Cricket association head defends ‘count back’ rule, says teams approved playing conditions

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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Leon Rodney has defended the body’s use of the “count back” method in determining winners in situations where teams end level on scores during the ongoing 10 Splash Cricket Tournament being held at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

The “count back” rule, implemented following a close contest between Pigotts Crushers and Empire Nation on Tuesday, allows officials to refer to the last over faced by both teams, with the team scoring the most runs in the over under review, declared winners of the match.

The method saw Crushers edging Nation on Tuesday after having scored 12 runs in the 10th over, one more than Nation, who scored 11 in the same over.

Rodney said teams knew the rules going into the tournament.

“The rules were distributed and you know how long ago the rules were distributed, so everybody knew the rules. So what I don’t want you to be doing with this one is don’t blame the rules because of Empire’s foolishness. Common sense will tell you that if you’re batting and you’re facing the penultimate ball, you’re on 89 runs and you need one run off the last ball, if a man gets run out, then you would probably accept that he dropped the ball [in front of a fielder] and he tried to get the runs. But when you knock a ball straight in a man’s hand and especially a batsman, that is set because Lowenfield was settled in and I think he got 23 runs so he gave away Empire’s game,” he said.

Crushers and Nation both scored 89 runs in their allotted 10 overs each in the match, forcing match officials to employ the unusual method.

The practice has been met with some skepticism as some believe a super over would have been a fairer method.

Rodney believes the “count back” adds a new twist to the tournament, but said the rule does not have to be a permanent feature going forward.

“It’s easy to say let’s do a super over and then you may have two or three super overs, but that [count back] is what we have chosen for this tournament and you never know, maybe next time around we may do something else based on the revision, but that is what we wanted and that’s what we are going with,” he said.

“When the game tied a guy came to me and asked what was going to happen now, if it would have been run rate and I was really surprised he would ask that because he is the coach of a team. To make it worse, we had meetings about these things. We met with the clubs and went through it and people even asked how to use the sub and we explained all of that, so I was rather surprised that some people don’t know,” the president added.

The tournament continues nightly at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

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