‘Lot of our players hadn’t heard about the rule till…': USA coach after 5-run penalty costs them vs India in World Cup | Crickit

‘Lot of our players hadn’t heard about the rule till…': USA coach after 5-run penalty costs them vs India in World Cup

Jun 13, 2024 11:11 AM IST

USA head coach Stuart Law reacted to the five-run penalty that hurt hhis team during the T20 World Cup match against India in New York.

India needed 35 runs off 30 balls, with Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube struggling to hit boundaries against a disciplined USA bowling attack. The Nassau County Cricket Stadium in New York had made scoring anything above run-a-ball a difficult task. USA were well and truly in the hunt to script another T20 World Cup upset after their historic victory against Pakistan a few days ago. Just when the packed crowd anticipated another nail-biting last-over thriller, umpire Paul Reiffel made an unusual signal by tapping his shoulder and putting his right hand up at the start of the 16th over. Unusual because it does happen that often on the cricket field.

USA's Aaron Jones being informed by the umpire about the 5-run penalty against India
USA's Aaron Jones being informed by the umpire about the 5-run penalty against India

Five runs were added to India's total without a ball being bowled. It made even the commentators puzzled for a brief moment. "Not a 100% sure what's taken place here but either way this is damaging," said Ebony Rainford-Brent on commentary. She was not the only one unsure of what was happening on the field. The digital scoreboard at the ground stopped flashing India's score and the runs required as the scorers were unsure as to what transpired in the middle.

USA became the first victim of the stop-clock rule, which requires a fielding side to be ready to bowl the next over within 60 seconds of finishing the previous. USA were given two warnings, but when they flouted the 60-second mark for the third time, the umpires had no choice but to penalise them.

"We had a few warnings in earlier games, and it's something we do talk about to get through faster between the overs. It's just one thing that we can improve on. I think that we're only a fledgling team. There's plenty to learn. There's not just the cricket aspect of the game of cricket, but there's also the other intricacies that need to be embedded. It's a rule that's only just come in. A lot of our players wouldn't have heard about it before we played in the Bangladesh series or the Canada series earlier this year. So, look, it's something that we need to address, we'll sit down and talk about, but we can improve it," said USA head coach Stuart Law in the post-match press conference.

It proved to be a momentum-changing event in the game. Suryakumar Yadav cut loose and India knocked off the remaining 30 runs in 20 balls to enter the Super 8 stage. Law, however, disagreed that the five penalty runs affected the team's morale.

‘5 run penalty didn’t effect us': USA coach Stuart Law

"I don't think it affected the outcome of the game. Five runs wasn't going to affect the outcome of the game so I don't think it rattled them. No, I thought we stuck to our guns, we fought hard, we fought to the death. I thought we showed some fantastic character against one of the best teams in the world," he said.

"The players know the rule, but it's something that if you haven't played with it for a long time, it's very difficult to have it embedded in your brain. So, the information coming from the umpires was, they were given two clear warnings, then it's up to the players to respond. And we didn't respond fast enough, we didn't do it well enough, and that's something we can address."

When asked if the ICC should rethink about the stop-clock which was introduced in men's T20Is and ODIs in June last year, Law said the pace of the game needs to be maintained.

"I think there needs to be a pace of play. I think if you're dragging games out that should last three and a half hours, they're going for four and a half hours, that's a bit much. The ICC are there to install rules and regulations. We as coaches and teams we're there to follow those rules and regulations and if there's enough voices saying that it may be detracting from the game, I'm sure the ICC will act to it. I don't see it as a bad thing, I see it as a good thing. The game continues to move. When momentum is with you, you want to keep that momentum running quicker and put the opposition under pressure that way. So, it's neither here nor there. It didn't affect the result of the game, I don't think, as many people will suggest. But to lose five runs was crucial at that time. But, once again, it may have just taken us to the 19th or 20th over, rather than finishing it in the 18th."

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