The Big Bash League is considering an introduction of a radical change to the timed out rule ahead of the 2021/22 season, aiming to speed up play. As per the proposed change, if a batsman doesn’t turn up on time, a bowler will be allowed a free-hit with stumps exposed to get him out first ball.
There have been numerous instances at the Big Bash League in the past, when batsmen have taken more time than permitted (at times, over two minutes) to take guard. The consideration over the possible law change is made in an attempt to speed up play.
The current Timed Out law, 40.1.1, states: "After the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batter, the incoming batter must, unless Time has been called, be in position to take guard or for the other batter to be ready to receive the next ball within 3 minutes of the dismissal or retirement. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batter will be out, Timed out."
As per CA’s earlier playing conditions for BBL, the batsmen had to be in position within 60 seconds. The time-limit is likely to be upgraded to 75-second now, and should the batsmen exceed it, he’ll have to expose his stumps first-ball, and would be deemed out if the bowler hit the stumps.
“We know Big Bash fans want to watch fast-paced, exciting cricket on TV and in the stadium,” Alistair Dobson, CA’s general manager of Big Bash leagues, ESPNcricinfo.
“We have spent the off-season looking at ways to keep the game moving and are close to finalising what this might look like.”
Last season, BBL had introduced three new rules - the Bash Boost, the X Factor, and the Power Surge - which had gained mixed reactions from the cricketing world. The rules are likely to stay during the upcoming edition.