The inaugural T20I match between West Indies and England is set to feature the use of a stop clock, a first in international cricket, aimed at speeding up the pace of play. As part of a six-month experiment introduced by the ICC, the stop clock will enforce a 60-second limit for the bowling team to deliver the first ball of their next over after the completion of the previous one. A third default by the bowling side will result in a five-run penalty, adding a new dynamic to the game.
Currently, the stop clock initiative is limited to men’s ODIs and T20Is, and builds upon the ICC’s previous measures involving field restrictions for slow over-rates. Teams also face potential monetary fines for slow over-rates under the ICC’s playing conditions, making the use of stop clock a significant addition to the regulations.
Similar stop clocks are already in use in other sports, such as tennis, where players have a set time to prepare between points. The idea of a stop clock in cricket was first proposed in 2018 by the MCC’s World Cricket Committee, which included prominent figures like Ricky Ponting, Saurav Ganguly, and Kumar Sangakkara. The goal is to reduce the “dead time” between overs in international games.
The forthcoming five-match T20I series between West Indies and England, taking place from December 13 to December 22, will showcase the new stop clock initiative, with the series opener in Bridgetown followed by two fixtures in St George’s, and concluding with two matches in Tarouba.