USA become first casualty of stop-clock rule. How and why?

USA become first casualty of stop-clock rule. How and why?


India won the match by seven wickets with 10 balls to spare

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

By Anees-ur-Rehman

The T20 World Cup match between USA and India on June 12 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium turned out to be a historic one as the host (USA) became the first team to have been penalised under the stop-clock rule designed to speed up play in white ball cricket.

The game between the two teams was going down to the wire, but a lapse in time management from the host cost them five runs and the momentum slipped out of their hands.

This situation arose in the beginning of the 16th over of the match. India, needing 35 runs on a challenging pitch, benefitted from the penalty, reducing the target to 30 runs off 30 balls. Eventually, India won the match by seven wickets with 10 balls remaining.

What is stop-clock rule?

According to the rule, if the fielding team doesn’t start the next over within one minute of the previous over ending, a penalty is applied. This must happen three times in an innings for the penalty to be imposed.

The rule states: “If the bowling team isn't ready to bowl the next over within 60 seconds of the previous over ending, a five-run penalty is imposed on the third occurrence in an innings.”

The stop-clock penalty is a regulatory mechanism to enforce timely completion of overs by penalising teams that exceed designated time limits. It contributes to the smooth conduct of the game and ensures a fair and engaging experience for players and spectators alike.

Umpires’ role

Umpires are responsible for monitoring the clock and ensuring compliance.

Stop-clock rule implementation

The stop-clock rule became a permanent feature in men's ODIs and T20Is on June 1, 2024.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced implementation of the rule after its board meetings held in Dubai in March this year.
In December 2023, the ICC introduced the stop-clock on a trial basis in men’s limited-overs international matches. The trial was supposed to run until April 2024, but the experiment has already yielded results in terms of timely completion of matches.

The rule had shown good results in trials, with the ICC noting that it saved about 20 minutes per ODI match. During the trial, no team exceeded the one-minute limit three times in an innings, making this the first time a five-run penalty was enforced.

Exceptions to stop-clock rule

There are a few exceptions to this rule, and the clock, if already started, can be cancelled in certain situations. These include:

  • When a new batter comes to the wicket between overs
  • An official drinks interval has been called
  • The umpires have approved the onfield treatment of an injury to a batter or fielder
  • The time lost is for any circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side

What is over rate?

Over rate is how many overs a team bowls in an hour of play.

According to ICC’s rules, teams are expected to bowl 15 overs per hour in Tests, 14.28 in ODIs and 14.11 in T20Is.

In ODIs, the fielding team has 3.5 hours to bowl 50 overs.

In T20s, the fielding team should bowl 20 overs in about 1 hour and 25 minutes.

If a team takes longer than this, they have a slow over rate. The ICC can then penalise the team, which can include fines or even bans for the captain or players.