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Explained: Full list of rule changes set to be introduced by ICC

Aadya Sharma
17.26K   //    26 Sep 2017, 15:47 IST

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On-field umpires will now have the power to send violent players off the field

From bat dimensions to player misconduct, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has made a series of amendments to their rule book according to the recommendations proposed during its annual meeting in May.

The changes will come into force from September 28th.

Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager (Cricket), in a statement released by the ICC, said : “Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the Laws of Cricket that have been announced by the MCC. We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes and we are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches.”

Here's a comprehensive list with explanation about all the new changes in the game's laws:


The disparity in balance between bat and ball has been a subject of debate for a few years now. In a bid to level the contest, the ICC has decided to put restriction on the size of the bats:

  • The bat edge can’t be thicker than 40 mm.
  • The depth (between the point on the back of the bat, and it’s face) can’t be more than 67 mm.

The move will reduce the number of mis-hits or edges that go for sixes. While more boundaries promote more viewership, the balance of bat and ball will be regulated by the new rule changes.

"We have talked for the last couple of years about concerns that the committee has had about the size of bats and where the size of bat is going to go in the next five-ten years. So we have actually come up with some dimensions that we are comfortable with as a committee", Ricky Ponting, a member of the MCC World Cricket Committee had said last year.


Handling the ball will now be counted as obstructing the field, bringing down the known ten modes of dismissals to nine. 


Here's how Daryll Cullinan was out 'handling the ball', which will now be added to the records as 'obstructing the field'.

Also, ‘bouncing-bat’ run-outs, a confusing aspect to deal with for the on-field umpires, will be cleared in the following way:

Once a batsman has grounded the bat past the crease, even though the "continued forward momentum towards the stumps" makes the bat bounce of the surface inside the crease when the bails are being dislodged, the batsman will not be adjudged run-out.

The same will be the case for a batsman trying to get back into the crease in trying to avoid a stumping.

A batsman can now be caught, stumped or run-out, even after the ball strikes a helmet worn by the wicketkeeper/fielder effecting the dismissal.

An airborne fielder, making their first contact with the ball, will have to leap from inside the boundary, and can’t be in contact with any other object inside the ropes, otherwise a boundary will be awarded.

This effort from Angelo Mathews forced the ICC to change their laws: Mathews can be seen making a second contact with the ball while being on the other side of the ropes.

The Law was changed four years back, but will now be formally adopted in the ICC's playing conditions.

A batsman will be allowed to be recalled by umpires before the next delivery is bowled, even if he/she has left the field of play. Previously, a player who had left the field of play, could not be called back.


Currently, during a Test innings, teams are allowed to take two unsuccessful reviews every 80 overs. It is limited to one unsuccessful review in one ODI innings. Now, they won't receive top-up reviews after 80 overs.

Under the new rules, the teams won’t lose one of their reviews if a leg-before decision results in an ‘Umpire’s Call’.

Also, the DRS will be available to use for T20I matches too.


On-field officials will also have the power to send violent players from the field, either temporarily or permanently, and award penalty runs to the opposition.

"Threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, physically assaulting a player or any other person and committing any other act of violence all constitute Level 4 offences".


A bowler who is found to be deliberately bowling a front foot no-ball will be banned from bowling for the rest of the innings.

Fans would recall an incident from 2009, when Suraj Randiv, on the suggestion of captain Kumar Sangakkara, deliberately bowled a no-ball to Virender Sehwag to add one run to the then-leveled score and prevent Sehwag from reaching a century.

Fielders who are distacting or dodging/deceving a batsman could be penalised. This includes pretending to pick/throw a ball.

This effort by Kumar Sangakkara might lead to a penalty in the coming days:

If a delivery bounces more than once before crease, it will be called a no-ball. Previously, the rule was for the ball bouncing more than twice.

A batsman can’t take strike in the protected part of the pitch repeatedly, the same way as a bowler can’t run onto the protected part during his follow-through.


Tethered bails (bails attached to string) may now be used in a bid to prevent injuries like the one sustained by former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

In a match truncated by rain, where the innings is reduced to 10 overs (or less), a bowler's maximum quota of overs will not be reduced to below two.

Byes and leg byes, that come off no-balls, will now be scored and recorded separately. They used to be accorded to no-balls before.

A lunch/tea interval, or any such break, will be taken if a wicket falls within three minutes of the interval. It used to be two minutes in the old rules.

The number of substitutes that are named for international teams will now be increased from four to six members.

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