Tipping bowling to unfair batting, how new ICC rules will impact international cricket

New Delhi: The so-called ‘Mankading’, or as Sunil Gavaskar would say ‘Browning’, is no longer ‘foul play’ and the saliva ban imposed during Covid now becomes permanent. These are part of the new rules of the International Cricket Council which will come into effect in all international matches in all formats from 1 October. The ICC has updated the MCC’s 2017 Code of Cricket Laws. The changes, announced in March this year, were first tested at The Hundred cricket league tournament in England.

How will the new rules affect international cricket? We’ll take a look.

‘Mankad’ is sold out now

According to the ICC, the bowler can now exclude the non-attacker for backing off too far without being unfairly judged or criticized. Sadly called ‘Mankading’ – named after former Indian cricketer Vinoo Mankad who knocked out Australian fly-half Bill Brown in the second Test of the 1947-48 tour – the act of a bowler losing the batter of the non-attacking side has divided players, cricket enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Gavaskar, who has championed bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin in the past, objected to Mankad’s association with the act. “I don’t want the name of an Indian legend to be maligned,” Gavaskar once said. The Indian Express in an interview.

The ICC’s decision to simply identify him now as ‘sold out’ in the rule book should end the controversy surrounding him as well as the unfair use of naming him after the Indian player who had ‘burned out’ the Aussie after giving him a fair warning.

Also read: ‘Mankading’ was never foul play. Now a son’s battle to restore dad’s honor has paid off

Using saliva to polish the ball

The ICC has ruled that the ban on using saliva to shine one side of the bowl will now become permanent. “This ban has been in place for over two years in international cricket as a temporary Covid-related measure and it is considered appropriate that the ban be made permanent,” he said.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, Dr Peter Harcourt, chairman of the ICC’s medical advisory committee, said there was “a high risk of transmission of the virus through saliva”.

Players started using sweat based on ICC instructions. But bowlers have generally preferred saliva to sweat to make the ball shine and so the permanent ban would affect swing bowling.

“The density of saliva is much more useful than sweat. It brings more heaviness to the ball,” said senior sportswriter Kunal Wahi.

India‘s first fast bowler, Mohammad Shami, had said during a media interaction that bowlers prefer saliva. “We use sweat to make the ball heavier and softer, but the reverse swing needs saliva, it keeps the ball harder, brighter and the ball also reverses. Now the challenge will be not to use our saliva, which will be our biggest challenge.

The impact of the saliva ban could be felt most in Test matches where a worn ball could still be caused to reverse the swing. As such, saliva might be missed by seamstresses a lot.

New batter’s position after being fired

“When a batter is out caught, the new batter will enter at the end where the striker was, regardless of whether the batters crossed before the strike was taken,” the ICC said.

“Previously, in the event that the batters crossed before a strike was struck, the non-striker would take the next ball while the new batter would be on the non-striker’s end,” he added.

According to Wahi, this decision “will have a huge impact in the last overs and could benefit bowling more”. “The new hitter may or may not be a power hitter” and their strike catch “will break the momentum of the runs coming up,” Wahi said.

Also read: Ashwin ‘Mankading’ Buttler: Which comes first – the rules or the spirit of cricket?

Reduced time for inbound batters

“An incoming hitter will now be required to be ready to hit within two minutes in Tests and ODIs, while the current 90-second threshold in T20Is remains unchanged,” the ICC said.

“Previously the inbound hitter had three minutes to take the strike in ODIs and Tests, but that has now been reduced. Failing to do so, the pitch captain can appeal for a time out,” he added.

Although the chances of batters being passed increases, the impact of reduced time could be seen more in Test matches where the batting team often tries to delay proceedings, especially towards the end of the day’s play, so that less overtaking can be played.

BCCI’s “impact player”

On a separate note, Indian national cricket as well as the lodestar Indian Premier League (IPL) could become much more exciting if the BCCI follows through on its plan to introduce the ‘impact player’ rule. Under this, teams can swap a member of the in-game XI with a ‘tactical substitute’ during the game. The board plans to try this system in the next season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy men’s T20 tournament starting October 11.

(Edited by Prashant)

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