5 Orthodox Cricket Rules that the ICC Should Consider Removing

Besides the fun and excitement that cricket matches and tournaments offer fans, another major factor that contributes to the sport’s popularity is its rules. Similar is the case with cricket-related activities, such as fantasy cricket games.

There are specific fantasy cricket apps that feature unique rules and gameplay that appeal to enthusiasts. For instance, the 5 player fantasy cricket app wherein users need to create cricket teams consisting of five players instead of 11 is very popular among the masses since it diverts away from the generic gameplay of most fantasy cricket games. 

Coming back to cricket, the rules established by the ICC for all cricket formats make the sport very fun to watch and interesting to play. However, certain orthodox rules are not deemed useful or logical by both fans as well as players. Here are some orthodox cricket rules that the ICC should consider removing:

  • Over Limit For Bowlers in ODIs and T20Is

Batsmen, in any limited-over cricket match, do not have any batting limit, they can bat for as long as they want until they do not lose their wicket. However, the case with bowlers is not the same. In any official one-day or T20 match, bowlers can only bowl a limited number of overs. 

For instance, in T20 matches, a bowler can bowl a maximum of four overs. Similarly, ODI matches allow a bowler to bowl a maximum of ten overs. These rules have been in play for the longest time, and it is high time that the primary governing bodies of cricket remove or alter them. 

Although removing the rule entirely is impossible, the governing bodies can at least remove the problematic part of the rule, i.e., the limit. For instance, they can enhance the limit of overs that bowlers can bowl. 

  • Boundaries Determining the Winner of a Knockout Match In Case of Tied Super Over

One of cricket’s most outrageous official rules is that if a match’s super over ends in a tie, the team with the maximum number of boundaries is declared the winner. Although the chances of this happening in an official match seem thin, it has happened before. In the 2019 Cricket World Cup final, England emerged victorious after they tied the match in a super over against New Zealand based on the tied super over rule.

After England was declared the winner, the Kiwis’ captain expressed displeasure over how the result was decided by stating the tied super-over rule was “hard to swallow.” Considering how unfair the rule is, cricket governing bodies like the ICC should consider removing it. 

  • Boundary Line Rule

Over the years, there have been many instances in international matches when a player, in an attempt to save a six, has jumped into the boundary area and, without touching the ground beneath, thrown the ball inside the playing area and caught it again after coming back into the field to clinch a batsman’s wicket. Such types of catches are considered spectacular since they display players’ athleticism. However, the rule is very unfair to the batsman. 

For instance, in football, a goal is given as soon as the ball touches the goal line, i.e., it does not depend on whether the ball hits the net at the back. Similarly, in cricket matches, if a batsman has made an effort to make the ball cross the boundary line in any way, it should be respected, and the boundary should be declared. 

  • One Free Hit For Two Consecutive No Balls

Another rule that is unfair to batsmen is that when a bowler bowls two no-balls consecutively, the batsman gets only one free hit instead of two. Let us elaborate. For instance, if a bowler balls a no-ball, the next ball followed by it is given as a free-hit, i.e., players cannot be dismissed in this delivery. However, if a bowler puts in another no-ball after bowling one previously, the batsman gets only one free hit.

Logically, the batsman should be awarded two free hits, but the rule orders otherwise. In such cases, it is unfair to the batsman on the crease since they get to play only one free-hit delivery instead of two. Hence, ICC should consider removing the rule and making fair adjustments for both sides. 

  • On-Field Umpires Not Allowed to Extend Play When Required

As per ICC regulations, the on-field umpires are not allowed to extend the play time of matches in any case. Let us elaborate with an example. India toured South Africa in 2018. In the second ODI, India played exceptionally well and quickly eliminated all the Proteas’ batsmen. The target for India to chase was merely 118. 

When the Indian batsmen came out to play, the scheduled lunch break was far away. In just 19 overs, India equaled the score, i.e., they put up 117 runs on the board with 9 wickets in hand. All they needed was a single run to end the match, but due to ICC’s strict rule not to extend play, players left the ground for the break.

Although India ended the match by winning it immediately after returning from the lunch break, it caused both sides unnecessary inconvenience. Therefore, the ICC should remove the rule. In fact, they should provide on-field umpires the power to extend play in situations they deem fit. 

Final Thoughts:

All the rules mentioned above reduce the game’s authenticity and fun, which is why the ICC should consider removing them or replacing them with more just ones.