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What is Powerplay in Cricket?

What is Powerplay in Cricket?

When a cricket match is talked about the first thing which is often discussed are scores amassed during the powerplay overs. Ardent cricket fans are aware of powerplay but the newbies who have just started watching cricket often think what is powerplay in cricket? And why it is adopted in gentlemen’s games? So to answer all those questions & to help you to get a better understanding of powerplay rules we have come up with an interesting write-up.

Powerplay in Cricket & How does it works in Different formats?

Powerplay is a term used to define a set of overs in limited-overs cricket which consist of special fielding rules. In the ODI format, the first 10 overs & in the T20I format first six overs are termed as powerplay overs. In the ODI format during the first 10 overs, only two fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle while the same rule applies for the first six overs in a T20I match. Notably, there are no powerplay overs in the Test format.

In the ODI format, the rules of powerplay have changed several times since its introduction but after the latest amendments made by the ICC in 2015, the rules have remained constant. Whereas in the T20I format the rules have remained the same since its inception. Let’s have a look at the rules of powerplay in the ODI & T20I format.

Powerplay Rules in ODI Format:

  • First 10 overs: These overs are also called mandatory powerplay overs. Here in the first 10 overs of the innings, only 2 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle.
  • 11 to 40 Overs: During these overs maximum of four fielders are permitted outside the 30 yards circle.
  • 41 to 50 overs: A maximum of five fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle.

The match officials have the right to change the number of powerplay overs in an ODI fixture if the match gets hindered due to rain or other uncertain conditions. These rules are the latest which came into effect after ICC made amendments to ODI powerplay rules in 2015.

Powerplay Rules in T20I Format

The rules of powerplay are the same since its introduction in 2005. Just like the format they are quite easy to understand.

  • First overs from 1 to 6: Two fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle.
  • 6 to 20 overs: A maximum of five fielders are allowed outside the permitted 30 yards circle.
  • Leg Side Rule: A maximum of five fielders are permitted on the leg side at any particular time throughout the fixture.

Why Powerplay was Introduced in Cricket?

Back in the 1970s when the limited overs format was introduced in cricket, the ICC made the landmark decision of introducing Powerplay in cricket. This is because the batters were finding it difficult to adapt to the aggressive style of limited overs format & used to play cricket with more of a defensive mindset instead of an attacking approach. For instance, Indian batter Sunil Gavaskar batted for 60 overs amassing 36 runs in 174 balls. Though he stayed unbeaten during the innings it was regarded as the slowest innings in the limited overs format to date.

To overcome such slow performances & add more zest to the limited overs format the concept of fielding restrictions was introduced in 1980. These restrictions motivated batters to take risks & score runs during the restriction phase. While batters tried to score runs during the restriction phase it helped the bowlers to take more wickets as the batters taking risks were not actually settled. As a result, the game became more interesting with batters adopting an attacking approach. During that time field restrictions were not given any term such as Powerplay overs.

Introduction of the term Powerplay in Cricket & Latest Revised Rules

The term Powerplay was introduced in cricket in 2005 when the T20I format came into existence. After that several changes were made to Powerplay rules to make the game fair for both batting & bowling teams. The ICC made final changes to Powerplay rules in 2015 which made the game balanced for both batting & bowling teams.

As per the latest rules, three powerplays exist in the ODI format with the elimination of batting & bowling powerplays. Also, the new rules scrapped the requirement of two fielders in catching positions in the first 10 overs. On the other hand, an extra fielder in the last 10 overs gave an added advantage to the bowling team. Thus bringing back a balanced approach to the game.

What is Batting Powerplay in Cricket?

A Batting Powerplay in cricket was the term used for a set of five overs selected by the batting team during an innings in which field restrictions can be enforced upon the bowling teams. But teams started using batting powerplay from overs 46-50 in order to avoid loss of wickets in the start & middle overs. As a result, ICC initially made changes to the batting powerplay rule & later in 2015 it scrapped the rule & replaced it with the mandatory powerplay.

What is Bowling Powerplay in Cricket?

A Bowling Powerplay in Cricket was the term used for a set of five overs selected by the bowling teams during which the field restriction would be enforced upon them. The term Bowling Powerplay was introduced only to differentiate between the two sets of powerplay overs. Later due to undue advantage to the batting team the bowling powerplay was scrapped by the ICC in 2012.

Does Powerplay exist in Test Cricket?

For the unversed, Powerplay is not present in the Test format. This is because Test matches are played for five days & the batters have the freedom to bat for longer durations. Test format examines the patience level, skills & discipline of players on the field & thus scoring rate is not crucial at all.

Our Final Take:

Powerplay has become an integral part of Limited overs cricket over the years. ICC has made several amendments to powerplay rules in order to make it fair for both batting & bowling teams. Nowadays, teams form special strategies to deal with powerplay overs in both T20I & ODI formats & try to make these special overs fruitful for their respective teams. Undoubtedly, Powerplay makes the game of cricket exciting for both viewers & players & tries to give equal advantage to both batting & bowling teams.

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What is Powerplay in Cricket?
Sarah Shaikh
Content Writer & a Digital Marketer with a keen interest in Sports. My aim is to express my opinions through perfect clutter of words which will help me to connect with the people around & gain some valuable experiences.

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