ICC panel proposes free hits to speed up one-dayers

A no ball in one-day cricket for overstepping the crease could prove costly to bowlers in future after cricket officials recommended giving the batsman a free hit off the next delivery.

Copying the fast Twenty20 game which already has the rule, is among several changes to the one-day game suggested by the cricket committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

A free hit would mean the batsman could be dismissed only by being run out from that delivery, as is the case with a no ball.

The move should encourage bowlers to reduce the number of extras and help matches finish on time.

The panel also wants the ball to be changed after 35 overs, instead of when it loses its shape or whiteness and is recommending allowing a third outfield player during the last two of three “powerplay” or field restriction overs.

The recommendations made by the cricket committee will have to be approved by the ICC’s Chief Executives Committee and then ratified by its board to become law. The panels are due to meet during the ICC’s annual conference starting in London on June 24.

The committee also reviewed the ball tampering law and said the code of conduct governing fair play should be tweaked to bar the fielding side from deliberately throwing the ball into the ground to rough it up or applying any substance to it, other than saliva or sweat for polishing.

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