only four fielders to be allowed outside 30-yard circle


A fielding team will only be allowed four fielders outside the ring for every over they fail to finish within a specified time limit

Going forward in T20Is – for men and women – a fielding team will only be allowed four fielders, instead of five, outside the 30-yard circle for every over they fail to bowl within a specified time limit.

As per the new ICC playing conditions, released on Friday, the fielding side needs to “be in position to bowl the first ball of the final over of the innings by the scheduled [or rescheduled in case of an unavoidable delay] cessation time for the innings”. If not, the penalty kicks in. The umpires will keep the players informed about the cut-off time.

The ICC said in a statement, “The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, which regularly discusses ways to improve the pace of play in all formats, after considering reports on the effectiveness of a similar regulation that was included in the playing conditions for the Hundred competition conducted by the ECB.”

The regulation around forcing the extra fielder into the ring as a penalty for slow over rates was first introduced in the England’s domestic T20 Blast in 2020, and then expanded to all domestic white-ball competitions in England in 2021.

Before the update to the playing conditions, the only fielding restrictions in T20Is were as follows: a maximum of two fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle during the powerplay overs – the first six in a complete innings of 20 – and five in non-powerplay overs.

Also, the new playing conditions allow for an optional drinks break midway through each innings in bilateral T20I series. ESPNcricinfo understands the decision on whether or not to take the drinks break, or when to take it, during a particular series would be made jointly by the two participating boards before each series.

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