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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced new changes to the playing conditions of T20I, starting with the one-off match between the West Indies and Ireland at the Sabina Park in Jamaica on 16 January.
The in-match penalty for slow over rates in men's and women's Twenty20 Internationals comes into effect this month, with the updated playing conditions also providing for an optional drinks interval midway through the innings in bilateral T20 international cricket.
The over rate regulations are captured in clause 13.8 of the playing conditions (here), which stipulate that a fielding side must be in a position to bowl the first ball of the final over of the innings by the scheduled or rescheduled time for the end of the innings. If they are not in such a position, one fewer fielder will be permitted outside of the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs of the innings.
The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, which regularly discusses ways to improve the pace of play in all formats, after reviewing reports on the effectiveness of a similar regulation that has been included under the playing conditions for the Cent competition led by the ECB.
The in-match penalties are in addition to the sanctions for the slow over-rate outlined in Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.
The first T20I of the three-match series between South Africa and the West Indies in Centurion on 18 January will be the first women's match played under the new playing conditions.