ON THE day that the West Indies cricket team would face the invincible Aussies in a crucial match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20, the home side was greeted with the news that the captain had been fined 40 per cent and each of the rest of the team 20 per cent of their fees for a match which they won, because the referee ruled that the home side (fielding last) were two overs behind schedule!
Did the umpires ever warn them that they were wasting time? What schedule? The match started half-an-hour late because the ground was wet. Was the ground staff docked any part of their day’s pay for the delay?
In a limited overs match when the Duckworth Lewis formula is not invoked and the allotted overs have been bowled by both sides, time cannot be an essential factor in justifying fines for slow over rate.
The iniquity of this penalty is reminiscent of the glory days of West Indies cricket, when the West Indies were fined for slow over rate despite regularly beating England hollow in three days of a scheduled five-day Test match.
If this recent travesty is protested by WIPA it would probably start another spat between the WIPA and the WICB official who will say “Is not me is ICC”. But who indeed is ICC?
LEONARD ST. HILL