Worcestershire will face a series of changes to the regulations and playing conditions on their return to Division One of the County Championship next summer.
An increased points tally for drawing a game, an extended use of the Kookaburra ball and the possibility of using hybrid pitches in four-day cricket have been brought in following recommendations by the Cricket Advisory Group (CAG)
The CSA consists of men’s and women’s Directors Of Cricket, players from the men’s county and women’s regional teams and representatives from the PCA, Head Grounds managers and officials.
A drawn game in the County Championship will now be worth eight points, an increase on the five awarded last season.
The CAG debated whether last season’s change, allied to the alterations for batting bonus points, had achieved what it set out to do which was to encourage teams to bat long yet still incentivise a win.
It was felt the two changes had maybe worked against each other and hence a return to eight points for a draw but batting bonus points remaining for scoring 250-450 runs in 110 overs.
Worcestershire and the other counties trialled the Kookaburra ball for two games in 2022 and this has now been extended to four matches.
Two will take place in April-May and two more in August-September when all 18 counties are in action.
It will provide more opportunity to assess and interrogate date collected for use of the Kookaburra ball in the County Championship and how that affects performance and other skills – such as reverse swing and spin – domestic four-day cricket in England and Wales.
Worcestershire will have the opportunity should they desire to make use of hybrid pitches in the County Championship as part of one-year trial in 2023
They already play matches on them in the Vitality Blast and Metro Bank One Day Cup.
The one-year trial will assess the value of using hybrid pitches in multi-day cricket, with counties having the option to use them or not during the season.
A fourth playing condition-regulation brought in is that in men’s and women’s white ball competitions – the Vitality Blast, Metro Bank One Day Cup, Charlotte Edwards Trophy and Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy – if a final cannot be constituted then the trophy will be shared rather than the use of a bowl out to determine the champions.
Each white ball knockout match will continue to have a reserve day to mitigate against a match not being constituted but it was determined a bowl-out was an unsatisfactory way to determine the winner of a final.