Bat widths, misconduct and the Decision Review System are all subject to change from tomorrow after changes introduced by the International Cricket Council.

The changes will kick in when South Africa host Bangladesh and Pakistan and Sri Lanka meet in the United Arab Emirates in test series starting respectively in Potchefstroom and Abu Dhabi tomorrow night.

The most spectacular of the changes is that players can be sent off for misconduct, although how often that might happen in tests remains a moot point.

It will only apply to what are called Level 4 offences, serious misconduct such as threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, physically assaulting a player or committing any ''act of violence''.


The width of bat edges is not restricted, as well as their thickness. Bat edges can't be more than 40mm thick, and the overall depth at 67mm. Umpires will have a bat gauge in their pockets to check any bats legality.

Teams will not lose a review in cases where a decision remains unchanged solely as a result of an umpire's call.

There will be no more top-up of reviews after 80 overs in an innings, meaning teams have only two unsuccessful reviews per innings, and the DRS will be allowed in T20s.
''Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the Laws of Cricket that have been announced by the MCC,'' the ICC's general manager cricket, Geoff Allardice said.

''We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes and we are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches."

One rule change might be alternately known as the Wagner Rule, for New Zealand player Neil Wagner.

He was given out run out against Bangladesh in Christchurch last January after having made his crease but then subsequently been off the ground when the ball hit the stumps.

From now on, once the batsman has grounded his bat, he, or she, will be considered to have made their ground irrespective of whether they stay on the ground.

Batsmen can now be out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicketkeeper; and airborne boundary fielders, when making first contact with the ball, must have taken off from inside the boundary, otherwise a boundary will be awarded.

The ICC will hold its next meeting in Auckland on October 10.