Cape Town: Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi has confirmed that a 'strategy break' will be introduced for the forthcoming season in South Africa.
The innovation will see a seven-and-a-half minute pause in play at the halfway stage of every 20-over innings to allow both teams, but in particular the fielding side, to gather their thoughts and plan their approach for the remainder of the innings.
The move will be seen by many as being driven purely by commercial objectives, given that it allows 15 minutes of extra advertising time per game.
However Modi insists that it is a result of the number of matches which went over the three-hour time limit during the inaugural season of the tournament.
"Last year we found that 59 out of 59 games went overtime by as high as 45 to 50 minutes or an hour," Modi told a packed press conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre Thursday.
"Each game was being dragged further and further and further.
"The reasons were that players were going back and forth with messages and there was a lot of strategy being decided from time to time.
"So we decided that we're going to tighten those extremely as far as overs are concerned, time of overs is concerned and time of play is concerned."
The controversial league commissioner revealed that they will do so by imposing stiff financial penalties on fielding sides if they go over the time allocated for bowling their overs.
"The first penalty for the captain is $20,000 for a first offence," Modi said. "For the second offence the entire team gets penalised $20,000 - that's $220,000 (in total). For the third offence the captain gets banned for a game and the team gets penalised $360,000."
Fans inside the stadium will be entertained by musicians during the break in play, while television viewers will reportedly watch three, separate two-and-a-half minute segments, two of which will be sold commercially with the third showing the teams talking strategy.