In a recent clash between the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (SKTNP) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2023), Sunil Narine became the first cricketer to incur a red card for a slow over-rate offense.
The CPL, in an effort to combat the persistent issue of slow over rates, introduced this innovative red-card rule for the tournament. As per this rule, if the fielding side falls behind on time and enters the final over, they are compelled to continue the game with one fielder fewer on the field. Moreover, in such a scenario, they must have a fifth and sixth fielder inside the 30-yard circle at the commencement of the 18th and 19th overs. Additionally, the team can only position two fielders outside the 30-yard circle.
In the fixture, the captain of the Riders, Kieron Pollard, won the toss and elected to field. The Patriots’ opener, Andre Fletcher, commenced the innings with a flourish, while Sherfane Rutherford‘s late surge was geared toward propelling his team to a competitive total.
An extraordinary and unprecedented event unfolded
However, a remarkable and unprecedented incident occurred just before the commencement of the final over of the Patriots’ innings. The on-field umpire summoned Pollard and brandished a red card to the Riders. This marked the debut of the red card in this year’s CPL, signifying the gravity of their slow over rate. As a penalty for this transgression, TKR found themselves fielding with only 10 players during the last over, with just two permitted outside the 30-yard circle. Responding to this situation, Pollard instructed Narine, who had already completed his quota of four overs with remarkable figures of 3/24, to vacate the field.
The Riders had to grapple with the ramifications of fielding with reduced personnel as the Patriots’ skipper, Rutherford, seized the opportunity. Rutherford launched a scathing attack on veteran Dwayne Bravo, amassing 18 runs in the final over, elevating their total to 178/5 in the allotted 20 overs.
Also WATCH: Sunil Narine becomes first victim of red-card rule in CPL 2023; sent off field after TKR’s slow-over rate violation
Fortunately for The Riders, the costly final over, played shorthanded, did not hinder their cause as they successfully chased down the target of 179 with plenty to spare, securing their inaugural victory of the season.
Pollard’s candid remarks leave no room for ambiguity
Following the game, when quizzed about his thoughts on the newly introduced red-card rule, The Riders skipper, Pollard, candidly shared his perspective.
“To be honest, it will take away the hard work everyone has done (prior to the penalties). We are like the pawns and we are going to do what we are told. We are going to play as fast as we can. If you are penalized for 30-45 seconds in a tournament like this, it is absolutely ridiculous,” Pollard said at the post-match presentation.
Also WATCH: Kieron Pollard’s quartet of sixes in an over paves the way for Trinbago Knight Riders’ triumph over St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
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