Duration of Innings Break in ODI, Test, I.P.L. and T20

In cricket, the innings break is a crucial part of the game’s rhythm. It’s the time between innings when teams switch roles from batting to fielding or vice versa. This break allows players to rest, strategize, and prepare for the next phase of the match. The duration of the innings break varies across different formats of cricket, including One Day Internationals (ODIs), Test matches, Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), and the India Premier League (I.P.L.). Understanding the innings break times is essential for fans and players alike, as it affects the overall pace and flow of the game​​.

Each cricket format has distinct rules and traditions, which are reflected in the innings break durations. These breaks are designed to suit the length and style of each format, ensuring a balance between rest and entertainment value for spectators. In the following sections, we will explore the innings break times in ODIs, Test matches, T20Is, and the I.P.L., providing a comprehensive overview of how these intervals differ and contribute to the unique character of each cricket format.

Innings Break in ODI Cricket

In a One Day International cricket match, the innings break typically lasts for 45 minutes. However, this duration can be adjusted under certain circumstances. If the first innings consumes more time than expected, the umpires have the discretion to shorten the break. Specifically, if the time lost in the first innings is up to 60 minutes, the break is reduced to 30 minutes; if the time lost is up to 120 minutes, the break is further reduced to 20 minutes; and if the loss exceeds 120 minutes, the break duration is minimized to just 10 minutes. Additionally, if the first innings concludes close to the scheduled lunchtime, the break can be taken immediately.

Time Lost in First Innings Adjusted Break Duration
Up to 60 minutes 30 minutes
Up to 120 minutes 20 minutes
More than 120 minutes 10 minutes
First innings ends near scheduled lunchtime Break taken immediately

Innings Break in Test Cricket 

Innings break in Test Cricket
Innings break in Test Cricket

In Test cricket, the innings break is quite brief compared to ODIs. According to MCC’s Law 11.2.2, the interval between innings in a Test match is set at 10 minutes. This short duration is consistent with the traditional structure of Test cricket, which also includes longer breaks for lunch (40 minutes) and tea (20 minutes)​.

Exceptions for Lunch and Tea Breaks

If a team gets all out or declares with 10 minutes or less before the scheduled lunch time, the innings break merges with the lunch break, resulting in a 40-minute total break. Similarly, if this happens with 30 minutes or less before the tea break, the innings break is included in the 20-minute tea break. However, if the last wicket falls or a declaration is made with less than 10 minutes remaining in the day’s play, no further play is conducted on that day, and the next innings starts the following day.

Event Timing Relative to Scheduled Break Resulting Break Duration
10 minutes or less before lunch 40-minute lunch break
30 minutes or less before tea 20-minute tea break
Less than 10 minutes remaining in the day’s play Play concludes for the day; next innings starts the following day

Innings Break in T20 Cricket

The innings break in T20 cricket, including T20 Internationals (T20Is) and the India Premier League (I.P.L.), is only 10 minutes long. This brief break is designed to keep the overall duration of a T20 match within approximately three hours​.

Penalties for Slow Over Rates 

T20 cricket includes in-match penalties for slow over rates. If a fielding side is not in position to bowl the first ball of the final over by the scheduled end time of the innings, they are penalized by allowing one fewer fielder outside the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs. This rule is captured in clause 13.8 of the playing conditions​​​​.

Additional Sanctions and Time Limits

Besides in-match penalties, there are additional sanctions outlined in Article 2.22 of the Code of Conduct for slow over rates. Furthermore, bowling teams in T20 cricket must complete their 20 overs within 75 minutes. If they fail to do so, a bonus of six runs is awarded to the batting team. Additionally, umpires may impose five-run penalties if they feel a team is needlessly wasting time, all aimed at maintaining the rhythm and pace of the game​.

Cricket Format Time Limit for Bowling Team Consequence of Not Meeting Time Limit
T20 Cricket 20 overs within 75 minutes Bonus of 6 runs awarded to batting team
General Rule Umpires may impose a 5-run penalty for needless time wasting

Innings Break in I.P.L.


In the I.P.L., each inning is designed to last around one and a half hours. The official innings break in the I.P.L. is 10 minutes long. This short break is consistent with the fast-paced nature of T20 cricket, ensuring the overall match duration is kept within approximately three hours. During this break, the batting side can take an optional drink break of two minutes and 30 seconds​​​​.

Penalties for Slow Over Rates

According to Clause 12.7 of the I.P.L. Playing Conditions, a team must complete 14.11 overs per hour. Specifically, the 20th over should finish within 90 minutes of the start of the innings (including 85 minutes of playing time plus a 5-minute time-out)​​.

Consequences of Violation

If a team fails to adhere to these time stipulations, they face several penalties. The first offence resulted in the captain being fined INR 12 lakh. For a second offence, the fine is doubled, and the other team members are penalized INR 6 lakh or 25% of their match fee, whichever is less. Additionally, the fielding team loses the privilege of having an extra fielder outside the 30-yard circle if they violate these over-rate conditions​.

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How long is the innings break in ODI cricket?

In One Day International (ODI) cricket, the innings break typically lasts for up to 45 minutes. This break allows teams and players to switch roles from batting to fielding or vice versa. However, the duration of this break can be adjusted depending on how the match is progressing. For instance, if there is a delay in the first innings, the umpires might reduce the break time to compensate. Specifically, if the first innings loses up to 60 minutes, the break is reduced to 30 minutes. If the loss is up to 120 minutes, the break is shortened to 20 minutes; and if it exceeds 120 minutes, the break is further cut down to just 10 minutes. This flexibility ensures that the match finishes on time​​.

How long does an ODI last?

An ODI cricket match usually lasts between 7.5 and 8 hours. The match is played over a single day and comprises two innings, with each team batting for a maximum of 50 overs. The typical breakdown of time in an ODI includes 3 hours and 20 minutes for the first innings, a break of 40-45 minutes, followed by another 3 hours and 20 minutes for the second innings. This format ensures a full day’s play, and the time can vary slightly based on specific match circumstances and conditions​​​​.

How long does an over last in cricket?

The duration of an over in cricket can vary from 3 to 6 minutes on average. This variation depends on the type of bowler bowling the over. For instance, a fast bowler, who needs a longer run-up, will take more time to complete an over compared to a spin bowler. Some bowlers are known for their speed in completing an over. Ravindra Jadeja of India finishes an over in 2 minutes. However, Pakistani bowler Younis Khan bowled 5.2 overs in 8 minutes, with one over taking only 35 seconds in domestic competition. Current rules suggest a bowling team should finish 13-15 overs in an hour, but this rate may vary based on the game type.


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