Is there a standard time fixed in Test, ODI and T20 formats of Cricket, when a fielding side captain can ask for a new ball?

If the captain of the fielding side doesn't ask for a new ball, will he be forced to have it mandatorily after a certain point by the match umpires?


1 Answer 1


The Laws of Cricket say in Law 5:

In a match of more than one day’s duration, the captain of the fielding side may demand a new ball after the prescribed number of overs has been bowled with the old one. The Governing Body for cricket in the country concerned shall decide the number of overs applicable in that country, which shall not be less than 75 overs.

So in Twenty20 and one-day matches, there will generally not be a new ball in the Test Match sense.

There is the rule that in ODIs, two new balls are used, one from each end, but they are never replaced by a new ball (unless damage occurs). The previous rule was that the one ball is replaced after 34 overs, but with another used ball, not a new one, and this replacement was manadatory, not at the request of the fielding side, as in the law.

In Test Matches, the law5 applies, and a new ball is available after 80 overs, per ICC playing conditions. In English first-class cricket, the new ball is also available after 80 overs. I haven't looked up all the other domestic first-class competitions, but the numbers are probably similar.

You are not required to take the new ball. You can use the old one as long as you like.

  • 2
    Reasons you might not want to take the new ball: you're getting good reverse swing with the old ball; the old ball is softer so the batsmen have to hit it harder to score runs; your main new ball bowler wants a rest; etc...
    – chimp
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 1:36
  • To add to that, old ball aid spinners
    – Sagar Jain
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 12:16

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