ECB Fast Bowling Directives

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ECB Fast Bowling – Match Directives

Age Groups – also applicable in Open Age cricket MAXIMUM Overs per Spell MAXIMUM

Overs per Day

Age up to 13 5 10
Age group Under 14’s & Under 15’s 6 12
Age group Under 16/17/18 & Under 19’s 7 18


  • For the purpose of these Directives a fast bowler is defined as a bowler to whom a wicket keeper in the same age group would in normal circumstances stand back to take the ball.


  • Having completed a spell the bowler cannot bowl again, from either end, until the same number of overs have been bowled from the same end.


  • A bowler can change ends without ending his current spell provided that he bowls the next over that he legally can from the other end. If this does not happen his spell is deemed to be concluded.


  • If play is interrupted, for any reason, for less than 40 minutes any spell in progress at the time of the interruption can be continued after the interruption up to the maximum number of overs for the appropriate age group. If the spell is not continued after the interruption the bowler cannot bowl again until the same number of overs he completed in that spell have been bowled from that end. If the interruption is of 40 minutes or more, whether scheduled or not, the bowler can commence a new spell immediately.


  • Once a bowler covered by these Directives has bowled in a match he cannot exceed the maximum number overs per day for his age group even if he subsequently bowls spin.


  • He can exceed the maximum overs per spell if bowling spin, but cannot then revert to bowling fast until an equivalent number of overs to the length of his spell have been bowled from the same end. If he bowls spin without exceeding the maximum number of overs in a spell the maximum will apply as soon as he reverts to bowling fast.


  • For guidance it is recommended that in any 7 day period a fast bowler should not bowl more than 4 days in that period and for a maximum of 2 days in a row.


  • Age groups are based on the age of the player at midnight on 31st August in the year preceding the current season.


  • Captains, Team Managers, Welfare Officers and Umpires are asked to ensure that these Directives are followed at all times. Any reference to “he/his” should be interpreted to include “she/her”.