Monday, February 21, 2011

Game Changer Rules like Power Play, UDRS, Free hit in ODI Cricket!

This is the time when Test cricket is played like One day cricket and One day cricket is immensely  influenced by Twenty 20 cricket. With the incredible popularity of the Twenty 20 format of the game, it was a great need to make changes in the format of ODI cricket too. The aim before ICC was to make ODI games more exciting and attract more audience towards game. Keeping this in mind, few rules have been modified and introduced in the ODI cricket. Lets see what are the Game Changer Rules in ODI cricket.

1.Power Play:

Earlier there used to be fielding restrictions for the first fifteen overs in an inning, where only 2 fielders could  be outside the 30 yard circle and compulsorily 2 fielders had to be in close catching position. This rule is now modified and it is replaced with Power Plays. Every team is keen to take an advantage of the power plays, where mostly attacking batsmen try to play aggressive shots and score quick runs at lower risk of getting caught out due to the field restrictions. The aim of the fielding side captain is to restrict batting side from scoring quick runs in power play overs. Therefore, fielding captains use their best bowlers in this period. Fielding side has one advantage of getting quick wickets in power plays as batsmen are in attacking mood and while doing so they may loose wickets in this period. For the overs when power play is not opted, maximum five fielders can be outside the 30 yard circle.

Now, there are three types of power plays.

A. Mandatory Power Play (P1): First Ten overs of an inning are considered as Mandatory power play where only 2 fielders can  be outside the 30 yard circle and compulsorily 2 fielders need to be in close catching position. Therefore, this rule is similar to what was earlier. Only change is now it is applicable for the first Ten overs of an inning instead of Fifteen overs earlier.

B. Fielding Power Play (P2): This is the second power play for Five Overs at the discretion of the fielding side captain where Three players can be outside the 30 yard circle, but there is no compulsion of close catching fielders in this power play. Usually this Power play is opted by the fielding immediately after the end of the Mandatory Power play i.e. Over No 11 to 15. But, if Batting side is really dominating the bowling attack then, usually Fielding captain postpones it by few overs.

C. Batting Power Play ( P3): This is the third power play for another Five overs, but this time at the discretion of the Batting side captain where Three players can be outside the 30 yard circle, but there is no compulsion of close catching fielders in this power play.Usually this power play is opted by the batting side towards the end of an inning, where batsmen can score maximum amount of runs when field restriction is on. But, now days few teams are opting it after 34th over when the ball is replaced and new ball is opted. The logic behind this tactics is that the new ball is hard and can be disappeared very quickly outside the boundary line and if this power play ( Over No 35-39) is capitalized successfully by the batting side, then batting side is really in a position to score a big total. 

2. 'One' For the Over: 
Since One day cricket and Twenty 20 cricket has made this game as batsmen's game, there are hardly any advantages bowlers have. Keeping this in mind, bowlers are allowed to bowl one bouncer in an over. The ball is considered as a bouncer only when it passes above shoulder level but below head level of the batsmen when batsmen is standing straight. Bowlers are allowed to bowl only one such delivery in an over. If the second one is bowled in the same over or the ball is above the Head height when batsmen is standing straight then is considered as Wide Ball. 

3. Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS): 

How many times we have seen that standing umpires giving incorrect decisions regarding Leg Before Wickets (LBW) and close catches and One incorrect decision can change a whole game in minutes and consider if it is a knock out game or a Final match of the World Cup! After all, standing umpires are human beings and they have very short duration of time to think and give decisions. Also, the noise of the crowed in the stadium is so loud that one may not be able to hear Snick from 22 yards. Now, with the use of technology like Hawk-Eye, Hot-spot, Snickometer, micro phones, slow motion cameras etc. one can easily trace out whether the decision given by the standing umpire was right or wrong. In the absence of UDRS no one could do anything even if the decision of the standing umpire is wrong as the umpire's decision is final and binding.

But, now each team can challenge  for the review of the decision given by the standing umpire unsuccessfully for the Two times  in each inning . But if the third umpire overrules the on-field umpire's decision, the challenge is considered as successful and does not count towards the innings limit. Once the UDRS challenge is used, it is the responsibility of the Third Umpire to judge with the help of the technology, whether the decision given by the standing umpire was right or wrong. UDRS is allowed in the World Cup 2011 to make sure that fair decisions are made. The big question mark in front of cricketing fraternity is whether the sufficient technology is available every where? The debates on UDRS will continue to remain hot, but personally speaking this is a good system which helps third umpire to arrive at correct decision and there is nothing wrong in using the technology to bring more transparency and competitiveness in the game.  

4. Free Hit:

In the event of a no ball due to either oversteps with bowler's front foot or if his back foot cuts or does not land within the return crease, the batsmen is allowed a free hit for the very next ball. On the Free hit delivery, a batsman will not be  out by any means except run out. Free hit is not allowed, if a No Ball is called for the ball which is full toss and above waist height. After introduction of this rule, there is significant reduction in the number of No balls bowled in an inning as it costs an extra run and an extra delivery on which you can not get batsmen out except run out.This has helped teams to maintain healthy over rate.  

- Aashish


  1. thats briefly well defined but i m confused to see that in worldcup 2011 matches, the PP3 is taken at 34th over but it remains till the last over. For example, Sri Lanka got its PP3 batting against Pakistan yesterday, in 34th over, but it remained till 50th over. whts the logic behind it?any other rule is defined now?

  2. as yasir said...reaaly its a confused scorecard shown the pawerplay sign till the end...

  3. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON 13 over left still power play 2

  4. Hello cricketing fans, I do agree that there is a slight confusion among the television viewers regarding when Power Play begins and when it is stopped. For that, Check P1,P2 or P3 sign just besides score board on the television. Whenever power play is on you will find these signs over there and whenever Power play is stopped you will find a thin line across the above Sign. It means if the sign is P2, then it is 2nd Power play going on. But if it is P2 with cross line then P2 is already over and only P3 is left. Similarly when P3 is over you will find a line across P3 till 50th over, that means No power play is in existence. Hope this will help to clear the confusion.

  5. Hey, that's cool! nicely explained.

  6. Hey, that's cool! nicely explained.

  7. well explained.. have a question though.. can the batting powerplay be taken before the bowling pp? I mean PP3 before PP2?

  8. PP2 and PP3 are at the discretion of the batting and fielding captains. PP1 is compulsory. Normally fielding team opt PP2 (bowling pp)after PP1 is over.
    But, if fielding captain postpones PP2, then batting captain can opt PP3 before PP2.
    If both captains do not opt for PP2 and pp3 then from over no 41-50, there will be compulsory power plays.

  9. Hi all,
    Likewise, with the new rule about no powerplay overs from 11 - 15 and 41 - 50, if both captains were to decline to call a PP on their own, the rule says that it must be taken at the last available point. Therefore, if nobody's called one, does it get taken at over 31? If not then you wouldn't get the full number of PP overs.