ICC set to bring on substitutes in one-day revamp

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The Independent Online

The NatWest series, which starts today at The Oval as England meet Bangladesh, will be the last one-day tournament played under the current rules if a recommendation is passed by the International Cricket Council later this month.

The NatWest series, which starts today at The Oval as England meet Bangladesh, will be the last one-day tournament played under the current rules if a recommendation is passed by the International Cricket Council later this month.

Should the proposals - which include increasing the number of overs when fielding restrictions apply from 15 to 20 and allowing teams to use substitutes - be approved they will be immediately introduced into the international game.

The potential changes have come too late to affect the NatWest series, which culminates with a Lord's final on 2 July. But the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia are keen for the new rules to be introduced during the three NatWest Challenge matches between the teams on 7, 10 and 12 July.

The ICC hopes these rule changes will revitalise the middle section of a 50-over game, a 25-over period when batsmen prefer to take singles than look for boundaries. Under the new rules, Michael Vaughan will be able to call on a substitute, but, once he has, the replaced player can take no further part in the game.

The England captain is also set to be given greater control over the fielding restrictions. At present the fielding side has to have nine fielders within the 30-yard circle for the first 15 overs. In the new rules the compulsory period is 10 overs, with the fielding captain dictating when he wishes to use the remaining 10 overs in two five-over segments.

These changes are sure to put a few more grey hairs on Vaughan's head but they will have little effect on Marcus Trescothick, who will today become the 10th England player to reach 100 one-day internationals.

The opener has been vital to England's limited-overs side since making 79 on debut against Zimbabwe at The Oval five years ago.

But it is not the runs - 3,469 at 36.52 - that have made the 29-year-old stand out as one of the leading one-day players. On his day he is almost impossible to bowl at with a strike-rate of 86 runs per 100 balls. He has enormous power and accumulates runs in every corner of the ground.

Yet England, on too many occasions, have frittered away much of his best work. This is unlikely to happen today when he sets about Bangladesh's modest attack, but the true test will come against Australia on Sunday, and then in the Ashes that follow.

NatWest Triangular series (Today, The Oval): England (from): M P Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt), M E Trescothick (Somerset), G O Jones (Kent, wkt), A J Strauss (Middlesex), K P Pietersen (Hampshire), A Flintoff (Lancashire), P D Collingwood (Durham), V S Solanki (Worcestershire), G J Batty (Worcestershire), J Lewis (Gloucestershire), D Gough (Essex), S J Harmison (Durham), K Ali (Worcestershire). Bangladesh: Javed Omar, Nafees Iqbal, Tushar Imran, Mohammad Ashraful, Habibul Bashar (capt), Aftab Ahmed, Khaled Mashud (wkt), Khaled Mahmud, Mohammad Rafique, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nazmul Hossain.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) & M R Benson (Eng).

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