DRS, World Cup silver lining for the associate nations and some ODI complications were some of the things that have been finalised upon in the first 2 days of the ICC board meeting in Hong Kong.
ICC has made "modified" UDRS mandatory in all tests and ODIs. Modification? HotSpot and audio tracking are mandatory, while hawk-eye is going to be optional. So, if you see India playing in the series/tournament, don't expect hawk-eye in it.
So, it is clear there won't be hawk-eye in place for the series in England. And that renders any line call vs lbw decisions non-referable. So, if the umpire calls it outside the leg tough it pitched in line, the bowler can only swear at himself and move on, of course that swearing will earn him a trip to the match referee's room for breaching laws 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.2064.34. Similar conditions for the batsmen in a different scenario.
So, how is the umpire going to know where it pitched or had the impact with the pad if the ball-tracker is not trust worthy? Remember those days when there was no hawkeye, and the TV telecast production company would just show the replay, and when the ball hits the pad, they would make the batsman's image go translucent so you could see the stumps behind him? Why not just go back to that and get rid of all the complications with ball tracking devices. Refer the close lbw decisions to 3rd umpire and ask him to take that decision. As for the edge, you have approximately 235325 cameras in the cricket ground for every angle, and then you have the hot-spot cameras in all directions. Did I miss anything?
The ICC decides to hold a qualifier for the 10-team 2015 World Cup, to be held just before the tournament I feel. I don't have more details to add to it right now, not sure how many teams will fight for it, how many spots will be made vacant for grabs after deciding upon the number of teams that get automatic qualification into the World Cup. This has made the word "world" buy a little more meaning into it, nevertheless.
Now, to some other changes that have been brought in.
No runners. Batsmen will not be allowed the comfort of using a runner to run for him during the course of the match. Even if one of his leg break into two and his team needs two to win off the last ball of the game. He has to do that on one leg. If the ICC can look at what I'm trying to say, that decision must be changed.
Powerplay overs can only be employed within the 16th and 40th over. Maybe some day they will make it mandatory to be used between overs 20 and 30.
Captains will be suspended if they breach the over-rate twice. Used to be three earlier. With so many confusions and complications, I have no idea how many would want to lead their side in ODIs from now on. There are so many factors that are bound to waste your time.
And here comes the icing on the cake. Or whatever.
There will be two balls used in every innings of an ODI. One from each end. ICC says that will help sustain the swing on the ball for a longer period of time. This has effectively removed spinners out of the equation for ODIs. As it is they are made to bend to the ugly T20. Now, there is never going to be an old ball. There were times when spinners would come in around the 15th to 20th over and carry on to the early 40s. I can't imagine what kind of bowling is to be witnessed now on. More of dart spinners...
Not like pitches made around the world support any swing. The subcontinent is just a dust bowl. Pakistan plays its games in the UAE, dust of dust bowls. Only a few stadiums in England, SA, Australia support swing, very few. NZ tracks have been nothing like they were before the 2003 WC. And WI pitches are dead corpse, given what they used to be.
A ball for each end my foot.
25 overs per end. So, assuming you want one of your opening bowler to finish the innings off (which would need him to bowl from the other end for the last over), you will need atleast two bowlers to bowl from both ends at different points of time. Or one, if you have that many bowling options. Now, the field has to shine two different balls, take care of 4 sides of balls, learn the science of two different balls. I won't be surprised if there are ten more Trescothics and Yardys in the next 5 years.
God save cricket. That fat lady is coughing.