Manchester (England), July 17 : Australian opening batter Usman Khawaja revealed that he went directly to the International Cricket Council (ICC) top brass to raise the issue of slow over-rate punishments. Last week, the ICC made an announcement regarding alterations to over-rate sanctions in Test matches. This decision came after substantial penalties were imposed following the World Test Championship (WTC) final between Australia and India, as well as the subsequent first Ashes Test. US Masters T10: New York Warriors Acquired by Indian Origin Entrepreneurs Preet Kamal and Gurmeet Singh
In addition to players being fined 40 per cent of their match fees after both Australia and England were found to be two overs behind at Edgbaston Test, the two teams were then also docked two WTC points each.Amid discontent from both Australia and England, Khawaja directly contacted the ICC's general manager Wasim Khan. The governing body then altered the rules after a chief executives' conference in Durban, according to Cricket.com.au website."I was pretty frustrated with what was happening. I'm an ACA (Australian Cricketers' Association) Board member… and just thought someone has to find a way to speak to the ICC about it.
"We had played three games and they'd been three really good games with results, entertainment, the WTC (final) was the highest-watched Test match ever or something like that. "Just really good stuff – and we were getting fined 80 per cent of our match fee. It's a lot of money. Just really frustrating as a player. You are giving it your all out there, providing entertainment, then you are getting stung for it. Just felt like I needed to speak and Wasim was really good," Khawaja said in Manchester on Sunday ahead of the fourth Ashes Test.
Under the revised regulations that will be applied from the start of the current World Test Championship cycle, players will be subjected to a fine equivalent to 5% (previously it was 20%) of their match fee for every over that falls short, with a maximum penalty capped at 50%. The 36-year-old opening batter also said Test captain Pat Cummins and coach Andrew McDonald had also contacted the ICC GM. Brilliant Save! David Miller Pulls Off Acrobatic Display to Stop A Six During MLC 2023 Match between TSK and WAF
The ICC stated in its media release on the rule change that if a team gets bowled out prior to reaching the 80-over mark and the new ball is not yet due, no over-rate penalty will be imposed, regardless of any potential delays. This amendment supersedes the existing threshold of 60 overs. Khawaja, who is also players' union board member, wants over-rate sanctions to be nullified if a result is achieved before tea on the final day of a Test."You've got laws and rules. They've been there for a very long time. Sometimes you just have to look back on them and to see if you need an update a little bit," he said.
"We are trying to go as fast as we can. It's the conditions that make it hard for us. If you are in India we are never behind the over-rate (with) two spinners going at it. We were getting results, that's what was frustrating. I think England were frustrated with it, too. "Wasim Khan actually listening to the players, getting the feedback and finding the compromise, it's the first time I've been involved that something like that has happened at ICC," said Khawaja. Kieron Pollard Does A Unique Celebration After Dismissing Andre Russell in Los Angeles Knight Riders vs MI New York MLC 2023 Match (Watch Video)
However, an ICC spokesperson was unable to clarify whether Australia and England's two-point WTC penalties from the Edgbaston Test, which are still showing on the standings on the ICC's website, will remain in place. Over-rate penalties for the second and third Ashes Tests are also yet to be confirmed by the ICC. England getting bowled out in under 80 overs in their first innings at Lord's should ensure that the penalty is not as severe for Cummins-led side. But with Australia batting more than 100 overs in both their innings, the hosts could still face significant WTC points penalties from that match.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 17, 2023 03:53 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).