The International Cricket Council has made few minor changes to the game’s playing conditions for 2014-15. These regulations will come into effect from the Pakistan v Australia series, which kicks off in the UAE on October 5.

Duration of a T20 innings

The duration of a T20 innings has been increased from 80 minutes to 85 minutes. This will bring some relief to the fielding captains, who are often slapped with fines and suspensions for over-rate offences over the last few matches.

Snickometer approved

Snickometer has been approved to be used as a part of UDRS. Previously Snickometer had not been part of the tools available to the third umpire during a Decision Review System. However, Real-Time Snickometer, which was trialed during the 2013-14 Ashes in Australia, won’t be compulsory to include Real-Time Snickometer in the DRS wherever it is used. The regulation allowing a top-up of DRS reviews after 80 overs has been extended for another year.

Change in time penalties for being absent on the field

There has been a change in the time penalties levied on players who leave the field of play for more than two overs at a time for reasons other than an external injury. According to the new rules, the player will get a maximum time penalty of two hours, even if he was off the field for a longer period. The penalty can be carried over to subsequent innings, if not completed within the same.

Restrictions on substitutes

Now, in addition to the playing XI, each captain nominate a maximum of four substitute fielders in writing to the match referee before the toss, and only those specified can substitute. Players serving match suspensions cannot be named as a substitute. They won’t be allowed to enter the dressing room, dug-out or field of play including the area between the boundary and the hoardings.

Abandoning games, and dealing with dew

The umpires are given the freedom to consult with the match referee before deciding on abandoning play due to rain or some other reason. The umpires have been empowered to “stop play and instruct the ground staff to take whatever action they can and use whatever equipment is necessary to remove as much dew as possible from the outfield when conditions become unreasonable or dangerous”.