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ICC amends substitute fielder rule

Published: Friday, July 4, 2008, 0:43 [IST]
 
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Dubia: Australia captain Ricky Ponting is among those likely to welcome the International Cricket Council's tightening up of rules regarding the use of substitute fielders.

An ICC statement, issued here Thursday after a board meeting, said: "Substitute fielders shall only be permitted in cases of injury, illness or other wholly acceptable reasons.

'Wholly acceptable reasons' should be limited to extreme circumstances and should not include what is commonly referred to as a 'comfort break."

During the 2005 Ashes, Ponting was incensed by the frequency with which England used a substitute fielder.

His frustration boiled over during the fourth Test at Trent Bridge where he was run out by England substitute Gary Pratt.

Ponting, as he walked back into the pavilion, shouted angry words at then England coach Duncan Fletcher.

As it turned out, the star batsman had picked the wrong occasion to let fly at England as Pratt was on the field for fast bowler Simon Jones, off with a genuine ankle problem rather than just having a rest.

Among other rule alterations announced Thursday was the inclusion of a one-over eliminator to replace the 'bowl-out' in the event of a tie.

This will be used as a way of settling matches at September's Champions Trophy tournament, due to be held in Pakistan, and next year's World Twenty20, scheduled to take place in England.

The eliminator will be applicable in the semi-finals and the final in the Champions Trophy and all matches in the World Twenty20.

When a side loses two wickets in their eliminator over, its innings ends.

If the scores are equal then the team that has hit the most sixes combined in the main match and the eliminator is declared the winner.

If the scores are still equal then teams will be separated by which of them scored the most boundaries - fours and sixes - in both innings.

All one-day internationals will be affected by a rule change which sees the batting side able to select when one of either the second or third powerplay block of fielding restrictions takes place.

At present, the bowling side selects the time for those powerplays.

It was also agreed that three fielders be permitted outside the field restriction areas during both the second and third powerplays.

Previously the third fielder was allowed outside the circle during either the second or third powerplay.

The ICC said the idea behind the amendment was to offer greater opportunities for spin bowlers by giving them more of a "safety net".

Following the controversy surrounding last month's no-result one-day international washout between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston, rules regarding intervals have been altered.

In a match where rain was a constant threat, New Zealand were denied the chance of victory when the match was called off one over short of the statutory 20 in the second innings needed for a result.

Despite the conditions, the umpires said they had no choice but to persist with a 30-minute mid-innings break even though both sides were ready for a quicker turnaround.

However, the ICC have now said that in the event of more than an hour being lost, the interval could be cut to as little as 10 minutes.

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