What is Slow Over Rate in IPL

In IPL a team must complete 14.11 overs per hour, ensuring that the 20th over concludes within 90 minutes of the innings' start. Find out more about the slow over rate in IPL and international cricket.

Umaima Saeed
Umaima Saeed

Last Updated: 2024-01-04

Dillip Mohanty

5 minutes read

What is Slow Over Rate

A slow over rate in cricket is when the bowling side fails to complete their quota of overs within the allotted time. Over rate in cricket refers to the average number of overs bowled by the fielding side within a single hour of play. In accordance with the International Cricket Council's (ICC) regulations, there is an expected standard of maintaining 15 overs per hour in Test Cricket, 14.28 in ODIs, and 14.11 in T20Is. To elaborate, in ODIs, the bowling side is allocated 3.5 hours to complete their 50-over quota, while in T20s, teams are tasked with completing 20 overs within an hour and 25 minutes.

Slow Over Rate Penalties in IPL

Any deviation from these predetermined benchmarks results in a declaration of a slow over rate. Penalties for such a lapse can range from fines to player suspensions, depending on the governing body overseeing the match and the specific circumstances surrounding the over rate. For the last five overs, the fielding team is docked one fielder from outside the 30-yard circle, among other repercussions.

When determining the overrate, umpires consider several factors including time lost during an innings due to player injuries, third umpire consultations, and time wasted by the batting side, among others.

In ODIs and T20Is, going up to two overs short is a "Minor Over Rate Offence”. If a team falls more than two overs behind, it becomes a "Serious Over Rate Offence”. In Test matches, being up to five overs short is a "Minor Over Rate Offence”, and going over five overs behind is a "Serious Over Rate Offence”.

In August 2023, England and Australia were penalized by the ICC, receiving fines and having World Test Championship points deducted due to their slow over-rate during the Ashes. This led to England losing 19 points, and Australia losing 10. In this case, both teams were docked one point for each over bowled less in the stipulated time.

Rohit Sharma Mohammd Siraj Test in South Africa.jpeg

More recently, in December 2023, Team India incurred a 10% fine of their match fee and a deduction of two World Test Championship points. This penalty was imposed due to their slow over-rate during the first Test against South Africa in Centurion.

The regulations pertaining to a slow over rate in cricket have been laid out to uphold a reasonable pace of play, ensuring matches unfold without undue delays. 

Slow Over Rate in the IPL

The persistent issue in IPL 2023 of matches concluding significantly beyond their scheduled times primarily stemmed from slow over rates. A substantial number of matches extended beyond the four-hour mark. Factors such as the DRS and the extras bowled played notable roles in contributing to the sluggish pace of overs.

In the IPL, a team must complete 14.11 overs per hour, ensuring that the 20th over concludes within 90 minutes of the innings' start. This includes the two strategic time-outs of two and a half minutes each. The 90-minute timeframe does not account for the time taken for DRS reviews, umpire reviews, or player injuries.

Violation results in the loss of an extra fielder beyond the 30-yard circle. For a first offence, the captain faces a fine of Rs 12 lakh. The penalty doubles for a second offence, and the rest of the team members are fined Rs 6 lakh or 25% of their match fee, whichever of the two is lower.

In IPL 2023, Royal Challengers Bangalore were found guilty of maintaining a slow over rate in two matches. For the second offence, stand-in captain Virat Kohli was fined Rs 24 lakh, while each member in the playing XI was fined Rs 6 lakh or 25% of their match fee. Kolkata Knight Riders were also found guilty of the same offence twice.

KKR Players in IPL.jpeg

In case of a third or subsequent offence within a season, the bowling team's captain faces a fine of Rs 30 lakh and a one-match suspension. The remaining 10 players in the team are subject to a fine of Rs 12 lakh or 50% of their match fees, whichever is lower. These penalties remain the same for each subsequent offence of maintaining a slow over rate in the IPL.

Instances of slow over rate

In IPL 2023

Team Opponent Captain Fine 
RCB LSG Faf du Plessis Rs 12 lakh 
RRCSK Sanju Samson Rs 12 lakh 
RCB RRVirat Kohli (stand-in)Rs 24 lakh 
KKRPBKSNitish Rana Rs 12 lakh
KKRCSKNitish Rana Rs 24 lakh 
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Problems Created by Slow Over Rates

Delayed match progression: Slow over rates lead to a delayed match progression, causing inconvenience to players, spectators, and broadcast schedules. 

Impact on team strategies: Slow over rates disrupt team strategies as captains might need to adjust their plans due to the limited time available.

Impact on Bowlers: Bowlers may face fatigue and reduced effectiveness due to prolonged spells caused by slower over rates.

The batting team may lose momentum: A slow over rate by the bowling team can create an unfair advantage. The extended time taken to bowl overs disrupts the batting team's momentum, particularly crucial in the death overs.

Sets a bad example: A slow over-rate without penalties could influence young cricketers negatively, encouraging them to adopt the same practice. 

The Stop-Clock Rule

Last year, the ICC announced that they will implement the stop clock rule in men's ODIs and T20Is on a five-month trial basis, starting in December 2023.

"The clock will be used to regulate the amount of time taken between overs”, the ICC said in a media release.

The stop clock rule is aimed at ensuring matches adhere to time limits. It operates during intervals between overs, displaying an electronic clock on the big screen after each over. A 60-second countdown begins, mandating the fielding side to commence the subsequent over promptly. Failure to do so results in up to two warnings, with a third violation incurring a five-run penalty.

Exceptions exist for the stop clock. It doesn't apply when a new batter arrives on the crease, during drinks intervals, or if a player sustains an injury with officials permitting treatment.

 The permanent integration of the stop clock into international cricket and its potential adoption by the IPL is yet to be conclusively determined.

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Umaima Saeed
Umaima SaeedSports Writer

Umaima Saeed is a professional sports writer whose articles have been featured in several leading websites. She writes long-form content on sports, particularly cricket. She has a penchant for telling human-interest stories. Umaima has contributed articles on cricket to more than a dozen publications, both in print and online.