The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has introduced the strictest punishment to date in an effort to combat the problem of slow over-rate in West Indies' premier domestic tournament. In the CPL and WCPL (Women's CPL) 2023, which begins on August 17, fielding teams could face a player ouster if they lag behind the over-rate in the 20th over.
Discussing the new change, Michael Hall, CPL's Tournament Operations Director, expressed his concern: “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.”
He emphasised the responsibility of those involved in cricket to keep the game moving, adding, “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.” He made this statement on the league's official website.
Slow Over-Rate Penalties in CPL 2023
“To ensure that games are finished in good time, penalties for slow over rates will kick in from the 18th over,” a CPL statement explained.
The penalties are as follows:
- If behind the required over rate at the start of the 18th over, one additional player must enter the fielding circle (for a total of five).
- If still behind the rate at the start of the 19th over, two additional fielders must enter the fielding circle (for a total of six).
- If still behind the rate at the start of the 20th over, teams will lose a player from the field (selected by the captain) and have six players inside the fielding circle.
However, the fielding team will not be the only party responsible for maintaining the over rate. The new rules stipulate that there will also be an onus on batting teams to keep the game moving.
“After a first and final warning from the umpires, the batting team will be given a five-run penalty for each instance of time wasting,” said the official CPL statement regarding the rule.