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The West Indies will be facing Ireland under the revised playing conditions in the Twenty20 International match at Sabina Park in Jamaica. Image Credit: ANI

Dubai: Get ready, Twenty20 international matches are set to become more interesting.

In a bid to clamp down on the slow over rate, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has pulled out a masterstroke by adding an in-match penalty for the men’s and women’s Twenty20 internationals, which come into effect this month in the updated playing conditions.

The over rate regulations are captured in clause 13.8 of the playing conditions, which stipulate that a fielding side must be in position to bowl the first ball of the final over of the innings by the scheduled or rescheduled time for the end of the innings. If they are not in such a position, one fewer fielder will be permitted outside of the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs of the innings.

The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, which regularly discusses ways to improve the pace of play in all formats, after considering reports on the effectiveness of a similar regulation that was included in the playing conditions for the Hundred competition conducted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), said the ICC in a press statement.

So the last over or few overs could see an increase in tempo with one extra fielder in the 30-yard circle and could be a big disadvantage for the team bowling second as it would make the chase a bit easier.

This apart, an optional drinks interval midway through the innings will be provided in bilateral Twenty20 internationals.

The first men’s match to be played under the new playing conditions will be the one-off tie between the West Indies and Ireland at the Sabina Park in Jamaica on January 16, while the first T20I of the three-match series between South Africa and the West Indies in Centurion on January 18 will be the first women’s match played under the new playing conditions.