Fielding restrictions (cricket)

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In the sport of cricket, different fielding restrictions are imposed depending on the type of match. They are used to discourage certain bowling tactics, or to encourage the batsmen to play big shots, enabling them to hit fours and sixes. Each team has nine fielders other than the wicket-keeper and bowler. The captain decides the fielding positions usually after consulting with the bowler. In Test cricket matches, the fielding restrictions are relaxed as compared to a One Day International.

All forms[edit]

In all forms of cricket, only two fielders are allowed in the quadrant between the fielding positions of square leg and long stop. This is to prevent the outlawed and controversial bodyline tactics from being used.

One day cricket[edit]

Various rules concerning have applied during the history of one day cricket, with the aim of encouraging the batsman to play shots and make the game faster and more exciting. The current rules applying to One Day Internationals were first introduced as trial rules in July 2005, and are also used for some other limited overs tournaments.

A circle of radius 30 yards (27 m) measured from the centre of the pitch divides the infield from the outfield. A 15 yards (14 m) radius circle drawn from where the batsman stands encompasses an area known as the close infield. During the first 10 overs of a 50-over innings a maximum of two fielders are allowed to be deployed in the outfield. A minimum of two fielders (other than the bowler and wicket-keeper) have to be deployed in the close infield. If the number of overs in the innings is restricted to less than 24, the length of the fielding restrictions is reduced to eight or nine overs.

The restriction of having a maximum of three fielders in the outfield is applied for a further two blocks of five overs, with the captains of the fielding and the batting sides deciding the timing of one block each. These five-over spells are called Powerplay 2 and Powerplay 3 and may be shortened if the length of the innings is restricted (Powerplay 1 is the first block of 10). Powerplays were first encountered in the One Day International between England and Australia on 7 July 2005.

For the rest of the innings, a more generous maximum of five fielders in the outfield applies.

October 2012 changes[edit]

On October 30, 2012, changes to the rules for fielding restrictions in one-day matches were officially implemented by the ICC. The number of Powerplay blocks were reduced to two; the first occurs within the first 10 overs, restricting the team to two fielders outside the 30-yard circle. The second block, the Batting Powerplay with a restriction of three fielders outside the circle, must occur by the 40th over.[1] The number of fielders outside the 30-yard circle in non-Powerplay overs has also been reduced to four (from five).[1]


The number of players in the outfield area is the same as for the One-day format, but the restriction lasts for the first six of the twenty overs, and there is no "Batting" or "Bowling" (Powerplays 2 and 3 in ODI's) Powerplay.


  1. ^ a b "Amended playing conditions to take effect". Cricinfo. Retrieved 21 April 2013.