Australia opener Usman Khawaja has vented his frustration after the team lost 10 World Test Championship (WTC) points for slow over-rates during the drawn Ashes series in England.
Khawaja, also an Australian Cricketers’ Association board member, had lobbied the International Cricket Council (ICC), which last month softened penalties for slow over-rates.
Australia, which retained the Ashes urn after the five-match series ended in a 2-2 draw, lost more than a third of the 28 points it originally won for being 10 overs short in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
“Don’t even get the chance to bowl in the second innings at Manchester due to 2 days of rain and @ICC still issue fines and take 10 WTC points off us for slow over rates!” Khawaja posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
“That makes a lot of sense...” added the 36-year-old, who finished as the leading scorer of the enthralling series.
Reigning world champion Australia is now third in the WTC points table, behind Pakistan and India. The points deduction widened the gap between Australia and the top two.
Worse off than Australia, England was fined a staggering 19 WTC points after falling foul of the over-rate rules in four of the five matches.
The team under Ben Stokes staged a remarkable turnaround from being 2-0 down to draw the Ashes series but gained only nine points for its effort to be number five, behind a West Indies side that remains winless after four matches.
Spin’s limited role in the series, especially after Australia’s Nathan Lyon suffered an injury in the second match, led to over-rate delays.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting put the onus on umpires to speed up play by getting the players ready for action without wasting time.
“We’ve got to find a way not to be losing so much time in these games,” Ponting said on the ICC Review.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain, however, insisted slow over-rate “penalties should be harsh” because it upset the paying fans.
“Tickets, especially in England, are very expensive. So you want to get the full day,” he said.
“Now some people argue, well, you’re getting the entertainment anyway. But I do think, if you pay for 90 overs, you should expect 90 overs.”
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