ICC has introduced an in-game penalty for slow overrates in both men’s and women’s T20I, to come into affect this month. As per the overrate regulations of the ICC, a fielding side should be in a position to bowl the first ball of the final over of their innings by the scheduled time for the end of the innings. On failing that, teams will be allowed one fewer fielder – four instead of five – outside the 30-yard circle for the remainder of the innings.
The ICC took a cue from the ECB, who implemented a similar rule in their inaugural season of the Hundred last July. The ICC states that it replicated it after reading into the reports of its effectiveness to improve the pace of the shortest format. This in-game penalty will be in additions to the existing ICC sactions for slow overrate.
As part of the changes proposed, the ICC has also brought in optional drinks interval midway through the innings in bilateral T20 cricket. Teams can now opt for a two-and-a-half minutes of break at the mid-point of each innings, subject to an agreement between the the two teams involved at the start of each series.
The one-off T20I between West Indies and Ireland at the Sabina Park on January 16 will be the first men’s fixture where these new rules will be used. Two days later, it will be used for the first time in the women’s game, in the first T20I between South Africa and West Indies in Centurion.