In a significant development during the Caribbean Premier League 2023, the Trinbago Knight Riders incurred the first-ever red card in the tournament’s history. The incident occurred during their match against the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in Basseterre. Falling behind the required over rate, the Knight Riders faced penalties at the beginning of their last three overs while bowling. Consequently, they were left with only ten players for the final over, with just two fielders outside the 30-yard circle.
The newly introduced penalty system in the CPL mandates that if the bowling team fails to start specific overs within the allotted time, additional fielders are brought into the circle. The Knight Riders accumulated all three penalties, resulting in a challenging situation for them. Sherfane Rutherford of the Patriots capitalized on this opportunity, scoring 18 runs in the final over.
Despite these setbacks, the Knight Riders managed to secure victory with a considerable lead, thanks to the efforts of Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell. However, Pollard expressed his displeasure with the new penalty rule, labeling it as “absolutely ridiculous.”
The red card made its historic appearance as the on-field umpire produced it before the final over of the Patriots’ innings. This action led to one player leaving the field for the Knight Riders, leaving them with only ten players and limited options in field placement.
— CPL T20 (@CPL) August 28, 2023
Kieron Pollard criticized the penalty rule, stating that it undermines the hard work put in by the players and could penalize teams for mere seconds of delay. The introduction of red cards in the CPL aims to address the issue of slow over rates, a concern that has been growing in T20 cricket. Michael Hall, the CPL tournament operations director, highlighted the necessity of curbing the trend of longer T20 games and thus justified the introduction of red cards in the 2023 CPL season for both men’s and women’s competitions.