Also, no overthrow runs will be permitted if an “intentional” run-out attempt results in the ball deflecting off the stumps.
For the first time in a premier T20 competition, team captains can choose their playing XIs after the toss. The organizers of the inaugural SA20 competition in Cape Town announced this potentially revolutionary change, among a few others, to “improve the quality of the product” while “preserving the sanctity” of the game.
The SA20 competition kicks off on January 10 with MI Cape Town hosting Paarl Royals. The 33-match six-team competition is part of a star-studded January T20 lineup that includes the Emirates T20 League, the Big Bash, and the Bangladesh Premier League.
Captains must nominate 13 players before the coin toss and are allowed to reduce their team size to 11 after the coin flip. The two players who were left out will serve as substitute fielders.
Another noteworthy change to their playing conditions is that no overthrow runs will be permitted if an “intentional” run-out attempt results in the ball deflecting off the stumps. The organizers stated that this was done to promote “positive and attacking fielding.”
Every game will also have a bonus point up for grabs. In addition to the four points for a win, a team will earn a fifth point if they win with a run rate that is 1.25 times that of their opponents. Another modification is that no run will be scored if a “free-hit” delivery strikes the batter’s wicket.
Among all of these changes, the choose-after-toss rule will take center stage. Never before has a reputable T20 competition altered one of cricket’s fundamental laws. However, in recent years, leagues have not shied away from experimenting with new ways to play the T20 game. In Australia, the Big Bash League introduced “Power Surge” (powerplay overs divided into 4+2), “Bash Boost” (bonus point for a better score at halfway stage), and “X-Factor” (substitute player at over 10). Similarly, after a successful trial run in their domestic T20 tournament, the IPL is introducing the “Impact Player” rule into the competition.