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Monday, December 25, 2023
ICC to Introduce Stop Clock to Regulate Pace of Play

With Bermuda scheduled to play in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Challenge League play-off, in Malaysia in February 2024, players and officials would need to know that the ICC has introduced a stop clock to regulate the pace of play.

The move will be tested on a trial basis between December 2023 and April 2024 in Men's One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

In a decision that was made back in November, the ICC has said it will experiment with having a stop clock between overs. A penalty of five runs will be imposed on the bowling side if they fail three times in an innings to start the new over within a minute.

www.islandstats.com can confirm that there is no plan to implement the rule if approved by the ICC after the Trial Period domestically.

The move, which was approved by the chief executive's committee, will be restricted to men's ODIs and T20Is and will be tested on a "trial basis" for six months between December and April 2024. The first instance where this was used was the three-match ODI series between West Indies and England, which got underway on December 3rd.

In 2022, the ICC introduced an in-match penalty in ODIs and T20Is - in both men's and women's cricket - to combat slow over rates. Currently, as per the playing conditions, the sanction for both formats is: if the fielding team fails to start the final over by the stipulated time, they are docked one fielder from outside the 30-yard circle.

The third umpire, through a timer, regulates the time while accounting for any stoppages, before relaying it to the on-field match officials. The rule was introduced in T20Is in January and in ODIs during the World Cup Qualifiers in June-July earlier this year. That sanction is in addition to monetary fines teams have to pay for slow over rates under the ICC's playing conditions.

Having a stop clock is not an unprecedented move in sport, with tennis using the 'shot clock' where a player gets 25 seconds to get ready to serve between points. The 'shot clock' was also suggested by the MCC's World Cricket Committee in 2018 to combat slow over rates in all three formats. The MCC committee, which included former international captains Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, and Kumar Sangakkara, had recommended the 'shot clock' be used during the "dead time" in a game.

The clock, Ponting, at the time, had explained would not be operation during an over. "It is the dead time in the game, so at the end of the over the fielders and the bowlers have to be back in the position and ready to bowl at a certain time. That is a non-negotiable. The same with the new batsman coming to the crease - the bowling team has to be ready when the batsman gets there and he has had a certain amount of time."
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