One more jolt to the bowler. Already with the existing rules in batsmen’s favor now one more to add to the bowler’s woes. It’s called the ‘free hit rule’. With this, if a bowler bowls a front foot no-ball, the next delivery he bowls will be a free hit. That is batsman cannot be dismissed in that delivery. Of course, he can be run out. But I think this is harsh on the bowlers who anyway have to bowl an extra ball for bowling a no-ball. But that is the case with wides too.
With this new rule suppose a bowler bowls 2 consecutive no-balls as is the case with most sub-continent bowlers then he is penalized to bowl 2 free-hit balls. So a batsman effectively gets 4 free-hit balls in that over, with already if it is a no-ball batsman can not be dismissed in that delivery. Also the umpires shout loudly for the batsman to know that it is a no-ball so that the batsman can go for a big shot. With this new rule if the above situation occurs, batsman can go for 4 big shots which was earlier 2 if that was the case. This may sometimes change the course of the match. Imagine the plight of the bowler who bowls no-balls in the final over of the deciding match.
Looking at the positives, this rule may make the bowler to become more disciplined in their bowling. But a still long way to go for the bowlers from sub-continent who often bowl more extra bowls. This may prove good for the sides like
The other important rules of the game which got approved by ICC are: allowing an extra fielder outside the fielding circle during second or third power play and mandatory change of bowl after of 35 overs of each innings in ODIs. And all these would come into effect from October 1, 2007.