Image courtesy of Cricbuzz
AB de Villiers has brought up the issue of T20 cricket taking too long. Simon Doull brought up this issue at the beginning of April. These are some of my comments on ideas he mentioned. Before going into his suggestions; I believe it is necessary to talk about the time that the match is supposed to take. The game is supposed to take about three and a half hours. Aaron Henderson has broken this neatly.
Overs bowled: 80 minutes per innings.
Innings break: 20 minutes.
Change of ends: 19 minutes.
Strategic Time Outs: 10 minutes
This comes to 209 minutes which gives the bowling team an extra minute to complete their game. The main issue can now be dealt with.
Fee Penalty vs. Over Penalty: Simon Doull mentioned that the fee penalty imposed is not a significant deterrent for the players or captains. Further he also mentioned that the franchises ends up paying it anyway. I do not believe that monetary penalties work for the simple reason that a percentage of a match fee is not significant. Previously overs were docked but the ICC in their wisdom decided to move away from this because the people who attend the game and those who watch it are not getting their money’s worth if this happens. Doull brought out a point about what would happen if the team bowling second bowls slowly and whether they will be docked overs in the next game? I completely support the idea of having overs deducted but I also believe that the spectators should not be punished for something that that the players have done. I do not agree with runs being added to the side batting second which the ECB may introduce with The Hundred. As an extension I do not agree with suggestions that the Net Run Rate should be decreased.
Changing Balls every Four Overs: Dew has played a factor in increasing the time taken to bowl overs. I really like Doull’s suggestion of making mandatory changes to the ball every four overs. This would reduce the time taken to make the ball dry.
Strategy Breaks: Simon Doull brought up the issue of bowlers and captains taking too much time between balls to decide what to do next. This is probably the biggest time waster. Simon says that he does not have a solution to this. I have a few ideas to solve this. Strategy Breaks exist for a reason. Enforce whatever plans that needs to be done within that time limit. If needed then increase the time outs by 30 seconds and allow the bowling team to take this whenever they want to. The Hundred addresses this issue to a certain extent by stipulating that the break should be taken between the 26 and 75 ball. This does not solve the problem as most of the strategising happens in the last few overs of the game rather than the middle.
Player Bans: This suggestion is extremely ruthless but sometimes you need an amputation to save a life. Ban players for time wasting. This should not be limited to the captain. Extend it to the bowler and other people involved in the talks. I would even support enforcing the bans within the game. This would be a bigger deterrent than match fees.
Ball Replacement: Sixes are more frequent and being hit further. Having something as simple as sitting as close to the boundary as possible will save time.
Gardening: It seems only fair that the batsmen should be penalised if the bowlers are going to be punished. Batsmen should be ready to play as soon as the bowler reaches his mark. They can save the fist pumping for later. There is no need for discussing how to play each ball or dabbing the pitch to slow down the game.
Innings Break: AB de Villiers mentioned that the innings break should be cut down from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. I cannot attest to how much time is needed between games but if it helps finish the game on time then it should be seriously considered.
Points Deduction: Deduct 50% of the points for a win for every match that goes beyond time. That should be a good reason to finish games on time.
As always I look forward to your comments.