Cricket Powerplay

In Cricket what is the P word stand for?

Meaning of P word in the Cricket means Powerplay.

Powerplay in Cricket is the term given to a set of overs with different fielding rules during a limited-overs cricket match. During a powerplay, only 2 fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle for the first 10 overs in an ODI match and the first 6 overs of a T20 match. There are no powerplay rules in a Test Match.

P1: Powerplay 1 (Mandatory Powerplay)

During the first 10 overs of an innings, a maximum of 2 fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle

P2: Powerplay 2

Between overs 11 and 40 a maximum of 4 fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle

P3: Powerplay 3

In the final 10 overs (41–50) a maximum of 5 fielders will be allowed to field outside the 30-yard circle

These above rules hold good for a ONE DAY INTERNATIONAL

Note that the number of overs during each powerplay gets altered during an ODI match that is affected by rain.

Powerplay in T20 Matches 

The rules for powerplay in T20 matches are easy to understand.

  1. Overs 1 to 6: A maximum of 2 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle.
  2. Overs 6 to 20: A maximum of 5 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle.
  3. Leg side rule: A maximum of 5 fielders are allowed on the leg side at any given point in time throughout the match.


Powerplay in Cricket

The rules of powerplay in T20 matches have been the same and have not changed thus far. However, powerplay rules in an ODI match have had an interesting series of changes.

When the limited-overs format was introduced in the 1970s, the batsmen found it difficult to come out of the Test-Cricket mindset of defending the ball and scoring slowly.

An example of this was that of Indian opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar who once batted through the 60 overs of the match and managed to score only 36 runs in 174 deliveries that he faced. He remained not out in that innings. This inning is considered as one of the slowest innings in a limited-overs match!

This type of performance in an ODI match just can not be imagined today!

Field Restrictions in the 1980s

The rules for restrictions in setting the field were first introduced during an ODI in 1980 in Australia. The restrictions set limitations on the number of fielders that could be set outside the 30-yard circle.

Changes in 1992

As per the new rules, the bowling team needed to have at least 2 fielders in the “catching position” during the phase of the field restrictions.

The catching position was set as a circular area on the cricket field with a radius of 15 yards drawn from the wickets on the pitch as the center.

Changes in 2005

In 2005, not only did ICC name the field restriction rule to Powerplay, there were also some interesting changes made to the rule itself! A few key changes that were made are as follows –

  1. The number of overs under the powerplay (overs with field restrictions) was increased from 15 overs to 20 overs.
  2. These 20 overs of the powerplay were divided into 1 set of 10 overs and 2 sets of 5 overs each.
  3. The mandatory “2 fielders in catching position” requirement was reduced to 10 overs from the earlier rule of 15 overs. This was applicable only during the first 10 overs of the innings.
  4. An element of uncertainty was introduced. The bowling team was now allowed to choose the 2 sets of 5 over powerplay anytime between overs 11 – 45.

Changes in 2008

In 2008, the major change to the powerplay rule was that the batting team was now given a chance to choose the period of one of the two 5 over powerplay. 

Changes in 2012

Firstly, in 2011, ICC made it mandatory for both the batting and bowling powerplay to be taken strictly within the overs 16 to 36, however, the batting and bowling powerplay could not coincide with each other.

This was followed by another change in the following year. 

In 2012, ICC reduced the number of Powerplay to 2. A mandatory powerplay during the first 10 overs of the innings along with a batting powerplay to be taken between the overs 16 to 36 by the batting team. This change was also accompanied by a reduction in the maximum number of fielders outside the 30-yard circle to 4 (previously 5) during the non-powerplay overs.

Revised in 2015

The changes are as follows –

  1. A total of 3 powerplays now exist in an ODI match.
  2. All the 3 powerplays are mandatory powerplay. No batting or bowling powerplay exists anymore.
  3. The first powerplay is of 10 overs, the 2nd powerplay is of 30 overs and the 3rd powerplay is of 10 overs.
  4. Also, the requirement of a minimum of 2 fielders in catching positions in the first 10 overs has been removed. 

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