NEW DELHI, India - Players could be sent off for the first time in cricket, starting with Test matches in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates this week, as new regulations come into force.
Changes governing umpire referrals and bat sizes will also come into force Thursday when South Africa host Bangladesh and Sri Lanka play Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, said the sport's governing body the International Cricket Council.
The Decision Review System (DRS) -- in which a TV umpire reviews decisions made by umpires on the field -- will be allowed in Twenty20 internationals after its success in Test and one-day matches.
Under the new rules, a player can now be sent off for the rest of the match for serious misconduct.
This could include threatening to assault an umpire, making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with an umpire, assaulting a player or any other person and any other act of violence.
To maintain the balance between bat and ball, there are new restrictions on the size of bat edges and its thickness.
The permitted length and width of bats remains unchanged but the edges cannot be more than 40mm thick and the overall depth is limited to 67mm.
Umpires will use a new gauge to check legality.
The ICC said all changes "will be applicable across all (three) formats".
"Most of the changes to the ICC playing conditions are being made as a result of changes to the laws of cricket that have been announced by the MCC," ICC general manager Geoff Allardyce said in a statement.
"We have just completed a workshop with the umpires to ensure they understand all of the changes and we are now ready to introduce the new playing conditions to international matches."
If a team refers an umpire's decision to the TV umpire and the on-field decision remains unchanged because the DRS shows "umpire's call", the team will not lose that review.
But teams will now have only two unsuccessful reviews for the entire innings of a Test.
Previously the unsuccessful reviews were replenished after the first 80 overs.