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June 30, 2005
The ECB has confirmed that the new one-day regulations will be trialled for the first time in the forthcoming NatWest Challenge between England and Australia. In the series opener at Headingley on Thursday, July 7 substitutes will be able to take a more active role, and fielding restrictions will be extended.
Each team will designate a 12th man who will be able to bat or bowl. The change will be announced over the PA system and details of the change shown on the giant screen. Fielding restrictions will now be in place for the first ten overs of the innings - rather than 15 at present - but there will be two blocks of five overs later on in the innings where the regulations come back into effect, although there will be no need for the two close catchers at that point. These overs will be known as the Powerplay Fives, and will be taken by the fielding captain at his discretion.
A recent meeting of the ICC decided that the new regulations will be tested over a ten-month period. The trial officially begins on July 31, but permitted the England and Australian boards to use the regulations in the NatWest Challenge, and both boards agreed. "We are pleased to trial these proposals," the ECB chief executive David Collier said, "which might improve cricket as a spectable for the spectators and players alike." Michael Brown of Cricket Australia also welcomed the measures. "Cricket Australia is committed to continually look at ways of making our game appeal to more people."
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