~~Crammed calendar may create dearth of pacers~~

Published: Friday, June 1, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Too much of cricket, particularly one-day internationals, could adversely affect the quality and intensity of the game to the extent that fast bowlers might soon become an endangered species, the ICC Cricket Committee has warned.

The newly-constituted committee, headed by Sunil Gavaskar, concluded its two-day meeting here last evening, made a slew a recommendations on issues including ball-tampering, ODI regulations, glue on pitches, international umpiring and role of television umpire.

Volume of cricket being played, however, was deemed as a matter of concern and the committee was of the opinion that the addition of many ODIs in an already congested calendar may have a severe impact on the standard of international cricket and may result in injuries to players and a dearth of fast bowlers.

The committee, asked by the ICC Board to review the ball tampering law recommended that Clause 42.1 of the Standard of the Playing Conditions should be amended to clarify that when an incident of ball tampering is reported to the ICC match referee, action shall be taken under the ICC Code of Conduct as appropriate against the persons responsible for the conduct.

It also recommended that the umpires should use their judgement to apply the principle that actions taken to maintain or enhance the condition of the ball, provided no artificial substances are used, should be permitted.

The committee nodded in favour of the continuation of power-plays although it resolved that an additional fielder (making three in total instead of the current limit of two) should be allowed outside the 30 yard circle during the second or third power-play.

There should be a mandatory change of ball after 35 overs. A free hit should be introduced for the delivery that follows a front-foot no-ball.

The current required over-rate of 14.28 overs per hour be continued but with a concerted effort by all parties to maintain and improve over-rates wherever possible: umpires should be empowered to impose time wasting penalties as allowed for under the Law if a new batsman is not ready to face his first delivery within two minutes of the fall of the previous wicket.

If the last wicket in the first innings of a match falls within 30 minutes of the scheduled interval then the interval should be taken immediately with the second innings then starting correspondingly earlier (thus removing the possibility of a break of up to 75 minutes).

If up to 60 minutes is lost during the scheduled first innings then there is no reduction in the interval; if more than 60 minutes is lost then the interval can be reduced to 30 minutes; and the minimum interval should be 20 minutes.

On grounds where space allows, boundaries should be pushed back to a maximum of 90 yards; square boundaries should be a minimum of 150 yards from one side to the other with a minimum of 65 yards on one side; straight boundaries should be 140 yards from one side to the other.

The committee recommended the setting up of a task force with an independent chairman to look at how best to take international umpiring to the next level.

The committee recommended the maintenance of the current regulations, which allow umpires to consult with TV officials on the subject of clean catches only if both on-field umpires are unsighted.

The recommendations made by the ICC Cricket Committee will not take effect until they are ratified and/or approved by CEC and the Board. Both CEC and the ICC Board are scheduled to meet in London from June 24.

The members of the committee included former Australia captain Mark Taylor, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene and former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding.

It also featured Umpire of the Year Simon Taufel, chief ICC match referee and former Sri Lanka captain Ranjan Madugalle, Craig Wright, the former Scotland captain, Tom Moody, the former Australia all-rounder who recently coached Sri Lanka to the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean and Tim May, former Australia off-spinner and the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations.


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