Are Indian Premier League matches taking too long to finish? It seems so, going by the spate of late finishes, with some stretching well past midnight. Barring the season-opener between defending champions Chennai SuperKings and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chepauk, all the subsequent 15 matches have gone past the scheduled finish of 11.20 pm for a night match and 7.20 pm for a day match.
This is too much of a drag even if one takes into account the ten minutes of strategic timeouts in each innings. A short-circuit in one of the floodlights at Eden Gardens to a tense Super Over at the Feroz Shah Kotla were some of the legitimate reasons for the delay.
Experts have pointed out that slow over-rates have been putting spectators off. More so the case with teams reliant on pace bowlers. In fact, this was an issue in the last season as well, and in a bid to combat it, timings for the Playoffs were rescheduled to 7pm.
Here’s a look at some of the glaring instances when matches have gone well beyond the stipulated time-frame in this season.
Match 2: KKR vs SRH (7.52pm)
It was Kolkata Knight Riders opening fixture at their home turf, Eden Gardens. In the pursuit of a competitive 182, a short circuit at one of the floodlights at the High Court end caused a 14-minute delay in proceedings.
Match 3: MI vs DC (11.50pm)
Rishabh Pant stole the show with his audacious 27-ball 78, but this match seemed to drag on till eternity. The reason being that 33 off the 40 overs were bowled by the fast bowlers.
Match 7: RCB vs MI (11.35pm)
The lone plausible explanation for the stretch was because of the high drama that was associated with this match. An absolute humdinger that ended with an undetected no-ball in the final delivery of RCB’s innings from Lasith Malinga that overshadowed the heroics of Jasprit Bumrah.
Match 9: KXIP vs MI (7.38pm)
This day game between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians dragged on for an additional 18 minutes past the scheduled closure, which earned Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma a 12-lakh sanction, the first of this season. Often, he took long time to set the fields.
Match 10: DC vs KKR (12.15 am)
The IPL season’s first Super Over at the Feroz Shah Kotla meant this match went past midnight. The excitement notwithstanding, the match after the scheduled 40 overs ended at 11.52 pm, which was still a stretch.
According to DC’s assistant coach Mohammad Kaif, the delay was attributed to KKR grossly misusing the substitution rule and constantly tinkering their fielders. He also called for a modified clause pertaining to substitutions.
Match 12: CSK vs RR (12.10 am)
This was the second match of the season that went past midnight. Dew and captains of both teams taking their own sweet time to marshall their resources were the reasons for the frustrating drag.
Ajinkya Rahane, the Rajasthan captain was fined Rs 12 lakh for maintaining a slow over rate. But his counterpart MS Dhoni, who finished Rajasthan’s innings at 9.58 pm, which was also well beyond the permissible time limit—surprisingly got away. However, CSK who mostly operate with spinners have finished their quota well within the time.
Match 13: KXIP vs DC (11.52 pm)
Delhi imploded spectacularly, losing seven wickets for just eight runs, fluffing up a straight forward chase. However, like their previous match against the KKR, Shreyas Iyer had to contend with constant tinkering of players from Punjab.