The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday introduced in-match penalties for slow-over rates across men's and women's T20 International matches. It also said that optional drinks break in the midpoint of an innings will be a part of the updated playing conditions.The first men's match to be played under the new playing conditions will be the one-off tie between the West Indies and Ireland at the Sabina Park in Jamaica on January 16 while the first T20I of the three-match series between South Africa and the West Indies in Centurion on January 18 will be the first women's match played under the new playing conditions.The in-match penalty for slow over rate means the fielding side will be penalised for it.
"The over rate regulations are captured in clause 13.8 of the playing conditions, which stipulate that a fielding side must be in position to bowl the first ball of the final over of the innings by the scheduled or rescheduled time for the end of the innings," said the ICC in a statement."If they are not in such a position, one fewer fielder will be permitted outside of the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs of the innings. The in-match penalties are in addition to the sanctions for slow over rate outlined in Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel," added the ICC.The global cricket governing body said the in-match penalty for slow-over rates was included after seeing its efficacy in the Hundred competition in England in 2021."The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, which regularly discusses ways to improve the pace of play in all formats, after considering reports on the effectiveness of a similar regulation that was included in the playing conditions for the Hundred competition conducted by the ECB.""In another change, an optional drinks break of two minutes and thirty seconds may be taken at the mid-point of each innings subject to agreement between Members at the start of each series," concluded the ICC.