London: International cricket captains will no longer run the risk of being suspended for slow over-rates with the ICC deciding to instead dock points and fine the entire side for any such violations, starting with the upcoming World Test Championship.
So far, cricket imposed penalties on captains if their players bowled their overs at a very slow rate. The penalties appeared as fines, loss of competition points and match bans.
If a team was proceeding slowly, some captains would choose to use slow or spin bowlers. Such bowlers have a shorter run-up so they complete their overs more quickly. Often this meant choosing an inferior strategy by employing a less skilful bowler to avoid penalties that were perceived to be greater, such as being banned or losing points.
The recommendations of the ICC Cricket Committee were approved by its board in order to curb the menace of slow over-rates. The world Test championship, which runs from 2019 to 2021, gets underway with the Ashes, starting 1 August.
“In World Test Championship matches a team that is behind the required over-rate at the end of a match will have two competition points deducted for each over it is behind,” the ICC said in a statement here.
The big development is, however, the abolition of suspension of captains for slow over-rates.
“Captains will no longer be suspended for repeated or serious over-rate breaches.
All players should be held equally responsible for slow over rates, and as such will be fined at the same level as the captain,” it stated.
As per the previous rule, two instances of slow over-rate in one year would lead to a suspension on the side’s captain.
The ICC endorsed the Cricket Committee recommendation that there should be further exploration of the use of replays to call No balls, and trials will be conducted over the coming months.