BCF T20 Cup Match Format and Playing Conditions – 2015

Playing Conditions


The Laws of Cricket 2000 Code 5th Edition 2013 will apply except when varied below. Where this code has been amended competition regulation has been added in brackets to help identify the change. Where the current law is quoted, either in part or full, the phrase ‘Laws 2013’ follows the text.


  1. Duration of Matches


1.1      All Matches


Matches will consist of one innings per side and each innings will be limited to 20 overs.


All sides are expected to complete the bowling of their 20 overs within 1 hour 20 minutes playing time.


  1. Hours of Play and Intervals


2.1.     Start and Cessation Times


The start and cessation times for all T20 Cup games are explained in detail in the “BCF T20 Cup and League Timings”.


2.2      Sessions of Play and Interval Between Innings


There will normally be two sessions of play of 1 hour 20 minutes each, separated by an interval of 10 minutes between innings.


When the innings of the team batting first is completed earlier then the 10 minute interval shall take place immediately and the innings of the team batting second will commence correspondingly earlier.


2.3      Intervals for Drinks


No drinks intervals are permitted.


An individual player may be given a drink either on the boundary edge or at the fall of a wicket, on the field, provided that no playing time is wasted. No drinks will be taken onto the field of play without the permission of the umpires. Any player taking drinks onto the field shall be dressed in proper cricket whites.


  1. Length of innings


3.1      General regulations for uninterrupted matches


  1. Each team shall have the opportunity to bat for 20 If they are dismissed before the completion of these 20 overs or a result is reached, the remaining overs will not be bowled.


If the side batting first is dismissed before the completion of their 20 overs, then for all subsequent purposes they are deemed to have faced their full quota of overs.


If the team batting first is dismissed before the completion of their 20 overs the team batting second are entitled to have the opportunity to bat for 20 overs.


  1. In either innings, the umpires will monitor the over rate as the innings progresses and will inform the fielding captain, at appropriate times, if the over rate is showing signs of slowing down to an unacceptable level. The umpires shall take account of circumstances that are outside the control of the fielding side when making this judgement – eg delays caused by the batting side, extended time taken to retrieve the ball (maximum 2 minutes per instance), delays caused by serious injury(ies).


If the team fielding first fail to bowl the required number of overs by the scheduled time for cessation of the first session, play will continue until the required number of overs has been bowled.


  1. In the second innings, if the team fielding second fails to bowl 20 overs by the scheduled cessation time the hours of play shall be extended until the required number of overs have been bowled or a result reached.


  1. Law 42.9 will not be applied for slow over rates. Clause 10 Over Rate Penalties below will apply.


3.2      General regulations for delayed or interrupted matches


  1. The object must always be to arrange the number of overs so that both sides have the opportunity of batting for the same number of overs. When a recalculation of overs is necessary, this calculation will be based on an average of 15 overs per hour in the total remaining time available for play (i.e., not counting time for the interval).
  2. If either side is dismissed before the completion of their agreed allocation or recalculated overs, it is deemed that they have faced their full quota of overs and any subsequent calculations e.g. Over Run Rate (ORR), will be based on their having faced their full quota of overs.


  1. c) If the team batting first are dismissed before the completion of their allocated or recalculated overs the team batting second are entitled to bat for their full allocation.


  1. Even though a match may be reduced in length the principles laid out in 3.1 b), and c) above still apply. Any contravention of these Regulations will still attract the relevant penalties. The fact that a match is reduced in length does not negate the requirement that the overs have to be bowled within the laid down time limits – even though these limits will differ according to the unique circumstances surrounding a particular match.


  1. A start may only be legitimately delayed provided the delay is not caused by either team (where a team is responsible for a delay it shall be penalised in line with the T20 Cup Rules and the General Rules and Administration). However if the start of the game is delayed because a junior game or an earlier T20 game runs over time, that will be considered as a legitimate delay not caused by a club (but clubs are asked to take the necessary steps to avoid junior matches running excessively over time). Where a match is legitimately delayed in this way, section 3.3 for recalculating match overs will apply, unless both captains agree beforehand to play a full 20 overs per side prior to the toss.


3.3      Delay to the start of, or interruption during, the 1st innings


  1. a) Any recalculation of overs based on 3.2 a) will be divided by two and any odd over ignored – eg a recalculation that gives 19 overs remaining (and taking into account the 10 overs that have already been played) would give a match total of 29 overs means that the match is now one of 14 overs per side.


Where the situation arises that, having done this calculation, the side batting first have already exceeded the new innings total for each side, their innings will be terminated immediately. The side batting second will receive the balance of the overs. For instance, a match reduced to 28 overs in total (should be 14 each) but the side batting first have already received 16, the side batting second will bat for 12 overs (28 – 16 = 12).


The target score for the side batting second will be calculated using the principles as laid down in 12.1 d) The Result. For instance in the above, if the side batting first score 108 in their 16 overs, their ORR is 6.75, so the target score for the side batting second is 12 x 6.75 = 81 + 1 = 82.


  1. In order to constitute a match, both sides must have the opportunity to face at least 10 In the first instance, the teams must make a genuine attempt to reschedule the fixture. When the game couldn’t be played on the rescheduled date the game will be considered as “Cancelled” and no points will be given to both the team.


  1. When the game couldn’t be started before Start time + 1 hour 20 minutes, the game will be treated in the same way as explained in 3.3b.


            Restrictions on the Placement of Fielders


4.1       For the entire length of the innings – at the instant of delivery, there may not be more than five fielders on the leg side.


4.2       Two semi-circles shall be drawn on the field of play.  The semi-circles have as their centre the middle stump at either end of the pitch.  The radius of each of the semi-circles is 27.5m. The ends of each semi-circle are joined to the other by a straight line drawn on the field on the same side of the pitch. The field restriction area should be marked by continuous painted white line or ‘dots’ at 4.5 m intervals, each ‘dot’ to be covered by a white plastic or rubber (but not metal) disc measuring 18 cm in diameter. These discs will NOT be fixed to the ground by means of a nail/pin or any other dangerous, sharp object. (Discs are recommended but painted markings will be acceptable as long as they are marked sufficiently clearly).


4.3       For the first 6 overs – at the instant of delivery, no more than two fielders are permitted to be outside this outer fielding restriction area.


4.4       For the remaining overs – at the instant of delivery no more than 5 fielders are permitted outside this outer fielding restriction area.


4.5       In circumstances where the number of overs for the batting team is reduced, the number of overs in regard to the restrictions in 4.3 above shall be reduced proportionately in a ratio of 6:20 in accordance with the table below.  Fractions are to be ignored in all calculations re the number of overs.

Total overs                                                                                No. of overs for which

in innings                                                                                fielding restrictions in 4.3

above will apply.

10-13…………………………………………………………………………………   3

14-16………………………………………………………………………………….  4

17-19………………………………………………………………………………….  5

20………………………………………………….…………………………………… 6


Where the number of overs for the team batting second is reduced, the aim will be to maintain the restrictions in 4.3 for the same proportion of the second innings that they were maintained for the first innings (fractions to be ignored).


4.6       In the event of infringement of any of the above fielding restrictions, the striker’s end umpire will call and signal “No Ball”.


  1. Number of Overs Per Bowler


No bowler shall bowl more than 4 overs in an innings.


If the start of the match is delayed and the overs are reduced for both teams, no bowler may bowl more than one fifth of the total overs allowed. Where the total overs are not equally divisible by 5, one additional over shall be allowed, to as many bowlers as is necessary, in order to make up the balance – eg in a game reduced to 14 overs a side, and using 5 bowlers, their allocations would be  3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 2  =  14.


In a match where the innings of either or both sides is reduced after the start of the match, the maximum number of overs allowed per bowler shall remain as at the start of the match.


In the event of a bowler becoming ill, injured or suspended thus being unable to complete an over, the remaining balls will be bowled by another bowler. Such part of an over will count as a full over only in so far as each bowler’s limit is concerned.


  1. Law 14 Declaration and Forfeiture


Law 14 will not apply. The captain of the batting side may not declare his innings closed at any time during the course of a match nor can he forfeit an innings (competition regulation).


  1. Wides and No Balls


7.1      Law 25.1 Wide Ball – Judging a Wide


No delivery will be called wide if

  • It comes into contact with the striker’s bat or person or
  • It is called a No Ball (Laws 2013).


For all other deliveries, the following interpretation will apply:


Off side Wides


Two white lines will be painted joining the bowling and popping creases. Each line will be parallel to the Return Crease and will be 35” (89 cm) from the centre of the middle stump.


Any delivery that passes over or outside of this line will be called a Wide by the umpire.


It does not matter that the striker may move thus bringing the ball into an area where he could play a normal cricket stroke – it will still be a Wide (competition regulation).


It will also be a Wide if the striker moves away from the ball and it passes over or outside of this white line (competition regulation).


Leg side Wides


The white line markings mentioned above do not apply to leg side deliveries. A ball will be judged a Wide if it passes the striker behind his legs when standing in a normal guard position (competition regulation).


If the striker moves to the off side to play the ball and the ball passes behind his legs the umpire will have to imagine the profile of the striker standing in a normal guard position, and only provided that the ball would have passed behind this profile, will he call it a Wide. If the ball would have hit this profile it will not be a wide (competition regulation).


Umpires are instructed to apply a consistent interpretation in regard to this Law, in order to prevent negative bowling wide of the wicket.


Umpires should try and be consistent:

  • in their own interpretation
  • with the interpretation of their colleagues
  • with the interpretation adopted throughout the whole league which is playing to these regulations


7.2      Free Hit after a No Ball Foot Fault


In addition to the standard penalty for a no ball, the delivery following a no ball called for a foot fault (Law 24.5) shall be a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it. If the delivery for a free hit is not a legitimate delivery (any kind of no ball or wide ball), then the next delivery will become a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it.


For any free hit the striker can be dismissed only under the circumstances that apply for a no ball, even if the delivery for a free hit is called a wide ball.


Field changes are not permitted for free hit deliveries unless there is a change in striker.


The umpires will signal a free hit (after the normal No Ball signal) extending one arm straight upwards and moving it in a circular motion.


7.3      Ball not Pitching on the Mat


Any delivery that does not pitch on the mat or pitches on the edge of the mat shall be called a No Ball. For the purposes of this playing condition, where a delivery pitches shall be defined as the first time the ball having been delivered by the bowler lands on the ground without previously having touched the striker’s bat or person, or any fielder or umpire.


  1. Law 42.6 – Dangerous and unfair bowling


  • Law 42.6 (a) (ii) Bowling of fast short pitched balls


The following league regulations are added to this Law:

  1. A bowler shall be entitled to no more than one bouncer per over – except in the circumstances of d. below.
  2. A bouncer is defined as a ball which having pitched passes or would have passed above the shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the crease.
  3. The umpire at the bowler’s end shall advise the bowler, the batsman on strike, and his colleague when each bouncer has been bowled.
  4. Notwithstanding b. above, any ball that having pitched passes or would have passed above the head height of the striker standing upright at the crease shall be always called a no ball in accordance with Law 42.6 (a) (ii) even where it is the first such delivery in the over. For the avoidance of doubt any such delivery that is called a no ball shall also count, where applicable, as an allowable bouncer in that over.
  5. In the event of a bowler bowling more than one bouncer in an over as defined in b. above, the umpire at the bowler’s end shall call and signal no ball on each occasion.
  6. Upon third bouncer in the same over, after a call of no ball, the bowler is not allowed to complete the over.
  7. When the bouncers are not dangerous and unfair the bowler is allowed to bowl again in the same innings.
  8. Whenever an umpire considers any bouncer to be dangerous and unfair, he can invoke the provisions of Law 42.7 immediately.


Notwithstanding the regulations above, umpires are particularly reminded of their powers and responsibilities under Law 42.6 (a) (i):

The bowling of fast short pitched balls is dangerous and unfair if the bowler’s end umpire considers that by their repetition and taking account of their length, height, and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury on the striker irrespective of the protective equipment he may be wearing. The relative skill of the striker shall be taken into consideration, (Laws 2013).

This allows umpires in certain circumstances to caution a bowler under this law even if fewer than three bouncers are bowled in a single over especially where the skill of the striker needs to be taken into consideration. All parties are also reminded that short pitched deliveries can be considered dangerous and unfair even if they pass or would have passed the striker below shoulder height when standing upright at the crease since physical injuries from such bowling can be sustained on the upper body as well as the head.


8.2      Law 42.6 (b) i) and ii) Bowling of high full pitch balls


This Law is amended to the following:


Any delivery (irrespective of its speed) which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.   Any such delivery will be called as a No ball by the bowler’s end umpire and will be followed by the appropriate disciplinary action as laid down in Law 42.7. The umpires will ensure that no such deliveries go unpunished (competition regulation).


8.3      Law 42.8 Deliberate bowling of high full pitched balls


This law will be enforced with the proviso that the criteria in 8.2 above will apply when judging the legality of the full pitch delivery (competition regulation).


  1. Timed Out


Law 31 will apply except that the incoming batsman must be in a position to take guard or for his partner to receive the next ball within 1 minute 30 seconds of the fall of the previous wicket. The incoming batsman is expected to be ready to make his way to his position immediately a wicket falls and is expected to jog to the wicket (competition regulation).


An incoming batsman may not be given out under Law 31 except on appeal by a member of the fielding side (Laws 2013).


Law 42.10 may be applied by the umpires where an incoming batsman takes longer than 1 minute 30 seconds to be in position should the fielding side not exercise their right to appeal.

  1. Over Rate Penalties


All sides are expected to have started the last of their 20 overs within 1 hour 20 minutes playing time. When a recalculation of overs is necessary, this calculation will be based on an average of 15 overs per hour and playing time and cessation time will be rescheduled accordingly.

In the event of them failing to do so the full quota of overs will be completed and the batting side will be credited with 6 runs for every whole over that has not been bowled. This will apply to both innings of the match. If the side batting second is credited with runs in this way and this consequently takes the score past that of the side batting first then the match will be deemed won by the side batting second. All penalties in this regard will be imposed immediately the ball becomes dead upon completion of the first over that ends after the scheduled or rescheduled cessation time for the innings and are conditional upon the innings still being in progress at that point (competition regulation).


If the innings is completed before the scheduled or rescheduled cessation time, no over rate penalty shall apply. Where the innings is completed after the scheduled or rescheduled cessation time but during the same over that was in progress when the cessation time was reached, again no over rate penalty shall apply.


If the innings is interrupted, the over rate penalty will apply based on the rescheduled cessation time for that innings.


The umpires shall inform the fielding captain when taking the field for the first time and on every subsequent occasion if play is interrupted by the weather, the scheduled cessation time for that innings. The umpires will agree on any time allowances as and when they occur and will inform the fielding captain as and when they arise. A maximum of 5 minutes per innings may be allowed for wet ground conditions.


Time allowances given should be notified at the time and will not be subject to retrospective negotiation.


  1. The Ball


Unless otherwise determined, new balls will be provided for each match and a new ball will be used at the start of each innings.


The umpires will decide if and when a ball becomes unfit for use. They will be the sole judges of both when it should be replaced and the selection of the replacement. They will inform the fielding captain and batsmen at the crease of their decision (Laws 2013).


  1. The Result


12.1     All Matches


  • When there is no interruption after play has commenced and/or when both sides have had the opportunity of batting for the same agreed number of overs, the team scoring the higher number of runs shall be the winner.


  • The result will be declared a tie when both teams score the same number of runs in their completed innings, regardless of wickets lost. In the event of a tie in the “mini-league” Qualifying Stages, the result will stand as such and no further steps to define a winner will be taken.


  • In the event of a tie in the “knock-out” Final Stages, the winner will be determined by a bowl out as described below:
  • The players taking part will be only those nominated by the two teams for the previously tied match.
  • The teams will toss again to decide which side will bowl first and second.
  • Each member of the team shall, under the supervision of the umpires, bowl one overarm delivery at an unguarded wicket, conforming to Law 8 and pitched at a distance of 22 yards. The umpires will keep a score of the number of times the wicket is hit by the ball.
  • When the side bowling first has finished, the side bowling second will then take their turn in bowling.
  • The side which bowls down the wicket the most shall be the winner.
  • If, at the end of this first phase, the scores are equal the teams will bowl a ball alternately to achieve a result on a “sudden death” basis.
  • During this second phase, the captain can decide his bowling order but no one is allowed to bowl more than once until all players have had their turn.
  • At all stages – any deliveries that are called NO BALL will NOT be bowled again and any successful hitting of the wicket after a no ball h