As stipulated in the revised standard playing conditions across all formats of the game, the full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) will have to nominate their captains (for Tests, ODIs and Twenty20) to the ICC.

A source in the know of the proposed changes said that Australia, England, and South Africa usually would announce their captains for different formats of the game at the start of the season, but the others wouldn’t.

The operative part of the revised clause states that “each member board must nominate its captain to the ICC when appointed” and that “if the captain is not taking part in a series, the relevant home board must nominate a replacement team captain for the series and shall advise the series match referee. If the captain plays in a match without being the nominated captain for that match, he will be deemed to be the captain should any penalties be applied for over rate breaches under the code of conduct.

“There may have been serious issues in the recent past wherein a captain, facing suspension for a match or two because of over rate violations, may have played as a batsman. This is the reason the ICC has tweaked the rule to make sure that captains do not dodge a heavy and stricter penalty,” said a former match official the ICC consults in matters connected with the playing conditions and laws of the game.

Once approved at the Chief Executives meeting in Dubai next Monday and Tuesday, the revised playing conditions will come into effect from October 1. Apart from nominating the captain to the ICC, alterations have been made to the relevant clauses pertaining to substitutes, wickets, innings, dead ball, and fair and unfair play.

Benefit to batsman

In another change the benefit given to a substitute (fielder) has been extended to the batsman also. The particular law explains that, “in the event of a batsman (added to the existing clause) or a fieldsman already being off the field at the commencement of an interruption in play through ground, weather or light conditions or for other exceptional circumstances, he shall be allowed to count any such stoppage time as playing time, provided that he personally informs the umpires when he is fit enough to take the field had play been in progress. Similarly, if at the commencement of an interruption in play through ground, weather or light conditions or for\other exceptional circumstances, a player is on the field but still has some unexpired penalty time remaining from a previous absence, he shall automatically be allowed to count any such stoppage time as playing time.”

Dead ball

According to another change in a match where cameras are being used on or over the field of play (e.g. Spydercam), should a ball that has been hit by the batsman make contact, while still in play, with the camera, its apparatus or its cable, either umpire shall call and signal ‘dead ball’. The ball shall not count as one of the over and no runs shall be scored. If the delivery was called a no ball it shall count and the no ball penalty applied, including if appropriate a free hit from the next delivery.

Should a ball thrown by a fielder make contact with a camera on or over the field of play, its apparatus or its cable, either umpire shall call and signal dead ball. Unless this was already a no-ball or wide, the ball shall count as one of the over. All runs scored to that point shall count, plus the run in progress if the batsmen have already crossed.

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