The basic rules of Twenty20 cricket are identical to a One day International match. However some rules have been designed in such a way that the game becomes more thrilling.
If a Twenty20 match ends in a tie the Bowl-out is used to decide the outcome of the match. Five bowlers from each team are given an opportunity to bowl two balls at the wicket when there is not batsman at the crease. The team which castles the wicket maximum times is the winner. The theme of this rule is copied from soccer.
At any point of time only 5 fielders can field on the leg side. This is important for off-spinners who intend to have 6 fielders on the leg side as the direction of spin is such that the batsmen tend to play on the leg side. Another fielding restriction is that during the first six overs maximum two fielders can be outside the ring. For the remaining 14 overs maximum five fielders can be outside the ring.
The bowlers can bowl maximum 4 overs. This rule limits the individual effect of bowlers on the result of a match. It is said that this is a batsman friendly rule at the expense of luckless bowlers.
Twenty20 cricket has specified that the allotted 20 overs should be completed within 75 minutes. The bowling team has to pay strict penalties if the stipulated overs are not completed within 75 minutes. If the bowling team does not start the 20th over within 75 minutes the batting team is given a bonus of 6 runs. This rule has been made as it is intended that the match should be over in a span of 3 hours. This is a major advantage and selling aspect of the Twenty20 game.
Power to Umpires
If the Umpire feels that one of the team is wasting time unreasonably then he may give 5 runs to the other team. This is a very controversial rule and the incidents of the type of Inzaman and Hair should be avoided.
If a no ball is bowled due to overstepping then the next ball is termed as a free hit. On this ball the batsman cannot be declared out by any of the cricket rules except that he becomes run out.
In the county season in England when the Twenty20 matches are played then in addition to the above rules some more rules as mentioned below are applied.
Hours of play
For the zonal matches the first innings would be played from 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm. The interval would be from 6:45 pm to 7 pm. The second innings would be played from 7 pm to 8;15 pm.
When the full match of 20 overs per side is played the interval is of 15 minutes duration. If the number of overs are reduced the interval is cut down to 10 minutes.