Coach Gary Stead insists the Black Caps’ poor over-rate was a one-off and blames the high pressure and noise of Sunday’s cliffhanger against West Indies.
The transgression will be high on their list of discussion points as unbeaten New Zealand prepare to face Pakistan in Birmingham on Wednesday (9.30pm NZT) with captain Kane Williamson facing a one-game ban if they transgress again.
Williamson was fined about $800, 20 per cent of his match fee of about $4000, by match referee David Boon for the Black Caps being one over short of their stipulated target during their pulsating five-run win over West Indies in Manchester.
The rest of the team were each fined 10 per cent of their match fees under International Cricket Council policy. It also states if New Zealand commit another minor over-rate breach during the tournament with Williamson in the side, he will face a suspension for a second offence.
With the Black Caps the first team to book their spot in the semifinals and unbeaten in their first six matches, hitting a crucial knockout match without their captain and talisman is near unthinkable.
“We will be talking about it [over rates]. It’s certainly something we don’t want [a Williamson suspension]. Our record has been really good and the moment the other night probably got to everyone,” Stead said.
“It was so noisy and really difficult to hear. When you get in those pressure moments sometimes you need to take a bit of extra time to be clear. The West Indies were slow as well.”
Stead said manager Mike Sandle received a slip of paper from match officials outlining their breach and added they wouldn’t challenge the decision.
They also wouldn’t take drastic on-field measures to try and address it and ensure Williamson isn’t hit with a ban.
“It’s the first time in my involvement with the team, maybe 20 ODIs, that we’ve had this. I understand the ICC have things they need to clamp down on. We don’t want to lose Kane so it’s something we will be chatting about.”
Williamson addressed the issue too with media in Birmingham, saying closing out victory amid the batting carnage caused by Carlos Brathwaite was the priority.
“There are a number of parts to it and the umpires do keep you noted in terms of your over rate. We were very close, and then when the game got tight, I thought in the back of my mind that we were going to be a little bit slow,” Williamson said.
“But I thought what was more important was trying to make sure we were clear in what we were trying to do as a team, and then cop the charge at the end. There was a lot going on and naturally when it comes down to the last couple of balls you are perhaps having a few more conversations. Unfortunately we were an over short.”