In order to maintain a consistent pace throughout the match, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has declared that it will conduct tests using a stopwatch in between each over. A penalty of 5 runs will be imposed against the bowling team if they fail to begin the new over within a minute on 3 separate occasions within the same inning.

A stop clock is not an unusual move in sports, with tennis utilising the clock, which gives a player 25 seconds to prepare to serve between points.

In 2018, the MCC’s World Cricket Committee proposed a ‘shot clock’ to counteract slow over rates in all three formats. The MCC committee, which included former international captains Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, and Kumar Sangakkara, advocated using the ‘shot clock’ during “dead time” in a game.

Ponting had previously stated that the clock would not be operable during an over. “Since it is dead time in the game, the fielders and bowlers must be back in position and ready to bowl at a certain time at the end of the over. That cannot be changed. The same is true for a new batsman arriving at the crease; the bowling squad must be prepared when the batsman arrives and has had a certain amount of time.”

Also Read | Explained: What is a Timed Out Dismissal in Cricket?

What is the Stop Clock Rule and its Penalty?

“The clock will be used to regulate the amount of time taken between overs,” the International Cricket Council announced on Tuesday in a press statement. It further stated that if the bowling team is not ready to bowl the next over within 60 seconds of the previous over, then a 5-run penalty will be imposed when it happens for the third time in an inning.

When will the Stop Clock Rule Come into Force?

The CEC approved the policy, which would only apply to men’s ODIs and T20Is and would be “trialled” for 6 months between December 2023 and April 2024. This will be used for the first time in the 3-match One-Day International series between the West Indies and England, which begins on December 3 this year.

Rules Already in Place to Combat Slow Over Rate

To combat the slow over rate, the ICC instituted an in-match penalty in both men’s and women’s ODIs and T20Is in 2022. Currently, the fielding team has to remove 1 fielder from beyond the 30-yard circle if they do not begin the final over by the allotted time in any configuration.

The third umpire regulates the time using a timer while accounting for any stoppages before communicating it to the on-field match officials. The rule came into effect in T20Is in January 2023 and in ODIs during World Cup Qualifiers in June and July 2023.

This penalty is in addition to the financial penalties imposed under the ICC’s playing standards for slow over rates.

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