Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma received a fine of INR 12 lakhs for his side’s breach of the over-rate regulation in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 fixture on Tuesday (April 20).
Rohit’s team offended the rejigged IPL slow over-rate rule in their six-wicket defeat against Delhi Capitals (DC) in Chennai. It was MI’s first such offence in the ongoing IPL.
According to the IPL guidelines, the captain of the erring team is docked 12 lakhs in fine on the first instance of the slow over-rate offence. The fine for the captain is doubled to 24 lakhs in case of a second instance and every other member of the playing XI is also fined 25 per cent of the match fee or INR 6 lakh, whichever is lesser.
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The third offence of the over-rate regulation makes a captain liable for a fine of INR 30 lakh and a one-match ban. That, while the rest of the playing XI members are fined INR 12 lakh or 50 percent of their match fee, whichever is lesser. The sanctions apply for any further offences through the season.
Why did Rohit Sharma get fined for slow over-rate when Kieron Pollard was the stand-in captain?
Rohit Sharma became the second captain to be fined for a slow over-rate offence in the early stages of the ongoing season of IPL 2021, after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni breached the tournament regulation versus DC.
Interestingly, there was a case for Rohit to potentially avoid getting fined a hefty sum of INR 12 lakhs, despite MI taking excessive time in completing their 20-over quota at Chepauk.
The five-time IPL title winning skipper wasn’t even captaining the side when they bowled.
Experienced West Indies cricketer Kieron Pollard was MI’s stand-in captain for the majority of the second half where they went about trying to defend the modest score of 137/9. Rohit Sharma confirmed after the match that he had a “niggle” due to which he couldn’t take the field for most of DC’s chase.
It seems IPL’s current over-rate regulation doesn’t take into account such mid-game captaincy changes. Even though Pollard led MI when they actually breached the timings, the fine was still handed out to Rohit Sharma since he was a captain on the team sheet which is shared pre-game with the match referee.
At the start of the season, the BCCI came down heavily on teams notorious for slow over-rates in finishing their quota in IPL, where already two strategic time-outs per innings push the matches deeper into the night. The board made it mandatory for each IPL side to complete the 20th over by the 90th minute of an innings, whereas earlier they could start the 20th over as late as the 90th minute.