The ICC has announced that, from May 1st 2017, any teams bowling a maiden over during a Test match will be penalised by two runs.
Troubled by recent research suggesting that modern crowds are growing tired of the “slow pace” of this format of the game, the governing body feel this this new regulation will encourage a more aggressive form of bowling.
“We’re keen to see both the overall innings totals and scoring rate increase over the next five years” explained ICC Tournament Development Director Kevin Turncoat. “The statistics that we’ve seen in the past few months suggest that the new type of fan we’re keen to encourage into Test cricket are deterred from watching by what they describe as “The tedious pace at which matches are played”.
With a desire to increase revenues from the popular Twenty20 format and a keenness to develop the family audience that the shorter form of the game attracts, the ICC are understood to be delighted to have cleared this initiative with the board.
The 2-run penalty, added to the opposing team’s score at the end of a ‘maiden’ over is expected to add between 50-100 runs to an average innings. The runs will count as extras and not be attributed to the individual batsman’s score.
Some traditionalists are said to be angered by the move but, as yet, the governing body show no sign of pulling back from the new policy and have elected not to meet with players and supporter’s representatives to this point.
Women’s rights groups are also rumoured to be pleased by the retraction of the long-running terminology from the game.