The ICC introduces a stop clock to regulate the pace of play – LSB

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In a radical move to regulate the pace of play, the ICC said it would test a stop clock between plays. A five-run penalty will be imposed on a bowling team if they fail three times in an innings to start the new over within one minute.

The move, which has been approved by the CEO Committee, will be limited to men’s ODIs and T20Is, and will be tested on a “pilot basis” for six months between December and April 2024.

“The clock will be used to regulate the amount of time taken between overs,” the ICC said in a media statement on Tuesday. “If the bowling team is not ready to bowl the next ball within 60 seconds of the completion of the previous ball, a five-run penalty will be imposed the third time this happens in an innings.”

In 2022, the ICC introduced in-match punishment in ODIs and T20Is – in both men’s and women’s cricket – to combat the sluggish overs. Currently, according to the playing conditions, the penalty for both formats is: If the fielding team fails to start the final over on time, one player from outside the 30-yard circle will be sent off.

The third official, using a timer, regulates the time, counting any stops, before relaying it to the match officials on the field. The rule was introduced in T20Is in January and in ODIs during the World Cup qualifiers in June and July earlier this year. This penalty comes in addition to the financial penalties teams have to pay for slow rates under the ICC’s playing conditions.

Having a stopwatch is not an unprecedented move in the sport, as tennis uses a “shot clock” where a player gets 25 seconds to prepare to serve between points. The ‘shot clock’ was also proposed by the MCC’s World Cricket Committee in 2018 to combat slow over-rates in all three formats. The MCC, which included former international captains Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly and Kumar Sangakkara, recommended the use of a ‘shot clock’ during ‘dead time’ in the match.

Ponting explained at the time that the watch would not operate during the validity period. “It’s dead time in the game, so at the end of the match, the fielders and bowlers have to be back in their positions and ready to bowl at a certain time. This is non-negotiable. Same with the new batsman approaching the crease – the bowlers have to be ready when A batsman gets there and has a certain amount of time.”

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