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Trinbago Knight Riders get first CPL red card; 'absolutely ridiculous,' says Pollard

Sunil Narine had to leave the field as Knight Riders were forced to field with only ten men in the 20th over against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

Dwayne Bravo is congratulated by Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran, St Lucia Kings vs Trinbago Knight Riders, CPL 2023, Basseterre, August 26, 2023

Trinbago Knight Riders were forced to field with ten men in the final over  •  CPL T20 via Getty Images

The red card made its first appearance in the Caribbean Premier League 2023, when Trinbago Knight Riders were behind the required over rate at the start of each of their last three overs while bowling against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on Sunday in Basseterre. They were left with only ten men for the final over as a result, and just two fielders outside the 30-yard circle, losing Sunil Narine from the field.
As per the new rules in the CPL, if the bowling team doesn't start the 18th over in time, one additional fielder enters the 30-yard circle with four allowed outside. If they miss the time limit at the start of the 19th over, one more fielder must enter the circle, leaving three in the outfield. And if they don't start the final over on time, one player must go off the field and they can have just two players outside the circle. Knight Riders incurred all three penalties and Patriots' No. 5 Sherfane Rutherford made them pay with 18 runs from the final over, bowled by Dwayne Bravo.
Fortunately for Knight Riders, Nicholas Pooran, captain Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell smashed their way to the 179-run target with 17 balls in hand. Pollard later called the new penalty rule "absolutely ridiculous".
"This could be a historic moment here… oh, red card," Ian Bishop called on the official broadcast as the red card was whipped out by on-field umpire Zahid Bassarath before the start of the final over of the Patriots innings. "You don't want to see that colour card. They must field with only ten, so somebody has to leave the field. And only two outside the 30-yard circle. The absolute last thing that he [Pollard] would want. And imagine the bowler!"
Pollard, moving his limited fielding options around, asked Narine, who had finished his four-over spell with 3 for 24, to leave the field.
"To be honest, it will take away the hard work everyone has done," Pollard said on the broadcast after the game. "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 penalised for 30-45 seconds in a tournament like this, it is absolutely ridiculous."
Red cards, a first in the game, have been introduced in the 2023 CPL - for both men's and women's competitions - to combat slow over rates. "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, CPL tournament operations director, had said in a statement prior to the start of the tournament.
The slow over-rate penalties
  • 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 players inside the circle
  • If behind the rate at the start of the 19th over, two additional fielders must enter the fielding circle - for a total of six inside the circle
  • If behind the rate at the start of the final over, teams will lose a player from the field - selected by the captain - and have six inside the fielding circle
  • 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 slapped with a five-run penalty for each instance of time wasting
The rule, using the 85-minutes-per-innings rule for T20 cricket, is that the 17th over of the innings must be completed by 72 minutes and 15 seconds, the 18th by 76 minutes and 30 seconds, and the 19th by 80 minutes and 45 seconds, before the last over ends within 85 minutes.
"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," a CPL statement had said. "Dispensations will be given for injuries, DRS and time-wasting by batting side where appropriate."