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Oneday Cricket Rules

In the main the Laws of cricket apply. However, in ODIs, each team gets to bat only a fixed number of overs. In the early days of ODI cricket, the number of overs was generally 60 overs per side but now it has been uniformly fixed at 50 overs.

Simply stated the game works as follows:

  • An ODI is contested by 2 teams of 11 players each.
  • The Captain of the side winning the toss chooses to either bat or bowl (field) first.
  • The team batting first sets the target score in a single innings. The innings lasts until the batting side is "all out" (i.e., 10 of the 11 batting players are "out") or all of the first side's allotted overs are used up.
  • Each bowler is restricted to bowling a maximum of 10 overs (fewer in the case of rain-reduced matches and in any event generally no more than one fifth or 20% of the total overs per innings).
  • The team batting second tries to score more than the target score in order to win the match. Similarly, the side bowling second tries to bowl out the second team for less than the target score in order to win.
  • If the number of runs scored by both teams are equal when the second team loses all of its wickets or exhausts all its overs, then the game is declared as a 'tie' (regardless of the number of wickets lost by either team).

Where a number of overs are lost, for example, due to inclement weather conditions, then the number of overs may be reduced. Where the number of overs available for the team batting second is perforce different from the number of overs faced by the team that batted first, the result may be determined by the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The floodlights would be positioned in such a way that it would not interfere with fielding teams and captains would be allowed a cloth on field should the ball become moist.


The bowling team is subject to fielding restrictions stipulating that nine fielders, including two fielders in catching positions, must be inside the fielding circle for a set number of overs. Traditionally, the fielding restrictions applied for the first 15 overs of each innings.

In a 10 month trial period starting 30 July 2005, the ICC introduced the Powerplays rule as part of a series of new ODI regulations. Under the Powerplays rule, fielding restrictions apply for the first 10 overs, plus two blocks of five overs (called Powerplay Fives) to be used at the fielding side's discretion. In a powerplay, no more than two fielders can be positioned outside 30 yard circle. In the first 10 overs, it is also required that at least two fielders are in close catching positions.

The ICC have announced, as of 1 October 2007, with regard to Powerplays, that the captain of the fielding side may elect to position 3 fielders outside the 30 yard circle in one of the two 5-over Powerplays. The rule was first invoked in a match between Sri Lanka and England at Dambulla Stadium on 1 October 2007. Sri Lanka won the match by 119 runs. Currently both 2nd and 3rd powerplay will have 3 fielders outside 30 yard circle, and one powerplay is chosen by batting team.

Trial regulations

The trial regulations also introduced a substitution rule that allowed the introduction of a replacement player at any stage in the match. Teams nominated their replacement player, called a Supersub, before the toss. The Supersub could bat, bowl, field or keep wicket; the replaced player took no further part in the game. Over the six months it was in operation, it became very clear that the Supersub was of far more benefit to the side that won the toss, unbalancing the game. Several international captains reached "gentleman's agreements" to discontinue this rule late in 2005. They continued to name supersubs, as required, but simply did not field them. On 15 February 2006, the ICC announced their intention to discontinue the Supersub rule on 21 March 2006.

Even powerplays were introduced on trial basis, but still continuing the practice.

Teams with ODI status

The International Cricket Council (ICC) determines which teams have ODI status (meaning that any match played between two such teams under standard one-day rules is classified as an ODI).

The ten Test-playing nations (which are also the ten full members of the ICC) have permanent ODI status. The nations are listed below with the date of each nation's ODI debut shown in brackets:

  1. Australia (5 January 1971)
  2. England (5 January 1971)
  3. New Zealand (11 February 1973)
  4. Pakistan (11 February 1973)
  5. West Indies (5 September 1973)
  6. India (13 July 1974)
  7. Sri Lanka (7 June 1975)
  8. Zimbabwe (9 June 1983)
  9. Bangladesh (31 March 1986)
  10. South Africa (10 November 1991)

The ICC temporarily grants ODI status to other teams like

  • Kenya (from 18 February 1996, until the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier)
  • Bermuda (from 1 January 2006 until the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier)
  • Canada (from 1 January 2006 until the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier)
  • Ireland (from 1 January 2006 until the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier)
  • Netherlands (from 1 January 2006 until the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier)
  • Scotland (from 1 January 2006 until the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier)

Aside from Kenya, these teams earned this status as a result of their performance at the 2005 ICC Trophy. The ICC will follow this precedent in 2009 and use the results of the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier (the new name of the ICC Trophy) to award ODI status for the following years.

At one point, the ICC occasionally granted associate members permanent ODI status without granting them full membership and Test status. This was originally introduced to allow the best associate members to gain regular experience in internationals before making the step up to full membership. First Bangladesh and then Kenya received this status. Bangladesh have since made the step up to Test status and full membership; but as a result of Kenya's poor performance the ICC have since decided to end their permanent ODI status. Once this expires (in 2009) permanent ODI status will once again be coterminous with Test status.

In addition, the ICC reserves the right to grant special ODI status to all matches within certain high profile tournaments, with the result being that the following countries have also participated in full ODIs:

  • East Africa (from 7 June 1975 until 14 June 1975)
  • United Arab Emirates (from 13 April 1994 until 17 April 1994); (from 16 February 1996 until 1 March 1996) and (from 16 July 2004 until 17 July 2004)
  • Namibia (from 10 February 2003 until 3 March 2003)
  • Hong Kong (from 16 July 2004 until 18 July 2004)
  • USA (from 10 September 2004 until 13 September 2004)

In 2005 the ICC controversially gave ODI status, for the first time, to several matches involving teams composed of players from more than one country. These were the Asia XI vs ICC World XI game played in January 2005 as part of the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal in aid of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami relief effort and three commercially sponsored "Australia vs ICC World XI" ICC Super Series games which took place in Melbourne in October 2005. The latter matches were poorly attended, heavily one-sided and generated little interest in the cricketing world. It was an experiment which many feel should not be repeated and many cricket statisticians (e.g. Bill Frindall) agree that the matches should not be incorporated into the official ODI records.