Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant is one infringement away from being banned from a game in the ongoing IPL owing to a slow over rate.

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Delhi were behind on the over rate until the 16th over of their IPL 2024 clash against Lucknow Super Giants today (April 12), although they made up the lost overs thereafter, with five fielders being seen outside the 30-yard circle for the 20th over. If a fielding team is found to be behind the over rate during a game, they are penalised and can have only four fielders in the outfield instead of the usual five. It is, however, also worth noting that Delhi can still be penalised for a slow over rate against LSG after the match referee also tallies up the time taken to bowl the last over, thus considering the entire innings.

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If they had been notified of the slow over rate, it would have been a matter of concern for Delhi because it would have led to a one-match ban for their captain Pant. The wicketkeeper has already copped two fines for a slow over rate in the season and the third would have seen him miss the franchise’s next game.

According to the IPL Playing Conditions, the captain is fined INR 12 lakh for the first instance of a breach for a slow over rate. The second time, the designated captain will be fined INR 24 lakh with each member of the playing XI will be fined INR 6 lakh or 25 percent of their match fees, whichever is lesser. For a third offence, the captain will be fined INR 30 lakh and banned from playing the team’s next match.

Delhi, here, cannot utilise a loophole that Sri Lanka used during the 2012 T20 World Cup, where they assigned Kumar Sangakkara as their captain for a game against England in place of Mahela Jayawardene, the team’s original skipper for the event, who was at risk of being banned for the semi-final if Sri Lanka erred with the over rate again. Though Jayawardene took all the big calls during the game, Sangakkara was Sri Lanka’s official captain and a breach of the slow over rate would have just incurred him a fine as it was his first penalty.

The IPL’s laws ensures that is avoided, with clause 4.2.4 mentioning: “For the third and each subsequent offence by the Team in a Season, the Designated Captain will be fined Rs. 30 lakh and banned from playing in the Team’s next Match, irrespective of whether the Designated Captain formed part of the playing XII (i.e., playing XI and Impact Player) for such Match.”

The designated captain has been defined as the “player designated as the captain of the franchisee for the entire season”.

Delhi’s next game is on April 17 against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad.