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With the new rules set to be effective from September 28, the major changes include restrictions on bat thickness, the powers afforded to umpires and the modification of DRS.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has on Tuesday announced multiple changes in the playing conditions of international matches. With the new rules set to be effective from September 28, the major changes include restrictions on bat thickness, the powers afforded to umpires and the modification of the Decision Review System (DRS).

Announcing the change in the rules, ICC General Manager (Cricket) Geoff Allardice 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.”

While the new ICC rules will be effective on the upcoming Africa-Bangladesh and Pakistan-Sri Lanka series, the ongoing ODI series between India and Australia will be the last series to be played by the existing regulations.

Here are the key changes ICC introduced in the international cricket’s playing regulations:

Bat Size: Though the restrictions on the length and width of the cricket bats remains unchanged, ICC restricted the thickness of the edges to not more than 40 mm. According to the new rules, the overall depth of the bats also can’t exceed 67 mm. On-field umpires will be provided a bat gauge to check the legality of the bats.

Player Send-off: With the new rules coming to effect, serious misconduct during the play, which comes under Level 4 offences, might result in a player missing the rest of the match. However, the rules on Level 1 to 3 offences still remain unchanged and will be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct. According to ICC regulations, the Level 4 includes threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, physically assaulting a player or any other person.

No-ball: Unlike earlier, a ball bouncing more than once before reaching the popping crease will now be considered as a ‘no-ball’. Also, byes and leg-byes scored off a no-ball will now be considered as normal byes instead of no-balls.

Decision Review System (DRS): In case if a decision remains unchanged due to ‘umpire’s call’, the new rule states that the review will not be lost by the team from now on. Moreover, there will no more be  top-up reviews after 80 overs of an innings in Test matches, and each team will only get two unsuccessful reviews in each innings. Also, the Decision Review System (DRS) will be applicable in T20 matches from September 28.

Run-outs: In a positive note for the batsmen, the new ICC rules states that a batsman running towards the crease with forward momentum with the bat grounded behind the crease but loses contact with the ground while wickets being disturbed, will be considered ‘not out’.

Catches: In case of catches taken on the boundary, the fielders will now have to take-off from within the boundary before making their first contact with the ball. Also the new rules states that a batsman can now be caught or stumped even if the ball bounces off the fielder’s helmet.

Handling the ball: The ICC incorporated conditions under which a batsman used to be out for handling the ball under Obstructing the Field mode. According to the new rules there will be no mode of dismissal as ‘Handling the Ball’.

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