Under new rules effective from Thursday, cricket players can be -- like in football -- ordered off the field if they commit major offences, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Tuesday.
Threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, physically assaulting a player or any other person and committing any other act of violence will be deemed Level 4 offence -- warranting marching orders.
A player can now be sent off the field for the rest of the match if a Level 4 offence is committed. Level 1 to 3 offences will continue to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct.
An important change with respect to run outs has also been announced.
If a batsman is running or diving towards the crease with forward momentum, and has grounded his/her bat behind the popping crease but subsequently has lost contact with the ground at the time of the wickets being put down, the batsman will not be run out.
The same interpretation will also apply for a batsman trying to regain his/her ground to avoid being stumped.
For boundary catches, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from within the boundary. Otherwise a boundary will be deemed to be scored.
Also, a batsman can now be out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper.
The ICC also announced new dimensions of the bat and changes to the Decision Review System (DRS) to its playing conditions which will be effective in all series of the game.
The length and width of bats remain unchanged but the thickness of the edges can't be more than 40 mm and the overall depth can be 67 mm at the most. Umpires will be issued a new bat gauge to check a bat's legality.
The ICC has also brought in changes in DRS rules by which a review will now not be lost in case a decision that remains unchanged, as the result of an 'umpire's call'.
"As for DRS in Test matches, there will be no more top-up reviews (two reviews are added back for the teams after 80 overs), meaning that there can only be two unsuccessful reviews in each innings, while the DRS will now also be allowed to be used in T20Is," the ICC said in a statement.
The changes will commence from the two upcoming Test series -- when South Africa hosts Bangladesh and the one between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates.
The ICC playing conditions will now incorporate the relevant clauses from the MCC Laws of Cricket (2017 Code), meaning that all the playing regulations will be captured in one document for each format.
"Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the Laws of Cricket announced by the MCC," ICC General Manager (Cricket) Geoff Allardice said.
"We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes. We are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches."