What is powerplay in the sport of cricket?

Professional cricket is played in three formats: Test cricket, One Day International Cricket and T20 cricket. A test cricket match is played across five days where both sides bat twice. Runs are scored at a slower pace owing to the long format of the discipline. Thus, there are no field restrictions in this format. Runs in ODI and T20 cricket are hit faster, because of which powerplay rules are introduced to not allow any undue disadvantage to the batting side.

There are three powerplays in ODI cricket. These are denoted by P1, P2 and P3.

P1 is a mandatory powerplay in the first ten overs of the innings. No more than two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

P2 is a powerplay which of 10 overs that can be taken at any time between the 11th and 40th over. No more than four fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

P3 is a powerplay taken between the 41st and the 50th overs. A maximum of five fielders can be placed outside the 30-yard circle.

In T20 cricket, the first powerplay is for the first six overs for the innings. Only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle during this period. From the seventh over, no more than five fielders are allowed outside the inner ring.

T20 league tournaments may have their own rules for field restrictions. These can vary for each tournament and are subject to change. Some examples include Big Bash, The Hundred and the Indian Premier League. Rules for powerplay also apply to the T10 format which is a gradually evolving and accepted discipline as per the International Cricket Council (ICC).

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