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HomeOther StoriesWhat is Powerplay in Cricket?

What is Powerplay in Cricket?

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In a time when white ball cricket is dominating the World, Powerplay a huge part in it. Powerplay rules have changed over the years as per requirements and to balance both sides. Powerplay depending on the stage of the game has different rules. In T20I the rule is very simple and has not seen any change since its inception. Only 2 players are allowed outside the 30-yard circle for the first six overs in a T20 game. In traditional cricket where players used to take their time in the starting overs and settling in the crease. But now due to restrictions in fielding players come all gun blazing from the first ball.

The powerplay rule is controversial among cricket players despite being used frequently. It is a regulation that can be challenging to comprehend as well. Since 2005, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has significantly changed the powerplay rules multiple times.

Problems arose as soon as the fielding restriction regulations were implemented more broadly in international cricket. The beginning of a team’s innings encouraged batsmen to begin scoring runs fast, but between overs 16 and 50, the batting team frequently resorted to tight defensive cricket. To force more attack-minded cricket throughout the entire game, the International Cricket Council created the powerplay regulation in 2005.

Powerplay in cricket

When Powerplay was introduced in the 1970s its only purpose was to make players’ approach more aggressive. Because ODI cricket was not able to attract audiences and players were very steady and scored runs at a slow pace.

In limited-overs cricket, the powerplay has consequences for both the batting and fielding sides and is a crucial component of modern cricket. In limited-overs cricket, field limits were introduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s in an effort to encourage batters to play more aggressively. Only two players were permitted outside the 30-yard circle for the first 15 overs of each inning during these early changes to the fielding regulations. But although these regulations were applied in a few matches as early as the 1980s, they weren’t formally adopted until 1995.

Powerplay in ODI cricket is more complicated than in T20I, When ODI cricket was 60 overs there was no powerplay, and also players used to play slowly and steadily compared to today’s time. The field restriction was first introduced in the 1980s so the players will play more attacking. These rules helped the players who had an attacking game. Players like Viv Richards got help and scored heavily after these restrictions.

What is Batting Powerplay?

The batting powerplay came into existence in 2008. According to this rule, a team can take 5 over powerplay at any stage of the game. So apart from the first ten overs batting team when suited could take an additional five over powerplay. But every team used to take the powerplay in the last 5 overs so ICC introduced a new rule that the powerplay must be taken by 35th over. This rule was later scraped by ICC in 2015.

What is Bowling Powerplay?

In cricket, the set of five overs chosen by the bowling team during which the field restrictions would be applied to the bowling team is referred to as a “bowling powerplay.”In 2005, the bowling powerplay was introduced. To distinguish between the two sets of powerplay overs, the phrase “Bowling Powerplay” was only given when the batting powerplay was introduced. The ICC abolished the bowling powerplay regulation in 2012.

Powerplay rules in ODI cricket:

Powerplay rules in ODI cricket were introduced by the ICC in 2005 with respect to adding balance to the game. The powerplay rules in ODI have been amended several times so far. To restore the game’s equilibrium, the rules were altered once more in 2015 (latest). These guidelines are still in effect today. In the latest rules of ODI cricket, powerplay is implemented in three slots:

  • First (Overs 1-10)- A maximum of two fielders are permitted outside the 30-yard circle. Rest fielders are restricted to staying inside the 30-yard circle. Additionally, it is no longer necessary to have two fielders in catching positions for the first 10 overs
  • Second (11-40)- A maximum of four fielders take the field outside the 30-yard circle.
  • Third (41-50)- Teams can field a maximum of five fielders outside the 30-yard circle for the final 10 overs of the innings.

    In case of match duration reduction or interruption due to rain, umpires & match referees have the authority to change the number of overs in powerplays in an ODI game.

T20 Powerplay Rules:

T20 cricket is one of the most exciting and attractive formats of the game. Its popularity rose with the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 when India lifted the title. However, the rules of powerplay are rather simple in T20/ T20I cricket. The first six overs in a T20 inning pertain to the rule of the powerplay. Only two fielders are permitted outside the 30-yard circle during the first six overs.

What is Powerplay in Cricket?
Example of a fielding position in T20 Cricket Credits:Cricketers Hub

Starting 7th over, five fielders can take the fielding positions outside the 30-yard circle but not more than that is permitted.

The rules were so aptly framed that it has never changed since the beginning of its amendment. Powerplay in T20 cricket helps the batters to count on the run-scoring opportunity. But this also gives the advantage to the bowlers who can bag wickets with their best deliveries and also if any batter commits any mistake in going for a big shot only to throw away his/ her wicket. This makes the game more enthralling for both batters and bowlers and exciting for the fans.


The addition of powerplay by the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been a successful move as it has done its purpose, still, there has been a constant alteration to make it an even contest between bat and ball. However, teams have modified on the field to establish match strategy and tactics on powerplay overs, which can affect the result of a game, despite the ICC’s goals to make cricket more exciting. As a result, one of the most important regulations in limited-overs cricket nowadays may be powerplay.

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Pratik Pathak
Pratik Pathakhttps://madovercricket.com/
A full-time learner and a part-time writer. Been unwavering myself to give my share of knowledge on cricket as well as different sports. A web series aficionado and a perennial Breaking Bad and Sherlock admirer.