When Bangladesh lock horns with South Africa on Friday, July 10 for the first ODI of the 3-match series, new rules for 50-over international matches made by ICC will come into effect.
With batsmen ruling the roost with ridiculously high-scoring matches off late, ICC decided to look into this issue and restore some of balance between the bat and the ball.
There will be no close-in fielders in the first ten overs, batting Powerplay has been scrapped, free-hits will be awarded for all no-balls while bowlers will have extra protection in the last ten overs with five fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle according to the new rules.
The last time Powerplay rules were changed in October 2008, Bangladesh played the first match under the new ruling, and defeated New Zealand comfortably by seven wickets at Mirpur.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza is not too engrossed with the rule changes, and believes sporting wickets and regulations on bats are more important to bring balance into the game already heavily in favour of batters.
Mashrafe is not unhappy at the fact that he will have fewer permutations to think about, but feels the situation will dictate the placement of fielders during the game.
“Previously, I used to think a bit more, like who will open the bowling, who will bowl in the batting Powerplay or in the last ten overs. There used to be a lot of calculations. Now there is less to think about. Whether to place a close-in fielder or not, will depend on the situation. I usually want to keep a slip or a close-in fielder." Mashrafe explained.
South African cricketer Ryan McLaren feels the bowlers would welcome the new rules and reckons batting sides would score quickly in the first few overs to make up for the extra fielder in the last ten overs.
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal however disagrees with McLaren and believes the new rules won’t change the mindset of batsmen trying to up the ante late in the innings.
He explained when there were five fielders outside the 30-yard circle 3-4 years ago, batters still took the attack to the bowlers in the death-overs.
Tamim feels the new rules will aid bowlers to strategise in the last ten overs but batsmen won’t really change their game-plan too much.
He emphasized on utilizing the field restrictions in the first ten overs.