Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it has, over the years, played a huge role in uniting nations beyond boundaries. Since its beginning in the 16th century and its establishment as a full-fledged sport in the late 18th century, the sport has gone through multiple changes and modifications. Every year, the International Cricket Council amends several rules, to keep up with the ever changing needs and demands according to today’s scenario.
In this article, we will have a look at one of the major cricketing rules introduced by the ICC, the Stop Clock Rule. In one of the major latest cricket news, the International Cricket Council introduced the rule in December 2023 in order to inject more discipline into the game. It came into effect from the first T20I played between England and West Indies. As the name indicates, the stop clock rule has been designed to ensure that the match gets finished in a limited time, reducing the chances of wastage of time.
While an ODI would take around 8 to 8.5 hours to complete, a T20I needs approximately 4.5 overs. However, there have been many incidents where games have stretched beyond these hours, due to slow over rates. Despite the fact that the ICC started allowing only four players outside the circle in the last five overs, not much of a change was seen. Hence, the ICC decided to come up with a new rule itself.
As per the 41.9 clause of the revised Men’s ODI and T20I playing conditions, the clock has been added with rules against wasting time by the fielding side. The rule is currently on trial till April 2024 and is to be applied to around 50 international matches. While being in force, an electronic clock will be displayed on the big screen, and a 60-second countdown will be initiated. The fielding time will be required to get ready for the next over within this timeframe. If they fail to do so, the team will be given a maximum of two warnings, and in case of the third one, they will have to face a five-run penalty.
A few exceptions will be there in the application of this rule, which includes a new batter taking position at the crease, along with the drinks break. Along with this, the rule will be deactivated during any player’s injury as well as a few circumstances beyond the bowling team’s requirement. It would be the third umpire’s responsibility to initiate the stop clock. Follow all cricket updates and cricket live score on SportsTiger.
The ICC Cricket General Manager, Wasim Khan was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, “The stop clock trial in white ball international cricket follows the introduction of a successful new playing condition in 2022, which resulted in the fielding team only being allowed four fielders outside of the inner circle if they were not in a position to bowl the first ball of their final over in the stipulated time. The outcomes of the stop clock trial will be assessed at the end of the trial period.”