Cricket regulations that could do with a tweak

Allow three bowlers to bowl 12 overs each in ODIs

It's time to tip the scales slightly in favour of the bowling side, and thereby improve the quality of the contest

S Rajesh

April 8, 2013

Comments: 75 | Text size: A | A

Dale Steyn bowled a probing opening spell, England v South Africa, 4th ODI, Lord's, September 2, 2012
Give the best bowlers a greater say in the game © AFP

For a long time now, rule changes in ODIs have largely been geared towards helping batsmen score more runs, without caring about what it does to the balance of the contest between bat and ball. The Powerplays, the free hits for no-balls, and the reduction in the number of fielders allowed outside the circle in non-Powerplay overs, from five to four, are all examples of how the bowlers have been hit. Add to this meatier bats, smaller grounds, and batting beauties that go under the name of excellent pitches, and it's clear there's often little in it for bowlers in these matches.

The odd change has helped their cause - having two new balls helps fast bowlers outside the subcontinent - but those can hardly compensate for several others that go against the bowlers. In fact, this rule arguably favours batsmen on the slower tracks of the subcontinent, with the ball remaining hard for a longer period, and thus allowing batsmen to play their shots more comfortably. The five-inside-the-circle rule might, in theory, help the fielding team attack more, but on the flat tracks that ODIs are usually played on, it only denies the fielding team another boundary fielder.

The numbers show that ODI run rates have been steadily increasing over the decades, from 4.58 in the 1990s, to 4.89 in the 2000s, to 5.02 since the beginning of 2010. The rate in each year of ODI cricket since 2007 has been more than 4.90.

To redress the balance, it's time to allow the best bowlers in a team to bowl more overs. This isn't a new idea, and has even been adopted by the Indian board for the 2012-13 domestic season (one bowler from each team can bowl a maximum of 12 overs, with the others bowling not more than ten). Anil Kumble, who played a major role in introducing this change, and is a big fan of easing the ten-over limit: "I believe that 12 overs for one bowler in the one-dayers will not only provide a better contest between bat and ball but will also bring in more room for strategising for the captains."

I'd go further and allow three bowlers 12 overs, which will allow the best ones a greater say in the game. It'll give the captains more options, and help neutralise the effect of the batting Powerplays.

Currently, captains are often forced to use their best bowlers during this period, leaving them thin on resources during the final overs of an innings. These extra six overs will allow captains to use the best bowlers during the batting Powerplay and yet have overs from them left to utilise towards the end of the innings.

The best bowlers bowling more overs will also enhance the quality of the contest, with the fifth bowler needing to bowl fewer overs. In turn, it'll force batsmen to score off the better bowlers, instead of waiting to milk the fifth bowler.

There's also a case to similarly increase the number of overs a bowler can bowl from four to five in T20 internationals. Anything that enhances the contest between bat and ball needs to be encouraged; at the moment, it's mostly one-way traffic, with batsmen getting all the advantages.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (April 10, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

I Beleive that since there is 12 overs per player. a total of 48 overs can be bowled by 4 bowlers with a part timer taking on the 2 overs. Which means the teams would to increase their batters up to seven. Thus it would mean the batsmen would be more aggresive than usual because of the additional batsmen. Thus this will counter ballance the "Good Baller Effect".

And if one good baller does not a good day it means party for the batsmen.

Posted by anton_ego on (April 9, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

I hate this phenomenon called 'bowling all-rounder'. Youngsters are misdirected to pursue both the aspects of cricket equally well, unless the person is as gifted as one-in-a-billion like a Kallis or a Sobers or an Imran Khan. We are seeing Parnell preferred over philander in T20. Jadeja preferred over Ojha. Peterson preferred over Tahir. This sets a bad precedent. After all its not their fault to pursue one aspect of the game, which is what youngsters are taught to do from the beginning. This ugly phenomenon is dictating the T20s now (we are seeing IPL teams play as many as 4 all-rounders). And slowly creeping into ODIs. This wont take long to hit the Tests, or has it already? (Jadeja..!!)

Posted by   on (April 9, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

This will definitely impair the bowlers. Ya the bowlers in the team and the captain will be benefited. But the number of people who choose bowing as a career will be diminished. Now most teams have 5+4+1+1 combination. Your suggestion will mean a 5+3+2+1 combination is enough to complete the 50 over quota. That's not good news for bowlers sitting in the bench.

Posted by adonis.warrior on (April 9, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

I would rather give option to bowl unlimited overs to bowler... it should be completely captains logic to use which bowler at what time... why only batsmen have option to bat as long as wicket falls.....

Posted by Dhanno on (April 9, 2013, 1:25 GMT)

Frankly I am not getting how this move can help india or any team ? India doesnt have one good ODI bowler, let alone 3 to make use of such rule. It will be a good change though, it will expose the teams which do not have decent bowlers (i.e most teams) and put incentive on developing bowling stocks. Also the other aspect of 3 bowlers bowling 36 overs is: Avg batsman who thrive on flat pitches/ short boundaries/ 20 or more overs from avg bowlers (assuming a team has 3 good bowlers) will have a tough time. It will be delight to see Raina/ Yuvi/ Rohit and the likes having to face quality bowling for bulk of time against teams like SA or pakistan. Yes the shame is not many teams have 3 good bowlers. I can see batsman still flourishing against the likes of BD/ Eng (whose ODI bowling isnt top notch)/ even Aus/ WI/ NZL who dont have 3 top quality bowlers.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

With this, there is a chance that teams start playing with 4 bowlers instead of 5 as fifth bowler has to bowl only 4 overs now. so this means 1 bowler less included into the team so bowler will get less chance to represent their country and in fact one more batsman in the team means this rule will again in favor of batsman

Posted by Ashique129 on (April 8, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

Good idea! Like it! One may also ponder the other side of the story: a team can choose to have only three genuine bowlers and one 'OK' bowler to get to 46 overs. These days hardly any team fields 5 genuine bowlers (barring South Africa, but that changes when Kallis retires). Will this proposed change reduce the number of specialist bowlers available, Rajesh?

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

Stupid idea. And for those of you saying that if a batsman can play as many overs he wants then why don't the bowlers can bowl as much as they want, I would say you can't compare a bowler with a batsman. A bowler can comeback after being hit for a six, but a batsman can't come back if he is out. The game is already much in favor of the bowler!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

That would leave even fewer slots for bowlers in the team.

Posted by Sunrays on (April 8, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

I think one way to even up the contest, force captains to be more attacking is to give the right to the batting captain to nominate a bowler (anyone batting from 7-11) from the opposing team who MUST BOWL 10 overs. This way captains will be forced to pick the five best bowlers available.

Posted by RaviNarla on (April 8, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

Dhoni would be the first one to welcome this proposition. India always were left wanting for the fifth bowler and that is were India leaked more runs. It even out the contest between bat and ball in true match situations that go down the wire.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

This rule seems very fascinating, but Actually this rule would go against the bowlers. Reasons: 1- Teams would select two less specialist bowlers and select extra batsman, part-timers or bowling all-rounders. 2- Injuries for bowlers is a big issue at the moment. It would increase due to extra load on best bowlers. 3- Less bowlers would get chance to get in the team. so ultimately we may loose good talent. As indicated by Navin262k, In the long-run it would heart bowlers more than anyone else.

Posted by Omarrz on (April 8, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

This rule will most likely suit Indian bowling.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (April 8, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

This is what you get with limited overs format cricket - endless suggestions about how the rules can be tinkered to produce... what? More 'excitement'? A better balance between bat & ball? More TV friendly coverage? All revisions are scions of the true game & so long as no one forgets that, then tinker away -- endlessly. It's all a bit like the food industry, with their colourful packaged meals of highly questionable food value. In the end only the gold standard will count for anything: Test cricket is le cordon blu & that uses fresh, unrestricted ingredients only!

Posted by Selassie-I on (April 8, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

Good idea in principle, however wouldn't this make teams only ever consider playing 4 bowlers and using part timers to make up the other 4. Thus also strengthening the batting order?

Posted by shery2floyd on (April 8, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

agree but should go further, no limit for one bowler and has to be published when team is declared. others limited to 10. that will make game more interesting.

Posted by Romanticstud on (April 8, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

I reckon the 3 bowler 12 overs each would work providing an 8 over restriction be placed on the other bowlers ... allowing 6 overs from a 5th bowler still to be bowled ... Another thing Id like to see is that bowlers be allowed the same space leg side as on the off side for wides and the LBW law be changed to suit a ball pitching outside leg that would hit the stumps ... affording leg-spinners more opportunity ... Batting and Bowling Powerplays should be made to be taken between overs 20-40 ... Fielding restrictions should be in place in the 1st 10 overs only and give the captain more freedom of attacking during the bowling powerplay ... with 3 close fielders ... but also 3 boundary fielders ... these should be in place too for each powerplay ...

Posted by D-Train on (April 8, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

In the Ryobi Cup bowlers are allowed to bowl 13 overs. I actually quite like the rule because it allows the best bowlers to keep bowling, but from a batting perspective it allows you to play an extra pure batsman instead of a flimsy bits and pieces all-rounder type like Henriques, McLaren ect.

So from a spectators perspective you get better quality batsmen and better quality bowlers.

Posted by josh.davis on (April 8, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

I agree with the sentiment of trying to make the limited over formats less batsman dominated, but a potential result of this idea could be teams feeling more comfortable playing 7 batsmen (1 of whom could bowl 4 overs), keeper and 4 bowlers, as the part timer would only need to cover the 4 overs not bowled by the other 4. Meaning a deeper batting line up and potentially 4 overs of pies as an allrounder may not be worth his place if he's only needed to provide 24 balls.

Posted by ansram on (April 8, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

Why 12 overs? It could be more, like 15 or it could have no limits. If a captain wants to use just two bowlers, so be it.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

This will favor teams like India, SL more where they play with lot of part timers and 1-2 strike bowlers. Imagine Dhoni having luxary of using only 4 bowlers... he will go with as many as 9 batsman. This will further move contents in favor of batsman as they will be having more batsman lined up in team allowing them to play more attacking ...

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

T20 & ODI's should be purged in to a single 35 over format with fast bowlers getting a new ball for the entire game whereas spin bowlers can use an old ball from the start There should be 7 overs max per bowler. This format should provide more entertainment and also some quality batting and bowling which is lacking in T20's which are just meant for entertainment.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

This rule, although in the short run will contribute to closer contests between bat and ball, will eventually discourage teams from playing more than 4 frontline bowlers. Why is it being considered a negative that a fielding captain's hands are tied due to powerplays and death overs? He could as well play 5 frontline bowlers, and if the nation does not have 5 quality bowlers, then it should rightly be a disadvantage to the nation. This rule will eventually only contribute to encouraging selection of more batsmen, and further into the future, might even discourage youngsters from picking bowling over batting since there are a reduced number of bowling places in an XI.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

ODI's more important than ever. With IPL a none event over here, Just read 185,000 viewers for yesterday's IPL game on ITV4 - 60%+ are Indian expats. UK viewers not even slightly interested in IPL.Whereas ODI's are massively popular, and always pull full houses, Sadly - even domestic T20 has been declining year on years since 2009. But ODI's need to rebalance batting and bowling. Why not have a 48 over match? 4 bowlers - 12 overs each. Most sides would not want to go into this with "bits and pieces" bowlers as having 3 front liners and a couple of "bits and pieces" bowlers would expose them for 25% of the innings rather than 20% they are exposed with the 4+[a made up fifth]. Captains may still want choices though. As the game progresses having a second spinner or someone suited to whatever conditions prevail would always be a bonus. Intersting choices, but the option of a bowler afecting 25% of deliveries...which is still half of the deliveries that many batsmen end up competing i

Posted by yoogi on (April 8, 2013, 11:12 GMT)

One glaring problem would be some captains will be tempted go with just four good bowlers hoping to get just 4 overs from part-timers. But Anils original idea of just 1 bowler getting the extra two overs or two bowlers sharing 1 over each is quite nice reward for the bowlers. Also batsmen could be restricted to not facing more than 120 balls before seventh wicket falls! The set batsmen need to score quicker. Also, the problem with DW-L, is that it expects the best bowlers and batsman to finish their quota first. While it is the norm for the batsmen, but it cannot be expected from spinners. Also if the contest is being reduced at 15th over, and the best bowler still has 5 more overs (or 50 percent) he should be allowed to bowl at least two more overs. But if the contest is reduced to just 25 overs a side, then the best bowler will be denied his remaining overs.It happened in BL win over SL, malinga didnt get one more over to go at BL. Hope they will spot the problem soon.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

Also we should give some flexibility in terms of leg side bowling. Now any ball on the leg side, even it is so close to the leg stump is declared wide. Come on guys, let us be reasonable. We can have a guide line for the leg side that will be half the size of the off side guide line. This will allow the bowler to concentrate on the middle-leg line more, rather than bowling wide outside off stump.

Posted by NumberXI on (April 8, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

As attractive as the idea sounds, the most likely outcome will be that the present 7 batsmen + 4 bowlers formula will promptly be ditched by teams like India to play 8 batsmen + 3 bowlers. It is likely to be extremely damaging for career prospects as an all-rounder as well!

Posted by anton1234 on (April 8, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

I really don't see the need for ODIs. The only reason why ODIs are still going is because the ICC sold long term TV deals that it has to honour. Please make the 2015 world cup in Australiasia the last ever ODIs to be played professionally.

T20s are popular, so why not just run with that? Cricket really doesn't help itself. I know ODIs bring in gate revenues and pre-agreed TV income, but three formats is just confusing and and there simply isn't any cohesiveness in the cricketing calender. It all seems like a bunch of random matches played to bring in gate and TV money. Even the Ashes, which even some non-cricket fans use to look forward to in the UK and Australia, has gone off the radar even in the consciousness of even cricket fans.

Posted by NixNixon on (April 8, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

In cricket the best allround team wins, I am affraid that the only countries that will back this idea are those who only have one good bowler. Like pakistan, they only have adjmal and would obviously want him to bowl all 50 overs, but it cant work like that!

Posted by SASANK360 on (April 8, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

That is not a good idea. Instead give bowlers a second bowling powerplay. That helps even low quality bowlers and gives them some confidence. @Syed_imran_abbas---You are right mate. In every ODI game India has one good bowler(the rest are hopeless) and this new rule will be exploited. Also the rule of 'new balls from both the ends' must be made an option. Not a rule. Because of the above rule, reverse swing, a potent weapon in death overs, is taken away from the equation. And fast bowlers feel handicapped. I feel ICC must rethink this new ball rule and make it an option, so that we can see some dominance from good 'reverse swing' exponents.

Posted by py0alb on (April 8, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

Great, so a team could then play 7 specialist batsmen. That will really shift the balance in favour of the bowlers, won't it?

Agree that free hits should be removed along with powerplays and other spurious rules.

If you want to make it more exciting and varied, a far better idea would be to award bonus points for chases completed inside 30 overs, or for bowling the team batting second out.

Posted by jackthelad on (April 8, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

There should be five nominated bowlers and they can bowl as many overs each as the captain wishes, with the proviso that every named bowler must bowl at least one over. There are far too many fussy, fiddly rules in the One-Day game.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (April 8, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

not a good idea.. its maybe an effort to make indian team more strong as their bowling is weakest link.

Posted by soumyas on (April 8, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

FREE HITS should be removed, pitches should help SEAM or TURN with more moisture to help SWING... Batting power play still GOOD because it brings little bit changes to monotonous nature of ODIs and also increases chance of fall of wickets.

Posted by Imranzia on (April 8, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

worst thing is when a batsman plays the most difficult shot in the book, the straight drive, and the ball deflect of the bowler to get the no stricker run out. there is no skill on the part of the bowler to get a run out and it is unfair. he should hold the ball and throw it a mere deflection shoulndt be allowed.

Posted by Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on (April 8, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Not in the long-term interests of the game.The present quota underlines the importance of having a rounded,quality bowling attack, and drives home the message that cricket is a team game where it's never a good idea to support and encourage differences between players.I like the idea that bowlers are given equal opportunities, not more, not less, to have an impact for their teams.

One can't help but detect that the genesis of the idea might have something to do with providing batting heavy sides more of a chance to hide their weakness:poor or mediocre bowling, and further leverage their batting edge.While this might make for more competitive cricket for some time, it will surely kill bowling in such countries.

Posted by Meety on (April 8, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

@ stalefresh on (April 8, 2013, 4:02 GMT) - Oz tried split innings & ditched it. From what I saw, it bred a lot of negativity from the batsmen. Also there seemed to be many instances of the match basically being over by the 1/2 way point as Team A were 5/70 off 20 overs & Team B were 1/100 at the same time, meaning it was almost impossible for Team A to win. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with your other 2 points!

Posted by soumyas on (April 8, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

How to utilize bowlers before they finish their 10 overs quota is a tricky one and captain's "Art of captaining" is judged on such situations... Batting a long innings by playing SAFE against the main bowler and then targeting the part time bowlers is also a a tricky one and batsman's patience and "Art of batting" is judged... Genuine all rounders are hard to find now a days and allowing 12 overs to main bowlers will discourages all rounders and "Art of captaining and batting" mentioned above... Bottom line is "Limited available resource forces captain to think which encourages innovation in sports".

Posted by Meety on (April 8, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

"...This isn't a new idea, and has even been adopted by the Indian board for the 2012-13 domestic season..." - Australia have had this type of rule in place for several seasons now. In Oz it has been interesting in that, good batsmen still score runs (& quickly), but we have a situation where bowlers are now taking amazing amount of wickets per match. Kane Richardson 21 wickets in 6 games, Sandhu 14 wickets in 4 matches are great returns. I think it leads to better cricket as there is less of the "boring" types of bowlers who just bowl non-descript deliveries in the order to concede just one run per ball, & the batsmen take up the bait & work singles NOT boundaries. It gives the fielding captain a lot more options, I haven't really much of a change in the make up of sides though. IF, this rule was brought in (or some variation) at International level, I'd like to see a rule where there has to be 3 bowlers who bowl a min. of 4 overs, this creates risk v reward.

Posted by laptope001 on (April 8, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

Why not make max. over limit to a bowler as 25! Guys here point is not to make a new rule. But a rule that can enhance contest, So, I beleive only 1 bowler at max 12. Others as usual 10 over quota.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (April 8, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

Disagree with Navin 262K. How many countries take the option of fielding 5 specialist bowlers in a ODI XI ? Even countries with surplus bowling talents like South Africa, Australia and England prefer have a part-timer as their fifth bowler. I know this rule change will play right into the hands of defensive captains like Dhoni but the overall health of the ODI game needs to be taken care of. To keep the ODI game relevant and watchable in the modern context, such tweaks have to be done to keep the balance between bat and ball right. With 15 overs of Powerplays and only four fielders outside the ring throughout the 50 overs, some power to the bowlers is long overdue.

Posted by Harpreet on (April 8, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

I have been thinking about the same for a very long time, But in a slightly different way. Allow 1 bowler to bowl 15 overs/or more than 10 (no limit on it).

And to balance the things - allow one of the batsmen to bat two times.

By this doing fielding sides would be really worried as how to get one particular batsman twice & batting side on how to play in rhythm bowler

Posted by rashivkd on (April 8, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

Allowing one bowler to bowl 12 over is good idea as it will give your best bowler to bowl both in batting power plays and death. But allowing three bowlers to bowl 12 look like it will helps the bowlers, but in fact it doesn't. Because, the teams will looking to reduce the number of bowlers in the team to 3 and an all rounder, the remaining 4 they can make up from here and there. That means 7 batsmen + an all rounder is a long batting line up and again it will turn to be a batsmen dominating game.

Posted by shibuvin on (April 8, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

Allow 12 overs each to three bowlers? Funny!!! This will give an option to the captains to opt for eight strong batsmen (Including two part time bowlers/all rounder) and three bowlers. which again become batsman's game.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

The idea is great, and it is used in Australian Domestic limited overs. However, it is a bit contradicting because it might not be used the way you have pointed out. Teams will end up picking 3 frontline bowlers, ending up with 8 batsmen, out of which 2 can bowl part-time to fill up the remaining 14 overs. Hence we end up with a new dilemma of 8 batsmen a side, with batting line-ups ever so deeper, once again the issue will be a batsman favourable game.

Posted by zenboomerang on (April 8, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

Most of the arguments against this idea are quite pointless - in Oz we play the Ryobi Cup with 3 bowlers allowed 13 overs & it hasn't changed teams by very much - 7 bowlers used by WA in this match -

It may lead to less matches with big totals but it does seem to even up the contest more between bat & ball with a number of close & exciting games during the season...

This match included 11 bowlers from both teams (6/5) in a good scoring match that was won with 1 ball remaining... I cannot see any of the hypothetical weakness in either the bowling or batting coming from increasing the allowable overs for 3 bowlers bowling 39 overs...

Posted by trex1981 on (April 8, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

@Soumyas, an increase in the maximum number of overs allowed per bowler won't mean that a bowler will necessarily have to bowl more overs

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (April 8, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

Those who are saying that 12 overs means a heavy load for the bowlers, the proposed change is not to make it mandatory...if required, captain should be able to ask three bowlers to bowl 12 overs...its just like current rule. The cap is set to "10" overs that does not mean a bowler must bowl 10 overs

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (April 8, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

No more rule changes and get rid of some of the rules. Power plays and field restrictions diminish captains role. It is the captains who should set the field according to the opposition, according to the condition of the pitch and weather and according to the game situation, like in test matches. Simplify the game.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

Really like Saishankar Rajeev's idea, it would make the game very interesting.

Posted by soumyas on (April 8, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

Rajesh, good idea on paper.. But my question is, have u ever played cricket in a hot sunny day and ever tried to bowl fast ? if not, just 4 overs under the hot sun will drain all your energy and you get tired. In tests it is OK because they don't run too much for fielding. But in One day matches where Run rate is also important it is very difficult for a fast bowler to finish 10 overs quota. So making it 12 will make bowler's job much more difficult and even quality bowlers may struggle in their last overs. which may spoil their overall performances.

Posted by jimbond on (April 8, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

This will reduce the advantage for strong teams. Weak teams that are dependent on a few bowlers will benefit from this rule change, and it will become less of a team game. Teams with good bowlers and allrounders (read SA and Pakistan) will be disadvantaged by this rule change.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (April 8, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Rather than bringing in more rules, surely eliminating rules in ODIs would make more sense. There are some many rules it is difficult to understand. Fielders should be allowed to go anywhere, boundaries should not be limited, bowlers should be allowed to bowl as they like. At the moment there are too many regulations in the game. The game needs to be simplified: bowler bowls the ball to batsman, batsman hits the ball.

Posted by shayxin on (April 8, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

I'm not so sure that this change would actually be beneficial to bowlers. Sure, it would benefit the better ones, but it would also make sure that teams pick three gun bowlers, then two batsmen who can bowl a little. The quality of bowlers 4 and 5 will drop even lower than it already has (I'm looking at you, Maxwell), and depth will suffer.

Posted by Shams on (April 8, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Bring back the 12 players per side rule with one change. The teams should name their playing 11 *after* the toss. Naming the 11 *before* the toss was what made it unfair when it was tried previously. That should allow more excitement in terms of better batters, bowlers, and fielders getting to play in the same match.

Posted by towf on (April 8, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

One major change I think should deal with draws. Test cricket/first class cricket takes more than one day and it can end up in a draw. Limited overs cricket should not be limited to such.

Forget all the powerplays and if a team batting second cannot reach the target and lose less wickets than the side batting first then the match should be declared a draw. In this way a team will be forced to take more wickets and this will add more value to a wicket in limited overs cricket.

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 8, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

No. Can't happen. This way the less than semi all-rounders in Maxwell and henriques will still be in the international set up. And the more I see them, the more I want to give up on Australian cricket and bandwagon the saffers.

Posted by WildAmigo on (April 8, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

The biggest draw back for bowlers in ODIs which is killing it also is the "two new ball rule" the slow bowlers and medium pacers are ignored in this rule and so the reverse swing is vanished.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

Batsmen dont have a limit on how long they can bat then why do bowlers have a limit.

Posted by Vasant17 on (April 8, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

Why should there be a restriction on a bowler? If a batsman can bat how ever long he wants(of-course without getting out), same should apply to a bowler. If a bowler is strong enough to bowl 25 overs, let him bowl! "There should NOT be any restriction on the number of overs a player can bowl!" thats what I feel. Please someone tell me why there is a restriction on number of overs a bowler can bowl. Even if we bring this rule in place, teams still play with at-least 4 bowlers because of the following reasons 1. A bowler will not have the same level of energy/stamina after bowling 10 overs. 2. Captains will still need variety of bowlers (pace/spin(leg/off) to restrict runs/pick wickets.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (April 8, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

I will go even further. Allow 2 bowlers to bowl a max. of 15 overs in ODIs while the rest are allowed a max. of 10 overs. While removing the bits-and-pieces cricketer from the ODIs, this move will lead to a much more even contest between bat and ball. Bowling 15 overs in a time span of 3 and half hours will also improve the stamina of the ODI bowlers and ease their transition to Test cricket. Imagine facing Steyn and Morkel on a seaming pitch and facing Ashwin and Jadeja on a turner for 30 out of 50 overs in a ODI. The batsmen will earn their runs if such a move is approved.

Posted by stalefresh on (April 8, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

Does not work for me cause now teams will be looking for extra batsmen. I agree with the intent, but don't see it playing out. One day cricket needs 3 changes:

1. Split the innings to 25 overs each. Let the team with a higher run to wicket ratio after 25 overs decide if they would like to bat or bowl first in the second half of the match. This will ensure a competition within a competition and even use of conditions with a slight advantage to the team ahead after 25 overs.

2. Scheduling of matches needs to be fixed. Random ODI series should be banned.

3. Pitches. Needs to approved by ICC for even contest between bat and bowl.

Posted by Clyde on (April 8, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

As I recall, ODI is adulterated cricket anyway. I understand it has certain periods when the fielders cannot operate freely, so that the batsmen can score more heavily. Now, the point is that I am probably wrong, because I don't know the rules of ODI. When it comes to the 20-over-a-side game, I certainly don't know the rules there, but this even shorter form could be more like cricket, because it may, for all I know, not have rules to make it easier for batsmen. Again, the point is I don't know. The shorter forms don't persuade me, because, taking short forms together, I am suspicious from the outset. That is, I think I may not be getting, for one thing, a decent attempt by the fielders to stop boundaries. What may have been fiddled with, for mysterious reasons? Hence, having seen enough fiddling with cricket, I am content to follow Tests alone, and would notice short forms only when there was discussion of how closely they resembled cricket.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2013, 3:08 GMT)

Far from helping the bowlers cause, this rule will sideline the bowlers further. 3 * 12 is 36. O, great so I just need three genuine bowlers to cover for 36 overs. The rest 14 overs can be bowled by part timers or batting all-rounders. So, pack the team with batsmen!!!!!!!

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

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