The fourteenth season of the Indian Premier League is only a few days away and the BCCI has decided to bring in a few rule changes for the new edition. Although IPL 2020 was a massive success, the quality of umpiring and many rules came under criticism. Thus, BCCI has mainly focused on minimizing umpiring errors by bringing necessary changes in rules. Here we look at five newly introduced rules for IPL 2021.
#5 Match duration
All the matches in IPL 2020 lasted longer than usual and empty stands are just one of the reasons why games dragged without purpose. Over rate has always been a hotly debated issue even in International cricket. Thus, the BCCI has taken the necessary steps to overcome this problem.
Each innings in IPL 2021 is allowed to last only for 90 minutes and the rule will be relaxed only in case of delayed umpiring decisions. Thus, the game time for an innings is 85 minutes and 5 minutes is allotted for two timeouts. The captain will be penalized heavily if his team’s over-rate is not up to the required level. If the team fails to respect the duration in four consecutive games, the captain will also be banned for a league game.
#4 Short run call
In IPL 2020, the game between Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals saw a huge umpiring error. The square leg umpire docked a run claiming the batsman did not enter the crease. However, replays showed that the run was legit and this created a massive controversy since the game ended in a tie.
Thus, to avoid contentious calls for running, the third umpire will be checking every run along with no balls in IPL 2021. The third umpire can overrule any wrong decision taken by the on-field umpire if there is conclusive evidence on replay.
#3 Super over
In the case of a tied match, it is well known that super over will decide a winner. However, if the super overs are also tied the BCCI has brought in a new rule to decide the inner. The super over contest can continue for up to 60 minutes from the designated finish time of the game.
This rule clearly allows for more than four or five overs from both teams and that number will be enough to decide a winner. If there is not a winner even after an hour, the match will be declared as a tied affair and points will be shared.
#2 No soft signal
Soft signal is yet another old rule which has always been problematic during execution. There are many sides of the ground which the square leg umpire cannot view properly. Hence, giving a soft signal for catches taken near the boundary seems illogical.
This rule came under the radar recently when Suryakumar Yadav was given out caught despite conclusive evidence to overturn the soft signal. Thus, BCCI has decided to do away with the rule and the third umpire will have the ultimate power to decide whether catches are clean or not.
#1 Umpire’s call to continue
Umpire’s call also caused quite a ruckus during the Test series between India and England. Many deliveries which were hitting the top of off stump or the leg stump were given not out in the name of ‘marginal’ decision.
However, BCCI has decided to stay with the concept of Umpire’s call since the ball-tracking technology is not 100% accurate. BCCI has stated that the on-field umpire’s decision will be respected in case of close calls in IPL as part of rules.