Ian Chappell Asks For Change in Rule to Improve Over Rates in Test Cricket

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell thinks that the image of Test cricket can be further improved should the administrator stop being lenient on over rates. It’s become quite common practice that the day’s play ends up being extended due to teams not bowling the required quote of 90 overs within stipulated time.

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While the weather and other external factors may sometime impact with the schedule, the teams have been often found guilty for failing to keep up with the required rate resulting in monetary fines and point(s) deduction.

Chappell thinks that a captain should be held responsible for his/her team’s slow over rate and be suspended should they be found guilty of exceeding the time limit.

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“While England have recently done much to improve the image of Test batting, the worrisome DRS, and over rates that continue to be glacial, need urgent attention. Umpires don’t enforce on-field protocol in this regard, probably because they lack the backing of the administrators. This is unfair on patrons, who are short-changed,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.

“The administrators could make some compromises and demand that players bowl 90 overs in six hours with no deductions accepted. A captain should be suspended without question if this aim isn’t achieved,” he added.

Chappell said that the over rates have been slowing down over the decades and the extensions teams get to catch up with are a ‘blight on the game’.

“Over rates have been declining for decades and yet they are virtually ignored as the focus is on the money-making capabilities of T20. The reason 90 overs in a day were originally recommended is because it’s very much possible for a team to bowl that many in that time,” Chappell wrote.

“Under Clive Lloyd, West Indies promoted the notion that over rates don’t matter when matches are being won in less than the allotted time. That argument is flawed. The batting team should receive a reasonable number of deliveries in a six-hour day, while front-line bowlers tire at an acceptable rate. These days, overs are rarely completed even with extra time allowed – and those extensions are a blight on the game,” he added.

He then suggested few changes that could help speed up the process.

“There are many areas for compromise. The administrators could abolish advertising on sightboards, the replaying of possible boundaries, reduce the constant ferrying of drinks and gloves, and eradicate needless mid-pitch chats during overs,” he wrote.

He continued, “They could also return to a back foot no-ball rule (without a drag problem), thereby virtually eradicating a boring facet of the game as well as improving over rates. There is no doubt the better bats of the modern day create field-placement headaches for captains. Still, the often senseless spreading of the field hasn’t helped teams either dismiss batters or improve over rates.”

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