CA chief recommends harsher penalties for slow over-rates

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Sydney, Nov 14 (UNI) Cricket Australia (CA) has suggested a more stringent system of punishment for slow over-rates and the authorities are likely to discuss the issue which might include penalties like docking of championship or rankings points.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said the game lacked the necessary sanctions to prevent teams falling behind in their allocated overs, like the scenario in Nagpur last week when Ricky Ponting's side blew a golden opportunity to save the series by bowling part-timers in order to make up a nine-over shortfall.

''Umpires certainly have that responsibility out on the ground, but they have a responsibility to communicate (about slow over rates). They don't necessarily have a remedy or a stick in their hand to deal with that,'' Sutherland was quoted as saying by 'The Age'.

''We've been very successful here in first-class cricket by introducing penalties that are aligned to points, so, all of a sudden, no one has trouble bowling 96 overs in a day in Sheffield Shield cricket because if they don't, it will impact on their points and it will mean there will be a greater likelihood they will miss out on the Sheffield Shield final.

''Now that is a big stick, and I would suggest that these fines and possible suspensions are not a big enough stick.

''It would appear to me that there isn't any remedy for over rates, when an umpire actually has something inside the game that they can deal with. And perhaps that's something that needs to be explored a little bit further,'' he added.

Surtherland also defended captain Ricky Ponting for not bowling his front line bowlers at the time when the India was struggling at Nagpur and instead showed his concern for the slow over-rate and used part-time bowlers.

''One of the things I'm far more interested in, looking forward, is the issue of over rates as something that, if we can get it right, will help the game to be better.

''There's no reflection on Ricky or the Indian team, both teams suffered problems with over rates during the series.

''I think we and other member countries with the ICC need to have a close look at where we're at with over rates, where we're getting to in terms of whether the remedies in place are appropriate, and how we can improve in that regard because it's obviously been an issue in this series as it has been in the last couple of years,'' he advocated.

The CA chief further dismissed suggestions that Poting put himself before the team's interests which was the reason that Australia went on to lose the last Test by 172 runs.

''He is a player who has always put the team first and he has never measured success by personal statistics,'' he added.

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