Dubai, Oct 2 (UNI) The International Cricket Council (ICC) today made necessary clarification in the 'free hit' rule and confirmed that the newly-introduced rule would be applicable to all foot fault no balls and not just front foot no balls.
''The free hit in ODIs applies to all foot fault no balls and not just front foot no balls.
''A free hit will apply to the next delivery after a bowler either oversteps with his front foot or if his back foot cuts or does not land within the return crease,'' an ICC release stated.
According to the 'free hit' rule, the delivery following a no ball called for a foot fault shall be a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it. it also adds that if the delivery for the free hit is not a legitimate delivery (any kind of no ball or a wide ball) then the next delivery will become a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it.
Interestingly, the rule further states that in case of a free hit, a batsman can only be dismissed by a run out and not by any other means.
''For a free hit a striker can only be dismissed under the circumstances that apply for a no ball -- even if the delivery for the free hit is called wide ball,'' the new rule reads, adding that field changes are not permitted for free hit deliveries unless there is a change of striker.
The free hit rule was introduced in the game in the recently-concluded Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa. However, in one-day internationals (ODI) for the first time it was adopted in last Saturday's abondoned match between India and Australia in Bangalore.