Explained: What is stop clock rule and how will it work? All you need to know | Cricket

In order to shake things up and inject more discipline into the game, the ICC announced the introduction of the stop clock rule, which will come into effect starting Wednesday’s first T20I between England and West Indies. The stop clock rule, as the name indicates, is an innovation designed to ensure the match is completed within the time limit, reducing the room for wastage of time.

The stop clock rule will be applied on a total of 59 international matches(Getty)

Usually, an ODI takes approximately anywhere between 8 to 8.5 hours to complete, whereas a T20 game at the max, requires 4.5 hours. However, there have been several instances – in fact, it has kind of become a norm – of the game stretching beyond these hours, mostly due to slow over rates. Despite the ICC’s move of allowing the fielding team only 4 fielders outside the circle in the last five overs in case it’s behind its scheduled number of overs, teams are not learning, and hence, it is believed that the arrival of the electronic/stop clock rule promises a significant rule.

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Under clause 41.9 of the revised Men’s ODI and T20I playing conditions, which deals with provisions against time wasting by the fielding side, the clock has been added under sub-clause 41.9.4. This clock will debut on a trial basis during Full Member Men’s ODIs and T20Is from December 2023 to April 2024 and will be applied to around 59 international fixtures during this period.

Also Read: ICC’s stop clock trial to get underway during West Indies-England series

“The stop clock trial in white ball international cricket follows the introduction of a successful new playing condition in 2022, which resulted in the fielding team only being allowed four fielders outside of the inner circle if they were not in a position to bowl the first ball of their final over in the stipulated time. The outcomes of the stop clock trial will be assessed at the end of the trial period,” Wasim Khan, the ICC General Manager – Cricket, said.

What exactly is the stop clock rule and how will it work?

The clock rule will be activated between overs. Upon completion of each over, the electronic clock will be displayed on the big screen, initiating a 60-second countdown. The fielding side is required to begin the next over within this timeframe, or face consequences. Failure to comply will lead to a maximum of two warnings, with a third offense resulting in a five-run penalty.

What are the exceptions

That being said, there are specific scenarios where the clock will not come into effect. These exceptions include instances where a new batter takes position at the crease or when a drinks interval is in progress. Additionally, the rule won’t be enforced if a player – whether it be the batter, bowler, or fielder – sustains an injury, and the officials grant permission for treatment. Furthermore, the stop clock will be rendered null and void if the time lost is due to circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side, such as the ball getting lost or bats breaking.

The responsibility of initiating the timer lies solely with the third umpire. If the last ball of an over is declared dead or a DRS is taken off it, the official will refrain from activating the clock. Additionally, a modification stipulates that if the fielding side is prepared to bowl within 60 seconds, but the batting side delays for their reasons, the on-field umpires possess the authority to make a judgment call based on their discretion. Often, batters intentionally consume time, either to catch a breather or strategically play for stumps. The stop clock serves as a preventive measure to counter such situations.

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