The ICC has introduced a largely-anticipated new playing condition to international cricket with a no-ball set to be called when a bowler breaks the non-striker's end stumps in the delivery stride.
The MCC had already announced a change to the Laws of the game from October 1 and the ICC has taken the initiative to introduce a new playing recognition for Tests, ODIs and T20s from April 30.
Previously, when the non-striker's end stumps were broken in the delivery stride a dead-ball was called, following an initial warning, regardless of the outcome of the delivery. The new regulation provides clarity on what had been an issue of controversy.
The change was prompted by England bowler Steven Finn who repeatedly broke the non-striker's end stumps against South Africa in 2012. In the Headingley Test, Graeme Smith complained that he was being distracted and the umpires decided to begin calling a dead-ball. Smith was subsequently caught at slip when Finn had broken the stumps and a dead-ball was called.
ICC's General Manager - Cricket, Geoff Allardice, said a change in playing conditions was necessary because the current solution of a dead-ball was inadequate. "The MCC recently decided to address this issue by introducing a new no-ball Law. The ICC cricket committee noted the MCC's decision and recommended that a playing condition, mirroring the new Law, be introduced to international cricket as early as possible."
The decision was ratified at the ICC chief executives committee meeting in Dubai. "The ICC has decided to introduce this playing condition five months prior to the MCC changing the Law because there is a lot of important cricket to be played before October 1, including the ICC Champions Trophy in June," Allardice said.
"The introduction of this playing condition will now provide greater certainty for all involved when a bowler breaks the wickets during the act of delivery."