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Explainer: What the ICC's revised playing conditions mean

Explainer: What the ICC's revised playing conditions mean

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced the addition of new rules, along with amendments to existing laws, to its playing conditions.

The new rules will be effective in all series starting September 28 — the first being the upcoming Test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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

Here's a look at the significant changes that the ICC has made to its rules and what each of the changes means.

In an ICC first, players can now be sent off the field for the rest of the match if umpires find them involved in serious misconduct.

Level 1 to Level 3 offences will still be dealt with through the ICC Code of Conduct, but umpires can send off players after a Level 4 offence which includes:

The new rule — applicable on all formats — looks to ensure a higher standard of conduct amongst cricketers and to avoid altercations between two sides during a match.

Decision Review System (DRS) laws have also been altered.

Now a review will not be wasted in case an ‘umpire’s call’ on a leg-before-wicket (lbw) decision is upheld following review.

Previously, teams were cautious about opting for a review in lbw situations in case the review was wasted because Hawk-Eye — the software used to review lbw decisions — found low margins for decision reversal and left the ultimate decision in the umpire’s hand.

In Test matches teams will not get review top-ups after the first 80 overs have passed in each inning. The number of reviews in each inning will now be limited to two per side.

Additionally, the DRS will also be introduced into T20 international matches. However, each team will only get one review per inning instead of two.

An umpire can recall a dismissed batsman at any time before the ball comes into play for the next delivery. Previously, umpires did not hold the power to recall a batsman once they had left the field.

Batsmen will now be considered not-out once their bats have initially made contact with crease while running between the wickets, even if the bat is in the air when the ball hits the stumps in an attempted run-out.

The same rule applies to a batsman trying to regain ground in an attempt to avoid being stumped.

Previously, batsmen were considered out if their bat was found to be up in the air inside the crease when the ball hit the wickets or they were stumped.

The thickness of the bat's edges can’t be greater than 40mm, and the overall depth is to be 67mm at the most. However, the width and length of bats remains unchanged.

Umpires will be provided bat gauges to check bat legality.

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

Previously, batsmen were saved the chance of being ousted if the ball first hit the helmet worn by a wicketkeeper or fielder, and then found its way to the hands.

The helmet was not considered a part of the fielder’s body, thus it was ruled that the ball had touched a foreign object before making its way to the fielder’s hands.

Boundary catches will only be considered valid if airborne fielders take off from a spot within the boundary.

In cases where the point of origin for the jump is not inside the boundary, even if the ball is caught it will be considered a boundary and not a catch.

Previously, a catch was considered valid regardless of where the fielder had jumped from as long as he caught the ball before it made contact with the field.

Teams will now be able to name up to 17 players for a squad in Test cricket whereas they could previously only name a 15-man squad.

Bails may also be tethered to the stumps to protect players from injuries in a manner which does not affect their ability to be dislodged.

If a T20 match is reduced to less than 10 overs, the maximum quota of overs per bowler shall not be reduced below two overs. This means that if a match is reduced to seven overs, three bowlers will be able to bowl two overs each.

A ball that bounces twice after being bowled will be declared a no ball, and also a dead ball if it bounces outside the pitch and is caught by a fielder before reaching the batting crease.

Byes and leg-byes scored off a no-ball will be scored separately.

Changes to what constitutes unfair play, including deliberately distracting a batsman and deliberately bowling a no-ball, have also been introduced.

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