In a bid to restore balance between bat and ball, the International Cricket Council has made some important changes to the One-Day International playing conditions during its Annual Conference in Barbados.
The main change in the ODI rules has been the scrapping of the batting powerplay that was instrumental in giving impetus to the batting side in the end overs.
This change will give a breather to the bowling sides who often struggled during the later stages of the innings due to this restriction.
The ICC has also decided to remove the four-fielder rule outside the 30-yard circle for the last 10 overs of the innings – a decision that should encourage bowlers in the death overs.
The four-fielder rule has come in for scrutiny since its inception as it gave batsmen more leeway to attack especially at the back end of the innings with the five-over batting powerplay also to boot.
However, with this relaxation in rules by the ICC, bowlers across the globe can expect a better time in the 50-over format.
The rule which stated two compulsory catchers for the first 10 overs of an ODI innings has also been removed by the ICC.
However, the ICC has also made another significant change to the ODI rules that will demand more discipline from the bowlers.
The free-hit concept, which initially used to be applied for over-stepping the bowling crease, will now be applicable for all kinds of no-balls.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson stressed on the importance of managing an equilibrium between batsmen and bowlers for the well being of the game.
Richardson believes that the latest tweaking in the ODI rules will help to keep the quality and popularity of the format intact heading into the next World Cup that will be held in England.
"There was no need to make any radical changes to what has proved to be a vibrant and popular format but we wanted to take this opportunity to make the format simpler and easier to follow for the public as well as maintaining a balance between bat and ball," he said.
“In making these adjustments, we have tried to ensure that ODI cricket retains the attacking, aggressive and thrilling brand, which has recently become the hallmark of 50-over cricket and sets us on a positive path to the next World Cup in England in 2019.”
Apart from these changes, the ICC has also analyzed and welcomed the findings of an Integrity Working Party that had been formed to deal with corruption in international and domestic cricket.
This decision means a bigger role for the Anti-Corruption & Security Unit which will in turn help to keep the game free from unwanted incidents.
The ICC Annual Conference was held in Barbados from Monday onwards under the leadership of Chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan.
© Cricket World 2015