The ICC is introducing a penalty for slow over-rates in T20I games for both men's and women's teams this month. According to the overrate regulations of the ICC, a fielding side should be in a position to bowl the first ball of the final over of their innings by the scheduled end of the innings time. For the remainder of the innings, teams will be allowed one fewer fielder - four instead of five - outside the 30-yard circle.
The ICC took a cue from the ECB, which implemented a similar rule in the inaugural season of the Hundred last July. According to the ICC, it replicated the system after reading reports of its success in improving the pace of the shortest format. The in-game penalty will be in addition to existing ICC sanctions for slow overrate.
The ICC has also introduced a mandatory drinks interval midway through an innings in bilateral T20 cricket as part of the proposed changes. There is now the option of a two-and-a-half-minute break at the midpoint of each inning if both teams agree to it at the beginning of each series. In a one-off T20I between West Indies and Ireland on January 16, these new rules will be introduced for the first time. After two days, it will be used for the first time in the women's game, in the first T20I between South Africa and West Indies in Centurion.