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England and Australia Penalized in Ashes Tests

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England and Australia Penalized in Ashes Tests

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England and Australia faced the ire of the International Cricket Council (ICC) as they were penalized for maintaining a slow over-rate during the men’s Ashes Test series. The ICC, in a bid to ensure timely and efficient play, introduced revised regulations that imposed fines and deductions of World Test Championship (WTC) points for teams falling short in their over-rate.

Under these new rules, any team found to be behind the expected number of overs required in a Test match would be fined five percent of their match fee for every over they fell short, and they would also lose one WTC point for each over they failed to bowl.

In the case of Australia, they were docked a total of 10 WTC points from the recently-concluded Ashes series due to a slow over-rate in the fourth Test held at Old Trafford. On the other hand, England faced a more substantial loss of 19 WTC points collectively for failing to meet the required over-rate in four out of the five Tests.

The WTC operates on a points system, where teams earn 12 points for a Test victory, four points for a draw, and no points for a loss. For a full day of play, teams are expected to bowl 90 overs. Falling short of this quota in any Test match could lead to penalties.


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In a breakdown of the over-rate violations, England found themselves two overs behind in the first Test at Edgbaston, nine overs short in the second Test at Lord’s, three overs below the required rate in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, and five overs behind in the last Test at The Oval.

The ICC’s decision to tighten the over-rate sanctions in Tests was announced during the ICC Annual Conference in Durban, South Africa on Thursday, 13 July. The new regulations took effect from the beginning of the current WTC cycle, and both England and Australia felt the impact during the Ashes series.

Australia faced a 50 percent fine of their match fee for falling short by 10 overs in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, as per the new rules, which capped the maximum fine at 50 percent. England’s fines were determined on a Test-by-Test basis: 10 percent for the first Test, 45 percent for the second Test, 15 percent for the fourth Test, and 25 percent for the fifth Test.

England also suffered a deduction of two WTC points for their slow over-rate in the first Test, according to the new regulations, which applied retrospectively from the start of the third edition of the World Test Championship. This change in penalties superseded any previously announced sanctions.

The Ashes series itself was a closely fought battle, ending in a 2-2 draw after England secured a thrilling 49-run victory in the last Test on Monday, 31 July. Despite the drawn series, Australia, being the previous holders, retained the Ashes trophy. This added an extra layer of intrigue to the closely fought encounters between these two cricketing giants.

With this move, the ICC sends a clear message to all teams that they must play the game in the right spirit and keep up with the required over-rates to avoid penalties that could impact their chances in the prestigious World Test Championship.


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