The 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup will begin in two days. All teams – the frontrunners and the minnows – are prepping for one of the toughest battles they will ever face.
If the 2011 World Cup in the Asian subcontinent was a difficult tour for cricketing nations, the pitches in Australia and New Zealand will have their share of troubles to offer.
This time around, however, the ICC has decided to make certain tweaks to the already existing rules; the format though will be similar to the previous edition with ten teams participating.
Two New Balls
White ball degrades sooner than the red cherry, which is why, not too long ago, ICC came up with the rule to replace the new ball with a semi-new ball after 34 overs. This caused a lot of troubles for fast bowlers, as they reported not being able to reverse swing the semi-new ball, which actually is possible with an old, worn out ball. During the 2015 edition of the World Cup, teams will be provided two new balls each, which is sure to make batting all the more interesting. Again, reverse swing will be rarely be in the picture.
Powerplays and Fielding Restrictions
The change of having four fielders instead of five within the 30-yard circle was made in 2012 and ICC will stick to that rule. You will also notice that there will be only two sections of powerplay instead of three. The first powerplay will be the mandatory one that comes into play in the first ten overs. The second one will be used by the batting side, but before the 40th over, where three fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle instead of two.
Decision Review System
The Decision Review System has always been seen as an interesting addition to cricket, as more often than not, it helps umpires make the right decision. Real-Time Snickometer and Hot Spot are often part of the DRS. This year’s World Cup will not include Hot Spot, but Real-Time Snickometer will be made available. Also, the initially practised 2.5 metre rule for lbw has been increased to 3 metres.
Super Overs Only in Finals
In the 2011 World Cup, ICC introduced Super Overs in all matches that ended in a tie, in order to decide a winner. In 2015, Super Overs will feature only in the Finals, if the need be. The earlier edition featured the one-over eliminator in the knockout stage, but has been eliminated altogether for this year’s tournament.
The Winner’s Fee
The winner’s fee for the 2015 ICC World Cup has been increased by 25% as compared to the set prize money for the 2011 World Cup. If a team goes unbeaten throughout the tournament, like Australia did in 2007 World Cup, it can earn more than $4 million. Also, for the first time in World Cup history, the teams that do not reach the quarter-finals will also be compensated.