Over Rate In Cricket: What You Need To Know About The Rules Governing It And The Penalties For Slow Over Rate
- On February 5, 2020, Indian
cricketteam was fined in Hamilton for not bowling its overs in time.
- This was the third match in line when India could not maintain its over rate, a condition which will invite penalty as per the rules governing the game.
- Here we explore what is
slow over rateand the penalties it will invite.
AdvertisementWhen Indian lost the first ODI against New Zealand on Wednesday February 5, 2020, the team had one more disappointment in store. The International Cricket Council imposed a fine since the Indian Team headed by Virat Kohli was noted to fall "four overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration".
Erred three times in a row
The recent penalty Indian team faced was so unique in some ways. For about six long years, Indian team performed without being fined for over rate offence. Unfortunately, the three past ODI matches proved unlucky for the team in this connection. When Indian played its fourth T20 against the Australian team in Wellington, it had to pay a penalty of 40 percent of the match fee they had received for its over rate offence. Also in the fifth and the final T20, India committed the same mistake once again and was fined with a penalty that deducted 20 percent of its match fee. The penalty imposed on the team for the third time in row was necessitated as the team erred for the third time on February 5, 2020 in the match against New Zealand.
Rules governing over rate
As per the existing rules, a team is expected to complete 15 overs within an hour. In One Day International matches, the over rate stipulated requires the team to bowl 50 overs in three and a half hours in case the opposition is not bowled out before that. The rule also expects that T20 innings must not stretch beyond 90 minutes. The allowances given pertain to timeout due to injuries, DRS Reviews, drink breaks getting longer during hot weathers, sight screen problems, any external delays that are out of the control of the captain of the fielding team.
Since 1992, there had been 485 instances of slow over penalties. Most of them have been just overlooked without anything more than a gentle smack on the knuckles. In some cases, there were match bans while some of them even resulted in lawsuits. The ICC code of conduct even ordered for a mid-tournament captaincy switch when the umpire booked the Sri Lankan team for slow over rate under the captainship of Mahela Jayawardane in 2012.
Criticisms against the decisions of ICC
There had also been severe criticisms against this rule as the penalties were harsh sometimes leading to the teams having to miss some big games. Often it had been very hard for the ICC to implement the over rate rule in the games. At times, ICC was charged for being too soft when overs were lost and still allowances were made. During some rare occasions like when the captain was banned for slow over rate, the ICC’s decision was criticized to have been too officious.
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