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Usman Khawaja unimpressed with new ICC rule changes

Khawaja feels that the new rule change makes little or no sense in regard to the close in fielders.

Usman Khawaja of Australia
Usman Khawaja of Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja is not impressed with one of the new ICC rule changes. The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently announced the new rules that included game changes ranging from regulations on bat sizes to regulations on send offs. One of the new rules is about the players being adjudged out after being caught, stumped, or run out after the ball bounces off the helmet worn in by the close in fielders.

This rule is applicable to all the fielders in the close in range except the slip fielders. Usman Khawaja feels that the call is good enough only if the rule is applicable to the wicket-keeper. However, when it comes to the close in fielders, Khawaja feels that the new rule change makes little or no sense.

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“A ball hitting the close in fielder’s helmet and caught shouldn’t be out. It is not a compulsory fielding position. Keeper is understandable,” tweeted Usman Khawaja.

Steketee the first victim

The first victim of the new rule change was Queensland’s Mark Steketee. Steketee’s pull shot ended up being ricocheting off the helmet of the New South Wales short leg fielder Nick Larki. The ball was eventually caught at the leg gully fielding position. The rule change was incorporated by the MCC’s World Cricket Committee.

“It is felt that balls rebounding off a fielder’s helmet could equally help or hinder the fielding side and so the suggestion that rebounds off the helmet make catches easier should be disregarded,” the committee said in a statement last year.

The committee featured the high profile former cricketers like Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakkara, and Sourav Ganguly. The new rules will come into effect from the Pakistan v Sri Lanka series and the South Africa v Bangladesh series. Pakistan will be hosting Sri Lanka in the Test series commencing on Thursday in the UAE.

At the same time, South Africa will be hosting Bangladesh for two Tests starting on the same day, September 28. the second Test will commence on October 6.

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