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New Zealand and India braced for new cricket rules for upcoming series

The International Cricket Council has introduced a slew of new rules that will be tackled by New Zealand and India for the first time in the upcoming limited-overs clashes

cricket Updated: Oct 15, 2017 21:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Kane Williamson,India v New Zealand,India vs New Zealand
New Zealand play three ODIs and three T20Is on their India tour.(AFP)

Ahead of their series against India, New Zealand have more on their mind than just tackling the tough sub-continent conditions. It’s been a season of changes, tweaking of rules as well as the structure of international cricket.

When the Kane Williamson-led side last played international cricket, a delivery was allowed to bounce twice and a batsman will be given run out if he lost touch with the turf after grounding his bat inside the crease. But in this series, if the ball bounces twice, it will be a no ball; a batsman won’t be given run out if his bat bounces after he had grounded inside the crease.

These are among changes the International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced to the playing conditions since September 28. Some find the rules already quite complicated, and now Williamson and his men will have to be alert to apply their minds to the new Code of Laws, the first since 2000.

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New Zealand coach Mike Hesson called his captain Williamson a smart cricketer who will be able to grasp the changes. “The rules, we’ve distributed them (to the players). We’re aware of them, guys instinctively being aware of what they are,” Hesson said in the team’s arrival media conference on Sunday.

Of particular interest to the players will be the rule where a player can now be sent off for serious misconduct, like being red-carded in football.

“A player can now be sent off the field by the umpire for the rest of a match for serious misconduct. This will apply to most Level 4 offences,” the rule states.

Also, “if a bowler bowls a deliberate no-ball, he can be removed from the attack for the rest of the innings.”

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There are several tweaks to what now constitutes unfair play. If a fielder tries to deliberately distract or deceive the batsman - through mock fielding for example -- after he has received the ball, the umpires can dock the side five points.

To counter swing bowling, a normal ploy used by batsmen was to stand outside the crease, but under the new rules it may be difficult. “A batsman cannot take strike so far outside the crease that he is standing in the protected area of the pitch,” the Code of Law states.

A catch-all law has now been introduced to give umpires the power to deal with unfair conduct, though not covered elsewhere in the rules.

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The other major change will come due to the ICC announcing a

Test championship and ODI league on Friday. Skipper Williamson said: “It’s really a positive step… to give Test cricket a little more meaning. In the past, although Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game, we were probably guilty of having a volume of cricket that perhaps people haven’t quite understood what relevance was, where teams went after victories or losses. Now, there will be a lot more clarity around that.”

On allowing four-day Tests on an experimental basis, starting with the South Africa-Zimbabwe game in November, the New Zealand skipper reminded: “Four-day first-class cricket is not new to anybody. Everyone in world cricket plays four-day first-class cricket.”

First Published: Oct 15, 2017 19:18 IST