Law 16 (Start of play; cessation of play)
1. Call of Play
The umpire at the bowler's end shall call Play at the start
of the match and on the resumption of play after any interval
2. Call of Time
The umpire at the bowler's end shall call Time on the cessation
of play before any interval or interruption of play and at
the conclusion of the match. See Law 27 (Appeals).
3. Removal of bails
After the call of Time, the bails shall be removed from both
4. Starting a new over
Another over shall always be started at any time during the
match, unless an interval is to be taken in the circumstances
set out in 5 below, if the umpire, after walking at his normal
pace, has arrived at his position behind the stumps at the
bowler's end before the time agreed for the next interval,
or for the close of play, has been reached.
5. Completion of an over
Other than at the end of the match,
(a) if the agreed time for an interval is reached during an
over, the over shall be completed before the interval is taken
except as provided for in (b) below.
(b) when less than 2 minutes remain before the time agreed
for the next interval, the interval will be taken immediately
either (i) a batsman is out or retires
or (ii) the players have occasion to leave the field
whether this occurs during an over or at the end of an over.
Except at the end of an innings, if an over is thus interrupted
it shall be completed on resumption of play.
6. Last hour of match – number of overs
When one hour of playing time of the match remains, according
to the agreed hours of play, the over in progress shall be
completed. The next over shall be the first of a minimum of
20 overs which must be bowled, provided that a result is not
reached earlier and provided that there is no interval or
interruption in play.
The umpire at the bowler's end shall indicate the commencement
of this 20 overs to the players and the scorers. The period
of play thereafter shall be referred to as the last hour,
whatever its actual duration.
7. Last hour of match – interruptions of play
If there is an interruption in play during the last hour of
the match, the minimum number of overs to be bowled shall
be reduced from 20 as follows.
(a) The time lost for an interruption is counted from the
call of Time until the time for resumption of play as decided
by the umpires.
(b) One over shall be deducted for every complete 3 minutes
of time lost.
(c) In the case of more than one such interruption, the minutes
lost shall not be aggregated; the calculation shall be made
for each interruption separately.
(d) If, when one hour of playing time remains, an interruption
is already in progress,
(i) only the time lost after this moment shall be counted
in the calculation;
(ii) the over in progress at the start of the interruption
shall be completed on resumption of play and shall not count
as one of the minimum number of overs to be bowled.
(e) If, after the start of the last hour, an interruption
occurs during an over, the over shall be completed on resumption
of play. The two part-overs shall between them count as one
over of the minimum number to be bowled.
8. Last hour of match – intervals between innings
If an innings ends so that a new innings is to be started
during the last hour of the match, the interval starts with
the end of the innings and is to end 10 minutes later.
(a) If this interval is already in progress at the start of
the last hour, then to determine the number of overs to be
bowled in the new innings, calculations are to be made as
set out in 7 above.
(b) If the innings ends after the last hour has started,
two calculations are to be made, as set out in (c) and (d)
below. The greater of the numbers yielded by these two calculations
is to be the minimum number of overs to be bowled in the new
(c) Calculation based on overs remaining.
(i) At the conclusion of the innings, the number of overs
that remain to be bowled, of the minimum in the last hour,
to be noted.
(ii) If this is not a whole number it is to be rounded up
to the next whole number.
(iii) Three overs to be deducted from the result for the interval.
(d) Calculation based on time remaining.
(i) At the conclusion of the innings, the time remaining until
the agreed time for close of play to be noted.
(ii) Ten minutes to be deducted from this time, for the interval,
to determine the playing time remaining.
(iii) A calculation to be made of one over for every complete
3 minutes of the playing time remaining, plus one more over
for any further part of 3 minutes remaining.
9. Conclusion of match
The match is concluded
(a) as soon as a result, as defined in sections 1, 2, 3 or
4 of Law 21 (The result), is reached.
(b) as soon as both
(i) the minimum number of overs for the last hour are completed
and (ii) the agreed time for close of play is reached
unless a result has been reached earlier.
(c) if, without the match being concluded either as in (a)
or in (b) above, the players leave the field, either for adverse
conditions of ground, weather or light, or in exceptional
circumstances, and no further play is possible thereafter.
10. Completion of last over of match
The over in progress at the close of play on the final day
shall be completed unless
either (i) a result has been reached
or (ii) the players have occasion to leave the field. In this
case there shall be no resumption of play, except in the circumstances
of Law 21.9 (Mistakes in scoring), and the match shall be
at an end.
11. Bowler unable to complete an over during last hour of
If, for any reason, a bowler is unable to complete an over
during the last hour, Law 22.8 (Bowler incapacitated or suspended
during an over) shall apply.