India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has often complained about the current ODI rule of having only four fielders outside the circle during the non-powerplay overs affecting the performance of his bowlers but the ICC is in no mood to tinker with any rules until the end of the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
"We're not going to consider any changes prior to the World Cup. After the World Cup, the rules will be reviewed by the (ICC) Cricket Committee again. As I said, we wanted to create a more attacking 50-over game, one that could compete on the entertainment scales with T20 cricket," ICC CEO Dave Richardson said at a media interaction in Mirpur on Friday. (Read: Richardson hopes to convince Kumble on DRS)
Asked if the rule has been a kind of death-knell for the bowlers, Richardson, who has played 42 Tests and 122 ODIs for South Africa, said the best bowlers still made their way out.
"It's too early to say. I think it has led to a more attacking game from a bowling and fielding perspective. Yes, runs per over might have increased and bowlers, at times on flat wickets, find it very tough. But the best bowlers are still top of bowling rankings and best batsmen are on top of batting charts. We just might need to change our perceptions," Richardson explained.
He gave the example of a parsimonious Fannie de Villiers, who used to get upset if he went for more than three runs per over during his spell.
"In the old days, if you scored a run a ball, everyone said you had a tremendous strike-rate. Now they're saying you have to be in the 120-130 range. Ditto for bowlers. In the old days, Fanie de Villiers got upset, if he went for more than three runs per over. Now, bowlers only get upset when they go for more than six runs an over! Yes, things have changed. But I don't necessarily think for the worse."
Richardson also dismissed allegations that boundaries are being made shorter in order to accommodate more sixes.
"We've got certain minimum specifications. In fact, the regulations actually say you need to maximize the boundary size depending on the size of playing area. Sometimes we see boundaries are brought in contrary to regulation. We would like to ensure that moving forward, they are more pro-actively enforced," he said.
"There are still limits as to the maximum, so we don't want ridiculously large boundaries but as a basic principle, I'm very much in favour of it. A good hit can go for six but not necessarily a mishit," said Richardson.