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ODI cricket, a variant of the sport that originated in 1972, has undergone several rule modifications. The inaugural ODI Cricket World Cup was contested in a 60-over format. It persisted for two more tournaments before transitioning to the current standard of 50 overs. Subsequently, teams have engaged in the extended short form of the game, with numerous rule alterations implemented over time.
Originally, One Day International (ODI) matches were contested in white attire, similar to Test matches. The use of colored clothing was primarily reserved for global competitions or multi-national tournaments. One significant regulation that has undergone multiple revisions in the past two decades is the concept of powerplays.
What is a Powerplay?
Powerplay is a term used to describe a set of overs in limited overs cricket matches. IN ODIs and T20Is, the fielding team has to follow certain restrictions on the number and position of their fielders. The purpose of powerplay is to make the game more exciting and challenging for both the batsmen and the bowlers.
What is the Current Powerplay Rules in One-day Cricket?
- Mandatory Powerplay (1-10 overs): In a continuous 50-overs One Day International (ODI) cricket match, during the initial 10 overs of the innings, a maximum of two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.
- From 11th to the 40th over: Between overs 11 and 40 of the innings, a maximum of four fielders are permitted to be positioned outside the 30-yard circle.
- In the last 10 overs (41 to 50 overs): A maximum of five fielders are permitted beyond the 30-yard circle.
The History of ODI Powerplay Fielding Restriction Rules:
Over the past decade or two, the ICC has implemented several changes to powerplays in ODI cricket. In this discussion, we will explore the historical field restriction rules associated with this particular format of the game. One significant regulation, involving the mandatory placement of a minimum number of fielders inside the circle, was introduced during the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1992, hosted in Australia. During that period, the ICC stipulated that a maximum of only 2 fielders could be positioned outside the 30-yard circle for the initial 15 overs. This provision that has now been reduced to 10 overs. Subsequently, for the remainder of the innings (from overs 16 to 50), a maximum of 5 fielders were permitted outside the circle.
Changes in 2005:
However, the term “powerplays” had not yet been coined, and the ICC adhered to the fielding restriction rule in the ODI format until 2005. In that year, the ICC made amendments to a rule referred to as the powerplay, dividing it into three phases during an ODI inning. The initial phase consists of a mandatory 10-over period, during which the fielding team is limited to having only two fielders positioned beyond the 30-yard circle. Following this, there are two five-over powerplay phases that the fielding team can choose at their discretion. During these phases, once again, only two fielders are permitted outside the circle. Teams have the flexibility to implement the powerplays either immediately after the initial 10-over period or at any point during the bowling innings.
Changes in 2008:
In 2008, a subtle modification to the rule was implemented to inject enthusiasm into the middle overs of the game. In the preceding iteration of the powerplay, following the obligatory phase, the fielding team had the privilege to select two additional 5-over powerplay segments of their choosing. However, with the 2008 rule adjustment, the ICC decreed that one of these two 5-over powerplay segments must be granted to the batting side. Consequently, the batting side now has the authority to designate a 5-over powerplay period according to their preference.
Changes in 2011:
This previous amendment proved to be short-lived. The ICC determined that the fielding restrictions in place provided batting teams with an unfair advantage. At that time, it was common for the batting team to strategically opt for the 5-over powerplay period during the death overs. Having only two fielders outside the circle in the last 5 or 10 overs created a challenging situation for the bowling side. Recognizing this imbalance, the ICC took corrective action in 2011 by standardizing the use of the batting powerplay, offering some relief to bowling captains and bowlers. Under this rule modification, the cricket board stipulated that batting teams must strictly adhere to their designated powerplays within overs 16 to 36. Consequently, there would be no powerplay fielding restrictions beyond the 40-over mark in ODI cricket.
Changes in 2012:
In October 2012, the ICC implemented a significant alteration by reducing the number of powerplays from three to two. Aside from the standard mandatory 10-over powerplay, only one 5-over powerplay phase is now allowed. It must be completed before the commencement of the 41st over. Nevertheless, during the non-powerplay overs (41-50), the fielding team is limited to having only four fielders outside the ring.
Changes in 2015:
This rule remained in effect until 2015, when the ICC once again standardized the powerplay regulations, establishing the current three-phase powerplay system.
What is Powerplay in T20 Cricket?
Mandatory Powerplay (1-6 overs)
- In a continuous 20-overs cricket match, a maximum of 2 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle.
- If more than two fielders are there outside the 30-yard circle during the powerplay, umpires declare a no-ball, granting the batting side a free hit.
- The powerplay rule is consistent in T20 international matches and most major cricket leagues globally. However, The Big Bash of Australia and England’s The Hundred are exceptions.
- Weather or other factors can lead to a reduction in the number of powerplay overs in a match.
- Powerplay overs enable the batting team to build crucial momentum for setting or chasing a winning total. It offers an exciting and potentially dramatic segment of the game.
- However, losing early wickets during the powerplay can be detrimental. The team must then navigate the innings with nine fielders in the inner circle.
Overs 6 to 20
- A maximum of 5 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle. This makes it challenging for batsmen to score boundaries.
Is there any Powerplay in Test Cricket?
Powerplay is not used in Test cricket. The batting team is permitted to bat for as long as they like during test matches, which usually last more than five days. Thus, it doesn’t really matter how often a team scores. There is a huge difference in entertainment during the test matches. Every player on the field has their patience, discipline, and skills tested in a test match.