This season’s IPL has seen matches run well beyond four hours as teams strategise and plot every move of theirs on the field, and de Villiers believes that the IPL needs to ensure that it sticks to “good habits” to keep the tournament “in shape”.
“One easy fix could be to reduce the break between innings from the current 20 minutes to a manageable 10 minutes,” de Villiers wrote in his column for Times of India.
“The umpires might have to drink their cups of tea a little more quickly, but that would save ten minutes without pain. When a super over had been completed to decide the match between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders, it felt as if it was time for breakfast.
“There is a system in place whereby the captain is penalised if his team fails to maintain the required over rate while bowling. This involves a fine for the first offence followed by suspension, but the impact of these measures appears minimal, roughly equivalent to the weight loss of an obese gentleman who orders to giant hamburgers and a diet Coke!”
Already this season, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma have been fined for their teams’ inability to maintain the over-rate, and stricter punishments like deduction from net run-rate, larger fines and point deductions have been proposed as well.
But de Villiers has said that “the competition should not be distorted”, and that a “less draconian approach may be more effective.”
“Just as an individual needs to eat a little less and exercise a little more to stay in shape, so everybody involved in the IPL needs to accept collective responsibility for the problem and embrace steps to keep the game moving. We’re all in this together.
“Umpires can keep an eye on the clock, making captains and bowlers aware as soon as they slip behind the pace, and everybody can take responsibility for chivying each other along, taking less time to talk, running instead of walking, hurrying along,” he wrote.
First Published: April 19, 2019, 8:58 AM IST