England considering appeal after massive Ashes sanctions make mockery of WTC

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England considering appeal after massive Ashes sanctions make mockery of WTC
England considering appeal after massive Ashes sanctions make mockery of WTC

England are considering an appeal to the ICC over the new over rate penalties that have seen them docked almost three quarters of their points in the World Test Championship.

And they would be well within their rights to take the ICC to task over a bizarre system that can judge the loss of a few overs here and there to be more important than the blood, sweat and tears poured into the most exhilarating of series in which no-one was left short changed.

England won 28 points for their two wins and a draw in the Ashes, but because their seam heavy bowling attack - ideal for the conditions - found 90 overs in a day hard to reach, they have lost 19 points from their tally.

Australia have lost 10 points for the same reason which makes a mockery of the World Test Championship before it has really got started. And this has occurred after the ICC made a shift in the penalty structure to prevent players from losing all their match fees for failing to bowl 15 overs per hour.

In total, England were docked 19 points by the game’s governing body, more than every team combined through the entirety of the last two-year cycle.

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There are lots of reasons why this approach from the ICC is warped, not least because it provides a cast iron advantage to teams and conditions where spin is more prevalent.

England considering appeal after massive Ashes sanctions make mockery of WTCEngland have been sanctioned for slow over-rates across the Ashes series

There is rarely a problem keeping up with the over rates in India, Pakistan and other parts of the sub continent because spin overs take less time to bowl, but that clear difference was given short shrift in the most recent ICC meetings.

How an anyone seriously argue that fans and viewers were left complaining about the missing overs in a series choc full of so much entertainment.

Another problem for England is that their adventurous approach is being naturally penalised too because they often find themselves being bowled out in less than 80 overs for which there is no penalty, even though they are scoring more runs than the opposition.

The solution to poor over rates are two fold. In-game run penalties for teams such as five runs for each over down, which would allow teams and captains to deal with it there and then knowing exactly what the penalty is.

And secondly getting the umpires to speed up play by denying excessive drinks breaks, and player discussions between balls and overs. If they really wanted help in this department there could be a shot-clock like in Basketball or Tennis where the ball must be delivered within 30 or 40 seconds of it being dead.

A 90 second maximum time limit between overs would be another idea. Right now with these sort of penalties the legitimacy of the World Test Championship is up for debate.

Dean Wilson

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