Thursday, April 15, 2010


One of my friends asked me about what would happen if MI won the semi-final and ended up with slow over rate. MI has already committed such an offence twice. When KXIP committed this offence for the third time, their captain Kumar Sangakkara was banned for a match. If MI commit the offence for the third time in the semi-finals, will Sachin Tendulkar be banned from the finals? Or will there be an exception made because it is the finals or because he is Sachin Tendulkar?

Well, the answer is that I am not sure. I went to the official website of the IPL and checked out the ‘Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials’ that is effective from 1st March 2010. Here are the regulations that relate to slow over rate:

Article 2.5: Minimum Over Rate Offences –

Failure by a fielding team participating in a Match to meet the Minimum Over Rate requirements contained in Appendix 2 constitutes an offence under this Code of Conduct by the relevant Team Captain and each of the Players in that fielding team.

Note: Subjective intent on behalf of the Team Captain to waste time is not required. It is sufficient to establish that the Minimum Over Rate was not met. To avoid liability under this offence the Team Captain would need to establish, on the balance of probabilities, that the shortfall was due to factors beyond his control and that the time allowances permitted by the Match officials in calculating the required over rate were not sufficient. The presence or absence of subjective intent and the extent of the shortfall shall be relevant in relation to the issue of penalty.

Note: Where a Minimum Over Rate Offence may have occurred, see Appendix 2 for the reporting process, disciplinary process and sanctions that are to be applied.

Appendix 2:

Article 4.2: For the purpose of Minimum Over Rate Offences only, the table at Article 7.3 of the Code of Conduct shall be replaced with the following:

       4.2.1: for the first offence by the Team in a Season the Captain of the bowling Team will be fined US$20,000;

       4.2.2: for the second offence in a Season by the same Team then the Captain will be fined US$40,000 and each Player the Team involved in the relevant Match will be fined US$10,000;

       4.2.3: for the third and each subsequent offence in a Season by the same Team the Captain will be fined US$50,000 and banned from playing in the Team’s next Match and each Player in the Team involved will be fined US$20,000.

The above extracts (and indeed the entire Code of Conduct document) do not mention anywhere that special considerations will be made in respect of the semi-finals or finals or in respect of Sachin Tendulkar!

So I think it would be safe to assume that if MI commit such an offence in the semi-finals, then Sachin Tendulkar ought to be banned from the finals.

But then that would be ridiculous! The final of the richest cricket tournament just cannot go ahead with the star attractions banned due to issues as trivial as slow over rates. I can understand bans due to misconduct or bringing the game to disrepute. But slow over rates? Give me a break!

At this point, I’ll draw a comparison to football. In a football tournament, if a player receives a yellow card, it is carried forward to the future matches. Another yellow card in the future match results in the player being suspended for the subsequent game. Now I don’t know about all football tournaments… but I do know that in tournaments like UEFA Champions League, the yellow card records of all the players are wiped out clean once the ‘Round Robin Stage’ ends and the tournament moves into the 'Knockout Round'.

This ensures that the best players are always available for the Knockout stages (unless they are injured, of course!) and as a result, the tournament sees better quality of football as well as attracts greater viewership. Given that IPL has picked up a lot of ideas from European Football Leagues, this one would not be a bad one either!


Siddharth said...

But in World Cup the card carries on for semis and finals also. as many stars have missed finals due to this.

Anonymous said...

I was also hoping for the best ie MI wins in semis and even due to delays (if assumed) Sachin is not banned. I hope for final to be played in between MI and RCB and MI humiliates the RCB and takes the revenge of their defeat in first game.
Hope for the best
Thanx for considering my question for your blog.

Unknown said...

Hi, Siddharth!

Even in World Cups, the cards for the first three round-robin matches do not carry for the knockout stages (pre-quarterfinals and onwards). Since that is the 'business' stage of the tournament, it makes good sense to have your best players available. If they commit fouls at that stage as well and do not play responsibly, then it is fair to say that they should be banned from semis and finals.