ICC mulls changes in ODI format

Published: Friday, February 4, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering radical changes to one-day cricket format which, if agreed to during its two-day meeting that started in Melbourne on Thursday, are likely to be implemented as early as this year.

ICC Cricket Committee, headed by Sunil Gavaskar, recommended the rules to make the shorter version of the game "rather challenging and interesting".

According to the reports in the Australian media, Gavaskar has said the proposed changes were regarding rotating the 15-over fielding restrictions and a 'double-play' - when two batsmen may be dismissed from a single ball - which were already being experimented in South African domestic cricket.

"I think it has become a little predictable, the one-day game. We've looked at a double-play situation, where if a batsman's been given out lbw and the ball ricochets off to gully and the fielder picks it up and throws it at the non-striker's end, so you have two dismissals off one ball. Same if the ball's gone up in the air (and is caught)," Gavaskar was quoted as saying in 'The Melbourne Age'.

The committee, comprising representatives of all full member countries, also proposed that fielding restrictions - now placed in the first 15 overs of a match - should be rotated according to the batting team's wishes.

"What we have suggested is that the batting side will choose the 15 overs it wants. That makes it all the more challenging for the fielding side," he added.

The changes, if passed by the member countries, could be implemented as early as September, an ICC spokesman said.

Gavaskar, however, said, Twenty20 cricket would not be introduced at an international level for a few years, since after England and South Africa only Australia is planning to stage it at domestic level.

"I think it won't be added to the international calendar in a hurry because only three out of 10 teams have got it," he said and added "but if it is successful, then I think other countries will be encouraged to try it out."

Gavaskar also praised the recent improvement in sportsmanship in the Australian team.

"The fact that they realised they would not be remembered as a winning team as fondly as the West Indies were remembered may well have made them look at this. It hasn't stopped them winning, but it's made them more likeable. I think there's been a big change in the Australian approach to the game as far as verbal intimidation of players is concerned. I think there's been a great improvement," he said.

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