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One Day Internationals - New and Improved!
by Venu Palaparthi
Jun 02, 2005
Alright, Tendulkar and Sehwag are down. Dravid is at the crease for some time now and has added 150 runs with Laxman. But he is getting a tad tired. He is not rotating the strike as much as he wants to. Irfan Pathan is the 12th man - he has had a good season both with the bat and the ball playing for his county.

What can Team India do? If Ganguly could ask 12th man Pathan to play in Dravid's place with clear instructions to increase the run-rate, wouldn't that be great?

Balaji is constantly bowling a bad line and getting hammered. The traditional option is to ask Sachin Tendulkar to bowl out the remaining overs and mitigate the continued exposure. But if only Ganguly could substitute Balaji with the 12th man, Irfan! That would be worth a try!

In your dreams? Not really! These will soon be possible if the ICC Cricket Committee has its way.

Sunil Gavaskar, Malcolm Speed, David Richardson and 12 former players met in Dubai and discussed some sweeping changes to liven up the game. The most ingenious idea (for cricket anyway) is the concept of a 12-man team with mid-game substitution, like in football or rugby.

Flexible field restrictions have been proposed as well. The idea is to increase the number of overs with field restrictions from 15 to 20. However, only the first 10 overs are mandatory at the start of the innings. The fielding captain can apply the remaining 10 as two blocks of five overs each at his own discretion.

"The captain can get rid of restrictions and attack if a Virender Sehwag or an Adam Gilchrist is at the crease," said Gavaskar. "The moment these guys get out he can apply the restriction and get one block of five overs through, when the new batsman has just come in." This is going to introduce more variables after the 16th over. It is not enough if you have your eye on the run-rate. The possibilities are limitless.

Lbw appeals, in fact all umpiring decisions, may be referred to the third umpire to eliminate prospects of bad decisions being made by a tired umpire in fading light.

Earphones, connected to the stump microphones, may be given to umpires so that they can hear faint nicks. This was implemented on a trial basis during the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy and it proved effective.

Introduction of a 12-member team will be the most drastic change that is bound to result in some clever strategic and tactical decision making by the captain. A captain can introduce the 12th man whenever he wants.

The proposal is for any batsman who has been replaced to be retired on his individual score. In the event a bowler is replaced after five overs, the new bowler will bowl the remaining overs in place of the replaced bowler.

Of course, if any of the players gets injured, the replaced cricketer cannot now be requested back.

The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee, will consider these proposals on June 24 and 25 at Lord’s and if these are approved, these changes will be implemented during the Johnnie Walker Super Series in Australia in October.
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