The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced changes to T20I playing conditions which will come into effect with the forthcoming one-off match between West Indies and Ireland on 8th January. An in-match penalty for slow over rates in men’s and women’s Twenty20 Internationals will come into effect, with the updated playing conditions also providing for an optional drinks interval midway through the innings in bilateral T20 international cricket.
The over rate regulations are captured in clause 13.8 of the playing conditions (here), which stipulate that a fielding side must be in position to bowl the first ball of the final over of the innings by the scheduled or rescheduled time for the end of the innings. If they are not in such a position, one fewer fielder will be permitted outside of the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs of the innings.
The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, which regularly discusses ways to improve the pace of play in all formats, after considering reports on the effectiveness of a similar regulation that was included in the playing conditions for the Hundred competition conducted by the ECB.
The in-match penalties are in addition to the sanctions for slow over rate outlined in Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.
In another change, an optional drinks break of two minutes and thirty seconds may be taken at the mid-point of each innings subject to agreement between Members at the start of each series.
The first men’s match to be played under the new playing conditions will be the one-off tie between the West Indies and Ireland at the Sabina Park in Jamaica on 16 January while the first T20I of the three-match series between South Africa and the West Indies in Centurion on 18 January will be the first women’s match played under the new playing conditions.