New rules in cricket: Players can be sent off

West Indies' Chris Gayle, right, is run out for 94 during during the third one day international at Bristol County Ground, England, Sunday Sept. 24, 2017. (David Davies/PA via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Sent off for misbehaving in cricket? You can be now.

The International Cricket Council has introduced new rules and rule changes for the centuries-old game that will come into effect on Thursday. One of them is to give umpires the power to send a player off for the rest of the match for serious misconduct.

Players can be sent off for level four offenses, the most serious under the ICC’s code of conduct. Those offenses include assaulting or threatening to assault another player, an umpire, the match referee or a spectator, or any act of violence on the field of play. Any act that is ”contrary to the spirit of the game” or ”brings the game into disrepute” can also be labelled a level four offense.

Previously, all misconduct was dealt with by umpires and the match referee after the game with fines and bans. Less serious offenses will still be dealt with in this way.

The new rules also say a bowler who bowls a deliberate front-foot no ball is guilty of ”unfair play” and isn’t allowed to bowl again for the rest of the innings.

The ICC has introduced new limits to the size of bats, will allow the decision review system to be used in Twenty20 games, and changed a law so that batsmen will be given out if they are caught after the ball strikes a wicketkeeper’s or fielder’s helmet.

The new rules will be in use for the first time on Thursday in the first test between South Africa and Bangladesh, the first test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and the fourth one-day international between India and Australia.

Some of the important rule changes are:

– The thickness of bats has now been restricted. The edge of the bat can be no thicker than 40 millimeters (1.5 inches) and the overall depth of the bat no more than 67mm (2.6 inches). Restrictions on the length and width of bats were already in force and remain unchanged. Umpires will be given a ”new bat gauge” to check if a bat is legal, the ICC said.

– ”Tethered bails.” The bails can now be tethered to the stumps, restricting how far they fly off the stumps. The ICC said this is in response to injuries sustained by wicketkeepers. In 2012, South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher’s career was ended by a serious eye injury when a bail flew off the stumps and hit him in the eye. Host countries have been left with the decision whether or not to use tethered bails.

– If a ball bowled bounces more than once before it gets to the batsman, it will be called a no ball. It used to be a no ball if it bounced more than twice.

– ”Bouncing bats” in run outs and stumpings: If a batsman makes contact with the ground with his bat beyond the crease, and it then bounces up when the wickets are broken, he is not out. Previously, batsmen could be out if the bat was in the air – even if in his crease. The same change applies to stumpings.

– A batsman is now out if he hits the ball and it is caught after it strikes the helmet of a wicketkeeper or fielder. Previously he couldn’t be caught off a wicketkeeper’s or fielder’s helmet. A batsman can also be stumped or run out after the ball hits a helmet worn by a member of the fielding side.

– Changes to the DRS system:

The DRS system can now be used in Twenty20 internationals. Each team gets one review per innings.

In all formats, a team will not lose a review if the review is struck down because of ”umpire’s call.” Umpire’s call refers to a marginal or very close decision.

In tests, teams no longer get reviews back after 80 overs. A team can have only two unsuccessful reviews for an entire innings now.