Rishabh Pant has been suspended for Delhi Capitals’ next game against Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Sunday (May 12) for maintaining a slow over rate during their previous match against Rajasthan Royals.

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Delhi won their last match against RR at the Arun Jaitley Stadium by 20 runs, defending 221. However, they took nearly two hours to complete their bowling innings. It was the third time that DC committed a slow over rate offence this season, following similar incidents against CSK and KKR, both in Vizag.

According to Clause 4.2.4 of Appendix 2 of the IPL Code of Conduct, the captain of the violating team is fined INR 12 lakh for the first offence. For the second, the fine doubles for the captain while other players in the XI are also fined INR 6 lakh or 25 per cent of their match fees (whichever is less), whereas for the third offence, the captain is banned for one game along with a fine of INR 30 lakh. Other members of the playing XI are handed a fine of INR 12 lakh or 50 per cent of the match fees (whichever is less). All these fines and sanctions are over and above the in-game sanction of having to place an extra fielder inside the circle for every over that the team is short.

Against Rajasthan Royals, DC took 117.82 minutes to complete their 20 overs, which is way more than the usual, stipulated 85 minutes. Following the match referee’s decision, Delhi Capitals lodged an official appeal according to article 8 of the IPL Code of Conduct.

The appeal was referred to the BCCI Ombudsman for review. The Ombudsman conducted a virtual hearing and affirmed that the decision of the Match Referee remains final and binding.

In the hearing DC were represented by Pant, Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, and Sunil Gupta (CEO, Delhi Capitals). They made the arguments that the allowance given by the match referee wasn’t enough owing to the time required in retrieving balls from the stands for the 13 sixes that RR hit, the time wasted in the controversial review of Sanju Samson’s catch, time wasted due to the number of wides bowled by the DC bowlers, and the excessive heat that day.

However, it was concluded that all of DC’s claims were conjectural in nature with no evidence provided to back any of them. Accordingly, their appeal was dismissed and the match referee’s decision was upheld.

Pant, who is Delhi Capitals’ leading run-scorer this season with 413 runs from 12 games, will have to miss their all-important clash against RCB in Bengaluru on Sunday.