No place for new T20 rule in BBL: Agar

A controversial new rule that led to an international star being sent off in an overseas T20 tournament has no place in the Big Bash, according to Ashton Agar.

A measure targeting slow over rates introduced in the Caribbean Premier League claimed its first victim this week, with Kieron Pollard’s Trinbago Knight Riders franchise shown a red card for failing to start its final over within the allotted time.

Pollard was forced to send off fellow West Indies star Sunil Narine for the Knight Riders to field one short, with the all-rounder slamming the rule change as “absolutely ridiculous” after the match.

Speaking at the launch of Sunday’s BBL and WBBL overseas player drafts, Agar said the rule was too harsh and would hurt the quality of matches.

The BBL already introduced a new rule last summer to incentivise fielding captains to keep games on schedule, with teams restricted to four fielders outside the ring instead of five if they do not begin the 20th over within 79 minutes.

“You never want to see your best players getting taken off,” Agar said.

“I think the over rate issue is probably getting worse, to be honest, because there is more pressure, and the players are aware of that.

“We’ll do everything we can to put on the best show we can for TV and for the fans, no one wants a game that drags on forever, but also everyone wants to see the best players out there, and taking them off the ground is not good for anything.”

The platinum selections for the BBL and WBBL draft were unveiled on Wednesday, with 25 players from both competitions eligible for the first round of the draft and the highest pay packet.

Players at the launch said Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan, former South African captain Faf du Plessis and breakout English star Harry Brook were the top contenders for the BBL No.1 pick, while another South African, Marizanne Kapp, is favoured to be picked first in the inaugural WBBL event.

Agar said the Perth Scorchers, who hold the last pick in the first round, were eager to bring back previous international players, which have included English trio Tymal Mills, Laurie Evans and Steve Eskinazi.

“It would be silly not to look at those guys, but also there’s so many new faces we haven’t seen before, or other options we would like to see … we are the last ones to choose anyway with the platinum picks, so we just have to wait and see how that unfolds,” he said.

“I love the guys that I played with because I’m friends with them now, so I’m biased in that way.”

Agar, who is missing Australia’s T20 series in South Africa as he recovers from a calf injury, said his preparation for October’s ODI World Cup was on track amid an exciting time for his family.

The left arm spinner hopes to play in the first ODI against South Africa on September 7.

“I leave for South Africa (on Thursday) – I’ve done a couple of 100 per cent intensity sessions, which is the biggest barrier when you do a calf … it’s held up well so far,” he said.

“The positive side of it is I spent a lot of time at home while my wife has been pregnant … our first child is due in a couple of weeks.

“To see my wife grow and be there for the appointments and see the baby grow has been unbelievable, so I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

Originally published as BBL: Players can tackle slow over rates without controversial rule, says Ashton Agar

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