Cricket: TCCB discourages wide boys

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The Independent Online
Bowlers who send down a wide will be penalised by two runs instead of one next season in domestic first-class matches.

The new rule, set at the last meeting of the Test and County Cricket Board, brings the penalty in line with no-balls. "It should help our bowlers bowl a better line," Tim Lamb, the TCCB chief executive, said.

Lamb said that the final TCCB meeting -it is replaced on 1 January by the English Cricket Board - was wrapped up in just three hours yesterday, although it was scheduled to run for two days. "We have a new Board, new opportunities and a chance for new structures to be put in place to enable the game to move forward," Lamb added.

To that end, the Board has tightened up regulations to discourage spinners from adopting the negative tactic of bowling into the rough down the leg side. The rule change will also inhibit seamers from bowling over or round the wicket and sending down unplayable deliveries on the leg side.

The TCCB also approved the introduction of an inner fielding circle for Benson and Hedges Cup matches to bring them in line with one-day internationals. The dotted circle will allow umpires to ensure there are at least two stationary fielders 15 yards from the bat.

A new method of calculating revised targets in one-day matches - the Duckworth-Lewis method - was accepted in principle and will undergo a trial in one-day internationals on England's current tour of Zimbabwe and New Zealand.

Counties who are requested to rest an England player following, or before, a Test match will receive compensation at the rate of pounds 500 per match day. Contracts for overseas players will in future be restricted to a maximum of two years.

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