Melbourne : Australian captain Ricky Ponting got a rap on the knuckles by Cricket Australia (CA) for being unable to maintain over rates in the first Test against New Zealand.
Ponting was fined 30 per cent of his match fee while the other players were docked half for falling three overs short.
The Australian team were unable to maintain over rates during the tour to India but Ponting and his team members were quick to dismiss it as a problem typical to the country.
This time though Ponting and his company had no escape route as the ghost of slow over rate again came back to haunt them in Brisbane.
“The Australian team clearly needs to look into the reasons why it has not, in recent times, been on top of its game in regard to over rates. The rules and regulations are very clear and we are falling behind, which is not good enough,” CA chief executive James Sutherland was quoted as saying by The Australian.
“We are a sport that is played in front of millions of people on television and in a broad sense over rates should continue to move along at the expected minimum of 15 overs an hour,” he said.
“If they don’t it’s a significant blight on the game. We are very conscious that the game needs to be entertaining and part of that is ensuring the required number of overs are bowled.”
In the fourth and final Test at Nagpur, Ponting bowled part timers at a crucial juncture to escape punishment for slow over-rates, a move that was severely criticized by former players Allan Border and Ian Chappell.
Ponting laid the blame squarely on India, saying that the batsmen eat out time and there are many disturbances with the sight screen. Matthew Hayden, too, supported his captain.
Ponting though would have done better to see his record of maintaining over-rates which has been a problem for him throughout his captaincy.
Sutherland said banning bowlers and removing a fielder for consuming time are the steps needed to check the growing problem.
Sutherland said he would raise this topic in next month’s International Cricket Council’s (ICC) meeting of the chief executives’.
“I don’t think the umpires have a big enough stick to wield during the game. Maybe a team could lose a fieldsman or a bowler if you drop a certain amount of overs behind,” Sutherland said.