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ICC proposes 12-man team
- A player can be substituted for not performing well - Ponting allowed to use reinforced bat
The idea is to try and get away from the predictability of the game, says Sunil Gavaskar

Dubai: Teams could withdraw batsmen for slow scoring during one-day Internationals under radical recommendations from an ICC committee on Tuesday.

The proposal for tactical substitutions was put forward at a two-day meeting of the International Cricket Council’s cricket committee as part of a package of ideas, aimed at increasing the attraction of the limited overs game.

“The biggest change that we are recommending is the 12-man team,” Sunil Gavaskar, chairman of the committee, said on Tuesday.

“Though the on-field strength of players must not exceed 11, a captain can substitute a player who he feels is not performing well.”

“It could be anybody ' a wicketkeeper, batsman, fielder or a bowler. The substitution is in line with football or rugby, will add more thrill to the game and, at the same time, will give a captain more tactics to play with.

“For instance, if a player is batting too slowly, he can be replaced. The new batsman will start afresh and the one who has been replaced, will be considered ‘retired’ on his individual score.

“Similarly, if a bowler is replaced, say for instance, after five overs, the new bowler will bowl the sixth over. Each bowler will have his own bowling figures. The 12-man team can be effective both in terms of tactics and injury to a player.”

The committee, whose recommendations will be considered by the ICC’s chief executive’s committee in a meeting in London at the end of June, also proposed a change to field restrictions.

“We have proposed 20-over field restrictions instead of 15 currently being used,” Gavaskar added.

“The first 10 overs are mandatory at the start of the innings, while the fielding captain will have the option of using the rest ' five in each lot ' whenever he wants to.

“The idea is to try and get away from the predictability of the game, have more excitement and present more tactical advantage to the fielding captain,” he said.

The committee also recommended that on-field umpires could consult the TV umpire whenever there is a doubt ' be it over lbw or bat-pad catching ' rather than just for line decisions.

“All these recommendations will be used on a trial basis during the Johnny Walker Super Series in Australia,” Gavaskar said.

Meanwhile, Australian captain Ricky Ponting will be allowed to use a carbon graphite-reinforced bat while the ICC carries out further research, it was announced on Tuesday.

The cricket committee, however, said that it did not want to upset the balance between bat and ball.

AT A GLANCE...
Though the on-field strength of players must not exceed 11, a captain can substitute a player who he feels is not performing well. It could be a wicketkeeper, batsman, fielder or a bowler.
Twenty-over field restrictions instead of 15. The first 10 overs are mandatory at the start of the innings, while the fielding captain will have the option of using the rest — five in each lot — whenever he wants to.
On-field umpires could consult the TV umpire whenever there is a doubt — be it over lbw or bat-pad catching — rather than just for line decisions.

Gavaskar will head a sub-committee, which will be formed to look into the issue.

“We would like to stick to the tradition of using a wooden bat and a leather ball,” Dave Richardson, ICC general manager (cricket), said on Tuesday.

He said the sub-committee would look into various issues including the use of carbon graphite, the width and depth of bats and ‘corking’ ' a practice also linked to baseball where the inside of a bat is replaced by cork to make it lighter and easier to swing.

“The ICC is growing increasingly concerned with issues surrounding the way in which bats are manufactured and ‘enhanced’,” chief executive Malcolm Speed added.

“There is a lot of responsibility resting on the bat manufacturers to ensure that the equipment that they produce conforms to the laws of the game and we want them to meet this responsibility.”

Gavaskar, the cricket committee chairman, and Richardson, will be joined by Arjuna Ranatunga of Sri Lanka, Angus Fraser of England and Australia’s Tim May on the sub-committee.

Ponting started using the bat in Australia late last year.

In the late 1970s Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee was banned from using an aluminium bat in a Test against England.

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