Australia trial bonus points to avoid draw in Sheffield Shield final

Cricket Australia will retool the Sheffield Shield’s points system. (Reuters pic)

MELBOURNE: Cricket Australia (CA) will conduct a year-long trial of a new bonus points system in the 2018-19 domestic cricket season to determine the winners of the Sheffield Shield if the final ends in a draw.

Since the introduction of the Sheffield Shield final in 1982-83, regular season table-toppers only needed a draw at home to win the trophy, but that will change following recommendations by the board’s Playing Conditions Advisory Committee.

“The rule will be trialled this year, and we believe it will encourage the teams involved to push for a result and improve the spectacle in the tournament’s showcase match,” CA’s Head of Cricket Operations Peter Roach said.

Under the new system, 0.01 bonus points will be awarded for each run scored above 200 in the first 100 overs of each innings, and 0.1 for each wicket within those 100 overs.

The bonus points will come into play if the match is drawn and 270 overs are played.

“It’s important we continually look at the game, and assess options to get the best outcome for players, fans, and Australian cricket in general,” Roach added.

Other changes included the introduction of two new balls from the start of each innings in the Women’s National Cricket League and an official heat policy that will allow officials to suspend or cancel matches in extreme weather.