According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Playing Conditions will be significantly altered commencing June 1, 2023.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced adjustments to the Playing Conditions after the Chief Executives’ Committee approved the suggestions made by the Sourav Ganguly-led Men’s Cricket Committee and the Women’s Cricket Committee.
The primary change was the removal of the soft signal, which allowed umpires to refer decisions to the TV umpire without utilizing the soft signal.
Before making any decisions, the on-field umpires will consult with the TV umpire, according to the ICC.
According to Ganguly, the cricket committee has held meetings in recent years to investigate soft signals.
The committee deliberated for a long time and concluded that soft signals were confusing and unnecessary because referrals of catches sometimes appear inconclusive in replays.
The other key announcement concerned the need of helmets in high-risk positions. Helmets will be necessary for several reasons, including:
- When batters are up against fast bowlers
- When wicketkeepers are standing and facing the stumps
- When the batter is in front of the wicket and there are fielders close.
According to Ganguly, the matter of player safety, which is critical to us, was also discussed. In order to safeguard players, the committee determined that it was best to make the wearing of helmets in specific positions mandatory.
A minor change to the free hit rule now counts any runs scored when the ball strikes the stumps as runs scored. A batter could now be bowled off a free hit and attempt to score a run.
The changes will be implemented during the four-day, one-time Lord’s Test between England and Ireland on June 1, 2023.
The new Playing Conditions will also be utilized for Australia’s World Test Championship final against India on June 7.