West Indies were taken apart by the Logan van Beek storm in the Super Over of their World Cup Qualifier match against the Netherlands on June 26. Nicholas Pooran surprisingly didn’t come out to bat, much to the shock of everyone following the game.

Pooran had scored a 63-ball 100 in the first half of the match batting at No.5. It was his second hundred in three games, having also scored a century against Nepal a few days back.

The West Indian top order had laid a solid platform for Pooran to come out and express himself against the Netherlands. He arrived in the 29th over with the score reading 163-3. From there, he took off instantly, reaching his 50 in 38 balls and his 100 in 63.

Pooran hit nine fours and six sixes and finished not out on 104. Given his hitting form and natural ability, it came as a rude shock to everyone watching when he didn’t come out to bat in the Super Over with West Indies chasing an uphill target of 31 off six balls.

Pooran is considered one of the most fearsome strikers of the ball in modern-day cricket and is generally the first pick to bat in the Super Over in any team he plays for, be it international, domestic, or franchise.

With van Beek smoking 30 runs in the Super Over for the Netherlands, all eyes turned towards Pooran, as if anyone in the West Indies camp had the ability to chase the target down, it was him.

However, it was Johnson Charles and Shai Hope that came out to bat for them instead. Charles hit a six first ball, but with just two singles coming off the next two deliveries, the game was done and dusted.

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Social media was abuzz with questions of “Where is Pooran?” and “Why is Shai Hope batting in the Super Over?” The ICC later revealed that Pooran was not available to participate in the Super Over as he had been out of the field for “an extended period”. This was despite Pooran being on the field as the chase ended.

The laws of cricket state that if a player has been absent from the field of play for more than eight minutes, “The player shall not be permitted to bat in the match until his team’s batting innings has been in progress for the length of playing time that is equal to the unexpired Penalty time carried forward from the previous innings.”

Penalty time here implies the amount of time for which the player has been out of the field.

While it is not clear exactly how long Pooran was not on the field during the Netherlands’ run-chase, it must have been for a long enough period that his Penalty time had not expired by the time the West Indies run-chase began in the Super Over.

The playing conditions for the World Cup Qualifier make it clear that “Any penalty time being served in the match shall be carried forward to the Super Over.”

There was some debate too over the decision to send out Hope, rather than one of their other hitters. West Indies’ XI included Romario Shepherd and Jason Holder, each of whom might be rated as more likely to lever sixes over the rope. However, it’s possible Hope’s form in the game came into the decision. He made 47 off 38, including two sixes, West Indies’ second fastest double-figure contribution after Pooran’s.

While West Indies did make the mistake of handing Jason Holder the Super Over, the move to send Charles and Hope to bat was a forced one and not a blunder.

With this loss, West Indies now find themselves in serious trouble with their World Cup hopes slipping away.