What is a Power play in Cricket? Powerplay Rules in ODI And T20 Cricket Explained

Powerplay in cricket is essentially a fielding restriction within limited overs cricket. Within the powerplay rules in cricket, only a certain number of fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle for a certain amount of time. 

These fielding restrictions are limited to a selected number of overs within an innings, depending on the format of cricket. During T20 cricket, the power play is played in the H team’s innings for the first six overs, while in ODI cricket, it is played between the first 10 overs.

Powerplay is a period within cricket that has a specific set of overs and also has special fielding rules within limited overs cricket.

When it comes to Test cricket, the number of overs is not specific to an innings, so powerplay is not used there.

However, the powerplay is a fundamental and central part of cricket, which is essential to master to make a name for yourself in cricket.

Powerplay Rules For ODI Matches

Following are some rules of powerplay in ODI matches

From the First Ten Overs:

The current odi powerplay rules for matches are that only a maximum of two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle in the first 10 overs of the innings.

From the 11th to the 40th over:

A maximum of four fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle in the 11th to 40th overs.

In the last ten overs:

A maximum of five fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

These rules are the same for World Cup matches.

Powerplay Rules For T20 Matches

following are t20 powerplay rules

Overs 1 to 6

A maximum of 2 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards

Overs 1 to 20:

A maximum of 5 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yards circle.

Leg side rule: A maximum of five fielders are allowed on the leg side at any given point in time throughout the T20 match.

There are two basic rules of powerplay in T20 matches:

History Of Powerplay In Cricket

Over time, the introduction of the power play has undergone many changes since then, but the rules for restrictions in setting the field were first introduced in Australia during the ODIs in 1980.

But at that time, powerplay was not known by its official name; it was considered almost a field restriction. In 1992, the International Cricket Council made some special changes to the rules of powerplay.

According to this rule, the bowling team requires two fielders in the catching position during the phase of the field restrictions.

The catching position was set up as a circular area with a radius of 15 yards drawn from the wicket on the pitch’s center, but there were only two circles of 15 yards, one on either side of the striker’s end and the other at the non-striker’s end. 

Concepts and Rules of Powerplay (2005)

With the onset of T20 cricket, the term powerplay came to the world with its name in international cricket matches. Not only ICC named this field structure as powerplay but also put interesting changes in it.  Some of the changes are summarized below:

Number of overs

Within the Powerplay, the number of overs was increased from 15 to 20 overs.

Powerplay Division

 The number of 20 overs was divided into one set of 10 overs and two sets of five overs.

Changes in catching position

The mandatory for two fielders in catching position requirements has been reduced to 10 overs from the earlier rule of 15 overs, which will only be applicable during the first 10 overs of the innings.

Uncertainty element

An incentive element was also introduced in 2005 whereby the bowling team was now allowed to choose two sets of five-over powerplays at any time between the 11th and 45th overs.

Allowing the bowler to choose the power plate means that the fielding captain can gain a higher degree of discretion and decide when to take the Powerplay.

Cricket Power Play Rules Changes (2008)

The most important and fundamental change within the power play rules that was made in 2008 was that now the batting team could choose the period of one of the two five over powerplay.

The purpose of this change was to increase the scoring rates in the middle overs as most of the batsmen used to score  initially and then wait for the last 10 overs to maximize their runs. As the scoring rate of the overs between the middle period was low, the hope was to allow the batting team to choose the play and thus any time in the middle over the two batsmen were well set.

The batting powerplay showed a positive impression in the early introduction but late versus cases of the batting team losing a lot of wickets in the batting powerplay overs.

However, Using this rule, the batsman made a habit of changing his scoring runs to fast, in which he hit very aggressively short, although if this did not work, then there was no need to change the powerplay rules.

Powerplay Rules Changes (2012)

In order to make sure that the batting powerplay did not coincide with the death overs some changes were made to the powerplay in 2011 but they didn’t make any difference then it was changed in 2012. 

As per the 2012 Powerplay changes, the number of powerplays was reduced to 2. A mandatory powerplay during the first ten overs of the innings along with a batting powerplay to be taken between the overs 16 to 36 by the batting team. 

The change also reduced the maximum number of fielders outside the 30-yard circle to four during no powerplay overs. The results of the rules changes did not turn out well in the struggle of the batsman and the bowler.

Current ICC Powerplay Rules In Cricket (ODI & T20) (2023)

Current Powerplay System in ODI:

Currently, as per the powerplay rules in ODI cricket, only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle in the first 10 overs in the first powerplay.

In the second powerplay, only four fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle, while in the third and final powerplay, five fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

Current Powerplay System in T20

In current T20 cricket, the powerplay is a set of rules that affect the best six overs of 20 innings, and only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle during the stage, while the other nine players, including the bowler and the wicketkeeper, are inside the circle during that period.

What Is Batting Powerplay?

A batting power play is something in cricket where the set of five overs is chosen by the batting team during their innings, with field restrictions enforced on the bowling team. 

The concept of batting powerplay was first introduced in 2008, but the batsman is often at risk of losing the wicket as he tries to maximize the scoring rate. 

Earlier, most of the teams took the batting powerplay between 46 and 50 overs, but later the ICC made it mandatory that the batting powerplay be used in the 36th over.

What Is Bowling Powerplay?

A bowling powerplay is defined as the term in which the sets of five wickets are chosen by the bowling team in which field restrictions are enforced on the bowling team.

The concept of bowling power play was first introduced in 2005 but bowling power play was not assigned Introduction of Batting Powerplay to explain the difference between the rules of bowling power play.

The rules of bowling powerplay was scrapped in 2012 by the ICC.

Meaning of P1 P2 and P3 in Terms of Powerplay

In the present era, you must have noticed that in the cricket match, instead of power play, the words P1, P2, and P3 are used. Let’s understand them and evaluate them !

‘P1’ Term in Cricket

In Cricket P1 stands for powerplay1. P1 is a mandatory powerplay applicable for the first 10 overs in an ODI innings and only two players are allowed outside the 30-over circle.

‘P2’ Term in Cricket

Power Plate Two allows no more than four fielders outside the 30-yard circle and is generally applicable in ODI matches from 11 to 40 overs.

‘P3’ Term in Cricket

The purpose of the powerplay three is to give the bowling team an opportunity to regain balance during the death overs and at the same time it allows the fielding team to take a maximum of five fielders outside the 30-yard circle.

What is a 30 yards circle?

A 30-yard circle is defined as an imaginary circle within a cricket field that represents fielding restrictions  in the limited overs cricket during powerplay overs.

The 15-yard circle indicates the catching position of the fielders, also known as close-in fielders, and the 30-yard circle has the function of mandating fielding restrictions.

Is There Any Powerplay in Test Cricket?

It is important to note here that there is no power play in Test cricket because there is no restriction on the batsman while batting. 

Test matches usually last for five overs. That’s why the team’s scoring rate is not so important, and on the other hand, the chance of entertainment is also varied in Test matches.

Final Thoughts

Powerplay in cricket is a passion to bring a new spin to cricket, which plays a major role in attracting the interest of the fans.

On the other hand, powerplay not only makes the game more exciting but also maintains the balance in the game.

I hope you will have got enough guidance through this post. If you want to get more short and simple information about cricket matches then go to the links below.


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