New Delhi, 16 May: The International Cricket Committee (ICC) on Monday announced changes to its Playing Conditions which will
come into effect on 1 June with the Lord’s Test between England and Ireland.

The changes to the playing conditions were recommended by the Cricket Committee of the ICC headed by Sourav Ganguly and have been ratified by the Chief Executives’ Committee which was also endorsed by the Women’s Cricket Committee.
The Main changes are;  

Soft signal: Umpires will no longer be required to give a soft signal while referring decisions to the TV umpires. The on-field umpires will consult with the TV umpire before any decisions are taken.

Helmets: Helmet protection will be mandatory in international cricket for the following high-injury-risk positions: (i) when batters are facing fast bowlers, (ii) when wicketkeepers are standing up to the stumps, and (iii) when fielders are close to the batter in front of the wicket.

Runs off a Free Hit: Any runs scored off a Free Hit when the ball hits the stumps will count as runs scored, to be consistent with all other runs scored from a free hit.

Commenting on the changes Sourav Ganguly said: “Soft signals have been discussed at previous cricket committee meetings over the last couple of years. The committee deliberated this at length and concluded that soft signals were unnecessary and at times confusing since referrals of catches may seem inconclusive in replays.”

“We also discussed player safety, which is very important for us. The committee decided that it was best to make the use of helmets mandatory in certain positions to ensure the safety of players.”

The ICC Cricket Committee: Sourav Ganguly (Chair); Mahela Jayawardena and Roger Harper (Past Players); Daniel Vettori and VVS Laxman (Representatives of Current Players); Gary Stead (Member Team Coach Representative); Jay Shah (Full Members’ Representative); Joel Wilson (Umpires’ Representative); Ranjan Madugalle (ICC Chief Referee); Jamie Cox (MCC Representative); Kyle Coetzer (Associate Representative); Shaun Pollock (Media Representative); Greg Barclay and Geoff Allardice (Ex Officio - ICC Chair and Chief Executive); Clive Hitchcock (Committee Secretary); David Kendix (Statistician).

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