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Andre Russell of West Indies hits 6 as Jos Buttler of England watches during the first T20I in Barbados on December 12. The ICC began trialling the stop clock in this game. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The International Cricket Council has made the stop clock a permanent fixture in all One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 internationals to help in maintaining the flow of the game. The new rule comes into from June 1, 2024 and the first major event to see the players on their toes will be the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in West Indies and USA from June 1.

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The ICC in a statement said: “the results of the stop clock trial were presented to the Chief Executives’ Committee, which demonstrated that around 20 minutes per ODI match had been saved in time. Given the clear improvement to the flow of the game, the CEC approved that the stop clock be introduced as a mandatory playing condition in all men’s ODI and T20I matches between Full Members from June 1, 2024, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.”

How stop clock rule works
• As per rule that was trialled in men’s white-ball cricket the fielding side is expected to start a new over within 60 seconds of the completion of the previous over.
• An electronic clock, counting down from 60 to zero, will be displayed on the ground, with the onus on the third umpire to determine the start of the clock.
• The failure of the fielding side to be ready to bowl the first ball of their next over within the stipulated 60 seconds of the previous over being completed attracts two warnings. Subsequent breaches would lead to a five-run penalty per incident.
• There are a few exceptions to this rule, and the clock, if already started, can be cancelled in certain situations. These include:
— When a new batter comes to the wicket between overs.
— An official drinks interval has been called.
— The umpires have approved the onfield treatment of an injury to a batter or fielder.
— The time lost is for any circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side.
- Source: ICC

The stop clock came into effect on December 12, 2023 with the first Twenty20 match between England and West Indies at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Twenty20 World Cup playing conditions

The ICC Board, which earlier this week in Dubai, has also spelt out the playing conditions for the Twenty20 World Cup, with reserve days for the semi-finals and the final.

“The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will have reserve days scheduled for the semi-finals and final and in the group stage and Super Eight series, a minimum of five overs have to be bowled to the team batting second to constitute a game, while in the knockout stages, a minimum of ten overs will need to be bowled,” the statement added.

The board discussed the future structure and context of international bilateral cricket, which was on top of the agenda.

A general view of the clock above the Garfield Sobers pavilion during the first T20 between West Indies and England at the Kensington Oval. Image Credit: Reuters

Future structure of international game

The Board and the Chief Executives’ Committee had extensive discussions on the future structure of the game, considering issues such as greater context for international whiteball matches, the feasibility of scheduling windows as well as the principles of the commercial arrangements underpinning the FTP.

“The ICC Board and Committee meetings are the forum for us to discuss the long-term future of the international game and at this set of meetings we spent a number of hours constructively considering the structure of the global cricket calendar,” ICC Chair Greg Barclay said. “While there are no easy answers, there is a commitment to exploring how context can be delivered and further options will be considered at upcoming meetings.”

The ICC Board also approved the qualification process for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026. The event, which will be held in India and Sri Lanka, will see 12 automatic qualifiers. These will include the joint hosts along with the top eight teams from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 with the remaining spots (between 2-4 depending on host finishing positions) to be filled from the next highest ranked teams on the ICC Men’s T20I rankings table as at 30 June 2024.

The remaining eight teams will be identified through Regional Qualifiers.