New ODI rules to improve spectacle

England and Australia will blaze the trail for substitutions and Powerplay Fives – a change in the use of fielding restrictions.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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London:If English wickets tumble in Thursday's one-day international against Australia, captain Michael Vaughan is likely to send a bowler packing and tell substitute Matt Prior to pad up. And Australia captain Ricky Ponting interprets the law changes that will be trialed in the three-match series, beginning in Leeds Thursday, in much the same way. "We'll be looking to having a batter as a sub rather than an allrounder or a bowler," Ponting said. Trials on The ICC decided last week to trial the changes over 10 months from July 31, but England and Australia will blaze the trail for substitutions and Powerplay Fives – a change in the use of fielding restrictions. On Thursday at Headingley, the first 10 overs of each innings will be subject to the same restrictions currently in force for 15 overs. Fielding captains will then choose when to enforce two five-over spells, during the last 40 overs, when only two men can field outside a designated area. "One day cricket has become predictable. They had to make changes," said England coach Duncan Fletcher after Saturday's thrilling one-day NatWest series tie against Australia at Lord's. Matt Prior selected England reacted to the changes Monday by naming Sussex wicketkeeper/batsman Matt Prior in England's 15-man squad and dropping bowler Kabir Ali. "Prior's inclusion will give England more options for their choice of sub," said chief selector David Graveney. "Matt has been chosen purely as a specialist batsman, although he will obviously provide cover for Geraint Jones in the event of injury." The ICC is looking to liven up one-day games during the middle overs when sides are usually content to score at three or four an over, saving wickets to hit out in the last 15 overs. Both Ponting and Fletcher agreed that the changes make it more likely that a substitute batsman will be introduced to shore up a collapsing batting lineup. 'Power Play' If the substitute is not used then, however, the option is there to bring in another bowler. With initial restrictions limited to 10 overs, batsmen will be encouraged to make the explosive start that Australians Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden achieved on Saturday. The pair thrashed 50 in the first six overs. If a couple of wickets fall quickly, be prepared for the umpires to make unusual circular signals and for the loudspeakers to announce the start of a Powerplay Five, as the fielding captain seeks to exploit the new batsman and keep the run-rate down. (AP)

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