A Powerplay is a fielding restriction rule introduced into One Day International (ODI) cricket in 2005. It was created to prevent fielding teams packing the boundary with fielders and in an effort to make the middle overs of an innings more exciting. There are three types of powerplay during an innings: The mandatory powerplay and an additional one each for the batting team and the bowling side, to use at their own discretion. All three powerplays must be used once in an innings.
Mandatory Powerplay- 10 overs long fielding restriction, must be the first 10 overs of the match. Only two fielders are allowed outside the 30 yard circle. There must be a minimum of two stationary fielders (catchers, e.g slip fielders) at any one time.
Bowling Powerplay - 5 overs long, can be taken when the bowling side chooses to. Although from 2011, the ICC stimulates that it cannot be taken before the 16th over or after the 36th over. Only three fielders are allowed outside the 30 yard circle, and catches are not mandatory.
Batting Powerplay - The exact same rules apply as to the bowling powerplay, except that the batting side chooses when to implement the powerplay.
Powerplays are also used in Twenty20 cricket. However there is only one mandatory powerplay which is always the first six overs of any innings. Only two fielders are allowed outside the 30 yard circle in these overs.