Stop-clock trial begins with T20I series between West Indies and England

Shashinka Vidusara

The first T20I between West Indies and England on Wednesday will see a stop clock used for the first time in international cricket. Part of a six-month experiment announced last month by the ICC, the stop clock will aim to restrict the time taken between overs and quicken the pace of play.

The bowling team will need to be ready to bowl the first ball of their next over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed. After two warnings, a third default by the bowling side will result in a five-run penalty imposed against them.

As it stands, the stop clock will be used only in men’s ODIs and T20Is and goes one step further from the ICC’s change in playing conditions from 2022 where slow over-rates would force fielding sides to keep one fewer fielder outside the circle in the final over of a game. These in-game sanctions are in addition to any monetary fine that teams have to pay for slow over-rates under the ICC’s playing conditions.Stop clocks aimed at speeding up play are not new in sport. In major tennis tournaments, a player gets 25 seconds to get ready to serve between points. The idea of a stop clock in cricket was proposed in 2018 by the MCC’s World Cricket Committee that included Ricky Ponting, Saurav Ganguly and Kumar Sangakkara, among others, to reduce the ‘dead-time’ between overs in international games.

The five-match T20I series between West Indies and England runs from December 13 to December 22, with the sides playing the series opener in Bridgetown, then moving to St George’s for two fixtures and finishing the series with two matches in Tarouba.

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