team would want to bowl that one ball and see where it goes.

    Where as then the target is say 46 and the team reaches there in 12 overs (after all the accounting of dots etc) what happens then, the fielding team would like to take their chances and drag the game, where as the batting team wouldn't...!

    Also agree with Joan, I can visualize the scorekeeper on the ground already pulling out his hair...!

  • bvnathan on June 11, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    The changes proposed / mooted are only for 20/20 games and no alterations to the TEST or 50/50 matches ... please

    As the S/R, Average, etc., for 20/20 records for the batsman, bowler, team remain the same with no changes, no changes are required to the current database or if required 20/20 games/matches can be maintained separately in a different database

  • bvnathan on June 11, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    Option (2) - Keep the 20 overs as the base, with runs reduced at the start and changed during chase. Increase the revised target by 1 run for every dot ball recorded while chasing Revised Target = 200-18 = 182 runs Overs available = 20 overs Run Rate required at start= 182/20 = 9.10

    Value Add - 1. A great entertainment value for the spectators. 2. Batting strategy for team B, during chase 3. The revised target score for team B increased by 1 run, for every dot ball recorded, while chasing the score for victory 4. No changes required to manipulate the statistics of Average, S/R etc. for the batsman, or the bowler, or the team - chasing or defending the score 5. Disciplined bowling and fielding efforts by team A, while defending

  • bvnathan on June 11, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    What are the options available for team B, during chase for victory and make it more challenging and interesting.

    Option (1) - with runs and overs limited during chase Revised Target = 200-18 = 182 runs Overs available = 20-3 = 17 overs Run Rate required = 182/17 = 10.71

    Value Add - 1. A great entertainment value for the spectators. 2. Batting strategy for team B, during chase 3. No limitations on the dot balls for team B, while chasing the score for victory 4. No changes required to manipulate the statistics of Average, S/R etc. for the batsman, or the bowler, or the team - chasing or defending the score 5. Disciplined bowling and fielding efforts by team A

    (Contd….)

  • bvnathan on June 11, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    The concept of 'Minus Rule' need not be complicated as indicated in the approach. With a delivery that is called wide, no-ball etc. provides an opportunity for the batsman to whack the next delivery to a four or six.

    Assuming the batsman to score of every ball is next to impossible - imagine a good yorker delivery that is blocked out, a batsman is beaten by the movement or the turn, no run scored due to excellent fielding, all these should not go against the batsman average, S/R or the runs scored by him with the balls scored.

    Any adjustments that may be required to make the match competitive should be at the team level. The approach can be simple. The risk and reward for the teams involved in the match should be made competitive.

    Assume Team A batting first scores 200 runs of its 20 overs. Also the team A consumed 18 dot balls due to great bowling/fielding effort by team B. (Contd….)

  • judedcouto on June 10, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    You dont have to worry about the Potential glitches Instead of deducting the run - each dot ball will reduce the total number of balls from 120 - 119 and so forth. this will not have any problem of the batsman's individual score after a milestone. this will also increase pressure on batsmen to score runs of every ball. A dot ball will increase the required run rate since with each dot ball the batting team will have to achieve the target with lesser number of balls. THIS I HAVE BEEN DREAMING OF - to create this even battle between bat and ball - India's bowling problem has escalated after the T20. though it is great entertainment. No one wants to be a bowler and be hated by the crowd when you get slaughtered in all parts of the world. Bring on this rule and you will see more bowlers coming along. Cause you could have bowling hero's - since batsmen will have to go after you at all times. and you can get them make mistakes.

  • Mannix16 on June 9, 2014, 0:12 GMT

    Sounds like a good idea, but in reality is way too complicated to be implemented.

  • Harlequin. on June 8, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    @sanjay ahuja. Good idea, I also think we should have 4 sets of wickets instead of just 2, because obviously that would double the fun. You wouldn't need stumps, maybe just mats on the ground would be enough. I also think that they should do something about the viewing angle for spectators, it seems unfair that people should pay money and not get a good view of the striking zone but if you only kept the bowling from one end then you could make the pitch into a diamond shape which would be better for everyone. Combine this with the recent suggestions on another comments board that bowlers should be able to throw in order to redress the bat/ball balance and it would make for a much better sport. Perhaps it would be a bit unsafe though, so I'd suggest the feilders should wear protective gloves or something like that

  • on June 8, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    It sounds good but with a bit tweaking , I honestly believe that the only way this may actually work would be for both teams to bat out their overs even then I am not sure if its going to work but I do agree that something must be done to assist the bowlers a little

  • on June 8, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    Why not keep it simple and implement the baseball rule of 3 strikes equals to 'Out'. Translation in T20 cricket three dot balls faced should be 'out'. This will apply some pressure on the batsman and equalize the playing field a little bit. I like the 'minus' idea but will be quite complicated to implement. 3 dot ball 'out' is easy to implement as its just another form of dismissal and will not create any issues with record books.

  • on June 8, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    As a bowler I love the concept, but the obvious flaw was only pointed out by Shemal Mustapha... The team batting second doesn't actually win when they achieve the target..! They would win when they have a safe margin...!

    Eg target is 125 and the team reaches there, but only one ball remains, the fielding team would want to bowl that one ball and see where it goes.

    Where as then the target is say 46 and the team reaches there in 12 overs (after all the accounting of dots etc) what happens then, the fielding team would like to take their chances and drag the game, where as the batting team wouldn't...!

    Also agree with Joan, I can visualize the scorekeeper on the ground already pulling out his hair...!

  • on June 8, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    To Apply this rule you must wipe out DWL system from the game. It's crazy idea don't know where do these ideas come out from. Plus-minus games are we talking about golf here or cricket. How can you put this formula in order. For every ball being bowled and missed need to add or minus runs and for every six you need to penalise the bowler. A wide and no ball will have different impacts. A no ball run out. No ball six and wide ball stump out and a six sixes over and a six dot ball over and a 5 runs over throw, then something you have helmet behind the keeper for hitting that and the batsman haven't hit the ball. Don't know really what else is gonna happen to cricket game

  • on June 8, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    Crazy idea... Even if you want that to be implemented it would mean batsmen will try to score of every ball. But its ripple effects will spill over to test cricket. A dot ball may be coz of a peach of an outswinger and you wouldnt want batsmen to be chasing good balls in pursuit of some runs.. Imagine seeing an opening batsmen going for a wild swish outside the offstump for an outswinger in a test match.. What an ugly sight that would be!! At the moment there are too many people trying to tweak the game too much . Interest only seems to be to sell the sport!! Dont think for people!! People who really love the game love it the way it has been over the last 100 years!! There are still people who would love to see balls left outside the offstump, classic forward defence!! Bring back the Sunny's, the Dravid's.. Dont tweak the game be it t20,test or odi !!

  • on June 8, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    I will not agree with this... Both teams are given 120 or 300 balls, let them pace their innings the way they want... they can take 6 singles or hit a six block other 5... Minus rule will also rue the innings building or pacing art, which is widely consider as hal mark of batsman.. let the game be as it is, don't do these complex/novel changes

  • on June 8, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    The Minus Rule should be "trialed" in all formats in second tier cricket teams as it would be the perfect testing ground for this approach to reducing dot balls. It could increase the overall flow of runs in test cricket while increasing the crowds in any format in games such as:

    eg. India vs Zimbabwe/Ireland/Afghanistan. (away from home) England vs Ireland/Zimbabwe/Netherlands. (away from home)

    I am not saying that these teams have bad supporters, but the lack of crowds can seem disheartening for any player let alone any fans who watch the game through: TV, Mobiles, Laptops etc.

  • on June 8, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Novel concept...but will lead to more of negative bowling; i.e..too wide outside off or round the wicket ..

  • bouncer709 on June 8, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Cricket is all about playing with bat and ball, so why you want to play cricket by negative rules and regulation. To bring balance in ball and bat better remove power play, free hits, do not allow leg bye runs and increase the width for wide balls on off side as bowler have very little margin due to all bowls considered wide on leg side. If batsmen trying switch hit then ball should not be given wide on any side. If the fielder stop the ball inside the rope but touch or cross the boundary while ball in his hand do not give 4, if he catches the ball and touch or cross the boundary then do not award batsman 6 runs but do not consider him out.

  • on June 8, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    An interesting concept. I guess there are some flaws. But i doubt that the team batting second will have a distinct advantage. As others have pointed out the team batting second does not have a significantly lesser score to chase, (eg: As posted by Senith Senhiru, The team batting second has to score only 2 runs for the first 2 deliveries, if the team batting first has scored 61 singles in the 120 balls). But what you need to realise is that the second innings wouldn't end as soon as they complete the target. In order to account for all the minus points the second innings must also go the entire distance of 120 balls. Hence the match will not end after the second innings crosses 2 runs. In order to avoid minus runs the team batting second would also have to be consistently scoring a run every two balls. Hope this is clear. Any way this concept is applied in indoor cricket as far as i know, but it aint a big hit. Not sure if it is this rule or the sport it self overall though :)

  • on June 8, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    Dot balls is not an achievement.................low E/Ris even wickets is not

    But in tests dots or low e/r is no achievement wickets matter

  • on June 8, 2014, 2:06 GMT

    This idea will give me a big headache and I will have to switch off the TV if implemented for T 20 matches ... There is too much counting! And could be an administrative headache for those managing the scoreboard.

    You are anticipating boredom for T20 matches when it provides the most entertainment in cricket for simple folk like myself.

    I think it is better to try the Minus Rule with ODIs and Test Matches.

  • on June 8, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    maybe the bowling team should be allowed a powerplay where they double the dot ball penalty to put more pressure on the batting side -- e.g. from over 13-17 the dot ball penalty will be doubled

  • nishitgandhi on June 7, 2014, 23:51 GMT

    The moment I read "awarded negative runs" in the article I knew what was coming my way. How can giving negative runs be an award? Anyway, coming back to the article, it does not seem like a great idea at all. The whole concept is based on the assumption that a dot ball results in a dull moment. If a dot ball bores you, then you are not a cricket fan. You should probably switch to watching WWE. However, I am in favor of evening out the balance between bat and ball. Some of the things that can be done are - increasing boundary sizes, allowing extra over(s) to your best bowlers, disallowing leg byes and no free hits. If a batsman fails to put bat to ball to a legitimate delivery, the batting team does not deserve runs except for byes. Also, free hits are totally unnecessary as the bowling team has already been penalized 1 run. Why is a front foot no ball so unforgiving to the bowler? It is not like he is trying to gain an unfair advantage by bowling half an inch in front of the crease.

  • sifter132 on June 7, 2014, 23:06 GMT

    I think viewers are already smart enough to realise the value of a dot ball, it doesn't need to be rewarded on the score card. All that's doing is making more confusion for scorers and viewers. eg. last ball of the game, scores are tied and a catch is skied to the bowler. He's better off dropping it and hoping for a dot bal, so his team can win. That's not tactics we should encourage. Another example, A player gets to 50 and plays a dot ball which drops him to 49. Does he signal to the crowd upon passing 50 again? It cheapens runs when you can take them away on a whim. It would be this kind of tinkering that would spell the end of T20, it would be seen as a sport that couldn't survive without gimmicks.

  • inswing on June 7, 2014, 21:37 GMT

    It is an interesting and novel idea. It would benefit the team batting second too much, in medium to low scoring games, though. If the team batting second knows that they only have to achieve 80 or 100 runs (instead of 110 or 120 runs), they just have to ensure that they keep taking singles. No risk taking or boundaries are needed. You can plan the chase much better, and take very little risk. The team batting first does not have that luxury. The easiest method to empower the bowling side is to allow any one bowler to bowl 6 overs. That way, it is harder to bat someone out and target a weak bowler. One in-form batsman can completely change the game and bat as long as he wants, so it is only fair that an in-form bowler is allowed to do the same.

  • on June 7, 2014, 21:07 GMT

    I understand your point of view, but I dont think this rule makes sense. They should just make boundaries bigger so batsmen have to earn their 6s. And they should allow 1 or 2 extra fielders outside of the circle

  • on June 7, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    Absurd idea. Take an example of an India vs Australia T20i #52 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/291356.html. India were bowled out for 74 in 17.3 overs and played around 55 dot balls. Their final score as per this minus rule would be 19. Now Australia would only need to chase 20 runs in 20 overs. This is totally unfair. The team batting 2nd will get an unfair advantage even if they loose 4 to 5 wickets quickly they don't have to score 75 in 20. They only need 20 runs in 20 overs which should be a walk in the park even for any club side. Unless you ask team batting 2nd to play out full 20 overs and then make calculations in the end to declare the winner which is ridiculous.

  • Shuraim on June 7, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    Pathetic it takes strategic aspect away from cricket which in fact is the distinguishing factor between cricket and baseball. I would just suggest going back to old days of balanced pitches and boundary dimensions for restoring balance between bat and ball, honestly it is that simple.

  • on June 7, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    Increasing the bowler's quota as he bowls dot balls is a good idea, but maybe 3 rather than 6 consecutive dot balls earn an extra over, maybe an extra over if he bowls his quota of 4 below a pre-agreed economy rate. Maybe a penalty on a batsman who does not score of a defined # of consecutive balls (the Strike concept of baseball).

  • on June 7, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    This is very foolish idea Lets take example Team batted first score 61 singles and faced 60 dot balls in T 20 match. Team bat first only score 1 run from 120 ball Team batting second need to do take 2 run for very first 2 balls. How crazy???? Then what if you need to do is team batting second also should batting through total 20 overs and final calculation can done.

  • on June 7, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    How about increasing the bowler's quota if he bowls dot balls? Do it in groups of six. Then, when the bowler has bowled six dots cumulatively, he is allowed one extra over in addition to his normal quota. The effect of this will be to have the better bowlers bowling more overs.

    Of course, in theory, two bowlers would be sufficient, but that would only be if they keep bowling maidens. In practice, in a T20, you might have the Narines and Malingas bowling 1 or 2 extra overs each. This will allow teams to go in with 4 or even 3 good bowlers if they are good enough, and stack the side with batsmen.

  • on June 7, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    Let's for an instance this idea has been implemented then for how long would it work. Let leave cricket as a cricket game not a complicated game. Playing cricket since childhood have tried a few different rules in my town but that doesn't become part of the professional game. If you want to try something like this please keep it away from professionalism. Keep cricket simple where a six is a six and four is a four. If a batsman is chasing a target of 200 in twenty overs the average should be 10 an over. But missing one ball will make it more complicated as to hit a consecutive sixes will be more different to the game. So you can chase down 200 in twenty over as well and then with player like Maxwell you can win the game in 20 balls as well. Doesn't make any sense to me at all the list is long mate.

  • ultimatewarrior on June 7, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Be Positive and bring more positivity to Game....Add a column "Dot" just like a 4 & 6 to every batsman and when every time a bowler bowls a Dot Ball, Add Runs to Bowler's Dot column in Batting Section...like if Steyn bowls 10 dots(either bowling 1st or bowling 2nd), increase batsman Steyn's Dot column & total score by 10 and further increase South Africa's batting Score by 10...Altogether 1 glitch will be same...moving target.....To manage this I have to take little bit U turn from my opening line...Simply add no. of dots in bowler's bowling analysis(just like wide, no-ball) and impact with reduction of 1 run from batting Team(not Batsman) just like we add wides/no-balls to scores, here Reduce a run for each dot-ball…And yes I firmly believes Bowlers should get more Rewards and Bowling should be more Eventful, instead of just 10 wicket taking deliveries in an Innings…

  • crikkfan on June 7, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    innovative idea - for sure. should be tried out at club games first to see the practical side of it.

  • on June 7, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    So a team could get a negative score, thus requiring no run chase?

    Or a team could score 10, then a team could be 11/0 after the first over and the chasing side still has to bat 20 overs in case the opposition bowl enough dot balls?

    What an awful idea.

  • Mittaraghava on June 7, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    I do not support the veiw that batsman should be penalized for playing dot balls.I feel there should be a new rule in T20 matches so that the captain can "Recall" a batsman when he is playing dot balls and taking singles,when there are few overs to go and there are 3 or more specialist batsman waiting to come out and boost the total.I have seen 3 matches situations when the batsman could not score runs quickly nor get out,resulting in their side losing the match.They are 1.Samules in world cup T20 semi finals,Yuvaraj sing in the T20 final match against SL and Vohra in the final IPL match against KKR.All these are recent matches.

  • on June 7, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Why not 3 dots in a row and you're out. Why not replace the pitch with a diamond. Wait that's baseball

  • on June 7, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    No batting team with any sense adopts exactly the same approach against every bowler - they play more cautiously against the best bowlers and smash as many as possible off the rest. T20 is certainly biased towards the batsmen, but if you want to redress the balance their are far less drastic ways to do it - increasing the size of the boundaries would be a good start.

  • Batmanian on June 7, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    It might actually make T20 watchable. I quite like the captaining dilemma between limiting boundaries and securing dot balls.

  • landl47 on June 7, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    So under this rule there will be even less incentive for taking wickets and even more for slogging at every ball. Just what cricket needs.

  • on June 7, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    This is a bad idea, and breaks the game fundamentally. Bowlers do get an advantage from bowling dot balls. . . every ball that doesn't concede a run causes the necessary run rate for the batting side to increase (to either set a desired target or chase down a total) while runs off a ball generally cause it to drop or at least maintain the required rate.

    Consider this scenario, the batting team requires 18 runs off 18 balls, a required rate of 6.00. The bowler then only concedes 3 runs from the first of these remaining overs, leaving the chase at 15 off 12 at a required rate of 7.5. By bowling a tight over the bower was able to make the job more difficult for the batting side.

    If you want a balanced game you need to provide balance in the rules and regulations governing the tournament, i.e. minimum field sizes, power play restrictions, over restrictions and bat size. Give the fielding side something to work with and you'll end up with a balanced game.

  • ReverseSweepRhino on June 7, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    Sure, but let's take it a bit further. How about modifying how the score is calculated, such that

    Final score of team = Actual score + (number of sixes) + √(number of boundaries) - (number of wickets)² - √(number of dot balls) + ³√(πr² ) + ¾(Average Temperature in °C)

    * r = average radius of the boundary ropes; π=3.14159265....

    I mean, cricket needs more mathematics to make it even more interesting for the average viewer, right?

  • on June 7, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    This is not practical, as it is very biased...... A team scores 175.... but on the MINUS RULE the team chasing needs only 126 to win because the first team played out 50 dot balls.... [THIS IS ONLY AN HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION]

    Such a dubious rule will disregard the FIRST INNINGS where the team would have accelerated superbly in the end overs.....

    ALSO WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SEE MATCHES SUCH AS: 1) Netherlands chasing a mammoth score in 14 overs in the T20 WORLD CUP, to qualify to for the next stage. 2) KKR achieving a huge score in 14.2 overs to finish second in the points table in IPL 2014 3) MI chasing down 195 in 14.4 overs to qualify for the PLAYOFFS in IPL 2014

    SO SUCH A RULE IS NOT APPLICABLE IN REALITY!!!!!!!!

  • AlexPG on June 7, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    What happens if say a team is chasing 150, and gets to 151 with two balls to spare. Does the match end, or does the fielding team get to bowl the additional two balls in the hope of getting two dot balls and winning the match?

  • CodandChips on June 7, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    This rule would absolutely crucify the West Indies.

  • on June 7, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    i think Duncan Willis is right. Negative runs at the expense of penalizing a defensive stroke borders on madness. If there has to be more for bowlers, then take away the power plays.

  • on June 7, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    lovely and lively concept. I simply love it.

  • on June 7, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    @anurag lets not change the most important and basic aspect of the game ... the chasing team has to achieve the 1 extra run to win ... hence if that has been achieved. .. any claim after that makes no sense

  • riverlime on June 7, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Or.....We can just keep the scoring the way it is, and have this little statistic put up as as interesting factoid about any player's scoring pattern.

  • baghels.a on June 7, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    @Bishen Jaswant should be applauded for coming up with novel out of box ideas but lets not tinker with the basics rules the game.If you have something in the pitch for the bowlers,if you have decent sized boundaries, if gun bowlers in this format like Narine,Ajmal or even emerging young kid like Akshar Patel are allowed to bowl 5 instead of alloted 4 , why not revisit the substitution role ,trial it in IPL and other T 20 tournaments and if successful then give it a go in 50 overs cricket but keep test cricket untouched.Captain and coach should be allowed one substitute in the break, a batter can be replaced by a specialist bowler and vice versa , this guarantees you a keen contest between bat and ball because specialist bowlers will be bowling at regular batters most of the time.

  • ladycricfan on June 7, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    Why complicate things? Also Why penalise a good defensive stroke? Defensive strokes have a place in T20 as well. Opposition tends to play safe against good bowlers. Teams who have the luxury of players like Malinga and Narine will be rewarded even further with this minus rule.

  • on June 7, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    Fundamentally you're trying to make the game more exciting by removing balls where nothing happens. Consider these alternatives (your proposal would make the game tip-and-run, run outs would become the most common form of dismissal):

    1. Maiden over: 5 run penalty 2. Hat-trick of dot balls: 1 run penalty 3. 12 or more runs scored in an over: 1 bonus run 4. First three boundaries (4 or 6) per over worth normal. Boundaries 4,5,6 would attract +2, +4 and +6 bonus runs.

  • NabeelUsmani on June 7, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    The mere thought of this idea seems to be pathetic, as this will more likely shake the core of basic cricket. When the " Thinker " presents the examples of other sports, he forgets that the basic rules of those games remain unchanged. In field Hockey, the duration of the game has been changed (They are not asking teams to score on every penalty corner otherwise the number of goals they have already scored will be deducted), similarly in Tennis the omission of deuce does not effect the basic method of the game. It is high time that we start focusing more on making this game better without disturbing its soul. Because an educated and dedicated fan will watch it anyway; no matter how boring it seems to others.

  • on June 7, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    Man oh man what else are you gonna come up with? If by these kind of rules are implemented, we will have to find a new name for cricket. Because what you are talking is simply not cricket.

  • on June 7, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    This is quite possibly the stupidest idea ever. Cricket is fine as is. Dot balls give openers the chance to settle, like Chris Gayle, and should not penalise the team. Whats more it would discourage young players from practicing a good defence (vital in longer formats) because they would penalise the team in the shorter formats.

  • anurag4u10 on June 7, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    A very important aspect is not covered in the glitches. Suppose Team 1 scores 160 in 20 overs Team 2 scores while chasing 161 in 19.3 overs. Now team 1 can claim that they can still win the match by bowling 3 dot balls. On the other hand, team 2 will claim that they will lose wicket on every ball from here on (hit wicket is the safest way or run out may be) and thus it wont add up to any minus run

  • on June 7, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    @Timmuh: The calculations would be going on during the innings and not after the innings.And besides it is not possible for a team batting second to win with a dot ball(the last they played). I think this much is enough Mr. Timmuh?

  • on June 7, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    oh thankgod...atleast somebody has come up with an idea for the bowlers in this batsman advantageous world.Being a bowler I am relieved even on the thoughts of such a rule.Welldone Thinker...!This should be applied in the domestic world to review the impact.I think this will cover everything : Free hit,powerplay,5 fielders in the circle,benefit of the doubt. GO ICC GO....

  • on June 7, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    As it is the T20 game is exciting. The more the emphasis on rules /initiatives like this, the more the chances that the game will spread only in India, because Indians traditionally are good at Mathematics. Such rules as right pointed out by @BlakeHoulinan will impede chances of the game becoming popular in countries like the USA, where people may not be able to understand many of the things involved, especially when it comes to Mathematics.

  • BlakeHoulihan on June 7, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    While this is an interesting initiative, cricket is already quite confusing to a newcomer. Imagine trying to explain all the rules to someone who has never seen the sport before. It would be impossible to remember all of them, no matter how big of a cricket fan you are. Let's keep it simple, particularly if it is to eventually appeal to the American market.

  • Timmuh on June 7, 2014, 3:12 GMT

    So, if the team batting second overtakes the score would they need to be ahead by the number of legal deliveries remaining? eg. TeamA post 180. TeamB reaches 181 with an over remaining, they could still in theory end up on 175 and lose the match. So would the game need to be played out until they were far enough ahead?

  • on June 7, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    It would be interesting with minus rule. Captains would look to stop singles,power play will concede maximum minus runs and every game will be exciting. Players like Gayle and Pathan will be missing from teams. Dravid might come out of retirement. Lol But it would be fun. Bowlers would be happy with their economy for sure. But hardly feel any board would adopt the idea.

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  • on June 7, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    It would be interesting with minus rule. Captains would look to stop singles,power play will concede maximum minus runs and every game will be exciting. Players like Gayle and Pathan will be missing from teams. Dravid might come out of retirement. Lol But it would be fun. Bowlers would be happy with their economy for sure. But hardly feel any board would adopt the idea.

  • Timmuh on June 7, 2014, 3:12 GMT

    So, if the team batting second overtakes the score would they need to be ahead by the number of legal deliveries remaining? eg. TeamA post 180. TeamB reaches 181 with an over remaining, they could still in theory end up on 175 and lose the match. So would the game need to be played out until they were far enough ahead?

  • BlakeHoulihan on June 7, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    While this is an interesting initiative, cricket is already quite confusing to a newcomer. Imagine trying to explain all the rules to someone who has never seen the sport before. It would be impossible to remember all of them, no matter how big of a cricket fan you are. Let's keep it simple, particularly if it is to eventually appeal to the American market.

  • on June 7, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    As it is the T20 game is exciting. The more the emphasis on rules /initiatives like this, the more the chances that the game will spread only in India, because Indians traditionally are good at Mathematics. Such rules as right pointed out by @BlakeHoulinan will impede chances of the game becoming popular in countries like the USA, where people may not be able to understand many of the things involved, especially when it comes to Mathematics.

  • on June 7, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    oh thankgod...atleast somebody has come up with an idea for the bowlers in this batsman advantageous world.Being a bowler I am relieved even on the thoughts of such a rule.Welldone Thinker...!This should be applied in the domestic world to review the impact.I think this will cover everything : Free hit,powerplay,5 fielders in the circle,benefit of the doubt. GO ICC GO....

  • on June 7, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    @Timmuh: The calculations would be going on during the innings and not after the innings.And besides it is not possible for a team batting second to win with a dot ball(the last they played). I think this much is enough Mr. Timmuh?

  • anurag4u10 on June 7, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    A very important aspect is not covered in the glitches. Suppose Team 1 scores 160 in 20 overs Team 2 scores while chasing 161 in 19.3 overs. Now team 1 can claim that they can still win the match by bowling 3 dot balls. On the other hand, team 2 will claim that they will lose wicket on every ball from here on (hit wicket is the safest way or run out may be) and thus it wont add up to any minus run

  • on June 7, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    This is quite possibly the stupidest idea ever. Cricket is fine as is. Dot balls give openers the chance to settle, like Chris Gayle, and should not penalise the team. Whats more it would discourage young players from practicing a good defence (vital in longer formats) because they would penalise the team in the shorter formats.

  • on June 7, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    Man oh man what else are you gonna come up with? If by these kind of rules are implemented, we will have to find a new name for cricket. Because what you are talking is simply not cricket.

  • NabeelUsmani on June 7, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    The mere thought of this idea seems to be pathetic, as this will more likely shake the core of basic cricket. When the " Thinker " presents the examples of other sports, he forgets that the basic rules of those games remain unchanged. In field Hockey, the duration of the game has been changed (They are not asking teams to score on every penalty corner otherwise the number of goals they have already scored will be deducted), similarly in Tennis the omission of deuce does not effect the basic method of the game. It is high time that we start focusing more on making this game better without disturbing its soul. Because an educated and dedicated fan will watch it anyway; no matter how boring it seems to others.