Football-like red card in cricket? CPL introduces unprecedented move to tackle slow-over rate in 2023 season

More than a year after International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced the fielding-change rule to tackle slow-over rate in T20I cricket before contemplating on the same move to be introduced in ODIs as well, Caribbean Premier League has announced an unprecedented, or rather a strict, step to counter the same issue, slated to be put into use from the 2023 season onwards in both the men’s and women’s league. One of those rules includes a football-like red card system as well if the team is behind the rate at the start of the final over of an innings.

CPL introduces a new move to counter slow-over rate in the 2023 season

“We have been disappointed that our T20 games have been getting longer and longer each year, and we want to do what we can to arrest this trend,” Michael Hall, the CPL’s tournament operations director, said in a statement on the subject. “It is the duty of those involved in cricket to ensure that the game keeps moving and we have sensitised both the franchises and our match officials to this duty ahead of the tournament. Our hope is that these in-game penalties are not needed, but we believe they are proportionate and necessary.”

What does the new slow-over rate penalty system say?

1. If the bowling team is behind the required over rate at the start of the 18th over, one additional fielder has to be placed inside the fielding circle.

2. If the same happens before the start of the penultimate over, two additional fielders have to be placed inside the fielding circle – making it six inside the circle.

3. The red-card system will come into play if found behind the rate at the start of the 20th over. The captain will pick the player whom the team will have to lose for the final six balls of the innings.

4. Batting team will also penalised if found wasting time. Umpire will be handing two warnings to the batting side after which a five-run penalty will be slapped for each instance onwards.

The statement issued by CPL revealed that the officials will be monitoring the 85-minute rule for T20 innings. This implies that the 17th over over must be completed by 72 minutes and 15 seconds, 18th by 76 minutes and 30 seconds, and the 19th by 80 minutes and 45 seconds. This means every over will be given a time period of four minutes 15 seconds.

“Over rates will be monitored by the third umpire and communicated to the captains via on-field umpires at the end of every over, as well as to the crowd and TV audience, with graphics showing how far they are behind (or ahead of) the over rate,” the statement added. “Dispensations will be given for injuries, DRS and time-wasting by batting side where appropriate.”

The 2023 men’s CPL will begin from August 17 onwards with St Lucia Kings facing Jamaica Tallawahs in Gros Islet. The women’s edition will kick off from August 31 onwards, with the opener between Barbados Royals and Guyana Amazon Warriors in Barbados.

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