New Delhi: Restrictions on bat sizes, player send-offs and changes in Decision Review System (DRS) form the highlights of new playing conditions announced by the ICC on Tuesday, which will be in effect starting September 28. Also Read - Can You Guess The Price of Anushka Sharma's Semi-Sheer Maternity Dress That She Wore to Attend The Ongoing IPL 2020?

Here’s the complete text of ICC’s press release: Also Read - IPL 2020 - Ricky Ponting Talking to ICC About Penalty For Non-Striker Backing up Too Far, Says Ravichandran Ashwin

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced a number of changes to its playing conditions which will be effective in all series starting 28 September or later. Also Read - IPL 2020: Kieron Pollard, MI Robbed of One Run vs KXIP at Abu Dhabi? Controversial ICC Rule Sparks Debate

The significant changes include a restriction on the dimensions of the bat, the introduction of player send-offs for misconduct and changes to the Decision Review System, all of which will commence from the two upcoming Test series – when South Africa hosts Bangladesh and the one between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates.

The ICC playing conditions will now incorporate the relevant clauses from the MCC Laws of Cricket (2017 Code), meaning that all the playing regulations will be captured in one document for each format.

“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,” ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, said. 

BAT SIZES

To maintain the balance between bat and ball, the playing conditions now restrict the size of the edges of the bats as well as their thickness. The restriction on the length and width of bats remain unchanged but the thickness of the edges can’t be more than 40mm and the overall depth can be 67 mm at the most. Umpires will be issued with a new bat gauge, which they can use to check a bat’s legality.

PLAYERS’ CONDUCT

In a new playing condition pertaining to players’ conduct, a player can now be sent off the field for the rest of the match for any serious misconduct, meaning it will apply to Level 4 offences while the Level 1 to 3 offences will continue to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct.

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.

DECISION REVIEW SYSTEM

The above changes will be applicable across all formats, as will be a change in the DRS rules by which a review will now not be lost in case of a decision that remains unchanged, solely as the result of an ‘umpire’s call’. 

As for DRS in Test matches, there will be no more top-up reviews after 80 overs of an innings, meaning that there can only be two unsuccessful reviews in each innings, while the DRS will now also be allowed to be used in T20Is.

RUN-OUTS

An important change with respect to run outs is that if a batsman is running or diving towards the crease with forward momentum, and has grounded his/her bat behind the popping crease but subsequently has lost contact with the ground at the time of the wickets being put down, the batsman will not be run out. The same interpretation will also apply for a batsman trying to regain his/her ground to avoid being stumped.

CATCHES

For boundary catches, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from within the boundary, otherwise a boundary will be scored.

OUT DECISION

Also, a batsman can now be out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper.

TETHERED BAILS

Tethered bails. In response to injuries sustained by wicket-keepers in particular, the use of specially designed mechanisms which tether the bails to the stumps, thereby restricting the distance that they can fly off the stumps, but without limiting their ability to be dislodged. Decision as to whether such wickets are used lies with the host Board.

NO-BALL

It will be a No ball if the ball bounces more than once before reaching the popping crease (formerly more than twice), and when a ball lands off the pitch, then no-ball will be called and signalled immediately.

APPEALS

An appeal can now be withdrawn or the umpires can recall a batsman at any time before the ball comes into play for next delivery, not once the batsman has left the field as before.

UNFAIR PLAY

It is unfair to try and deceive the batsman after he/she has received the ball. Examples such as mock fielding, or any other action that is designed to deceive the batting side are now able to be penalised.

Bowling a deliberate front-foot NO-ball is now considered unfair play, and the bowler will be removed from the attack for the rest of the innings.

Just as a bowler is not allowed to repeatedly run in the protected area, it is now considered unfair for a batsman to take strike in the protected area.

A catch-all Law has now been introduced to give umpires the power to deal with any conduct they believe is unfair that is not covered elsewhere in the Laws.