CA boss lashes out at Australia's sluggish over-rate

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Melbourne, Nov 26 (UNI) Dejected over Australia's sluggish over-rate which has resulted in fines for the second consecutive time in two Tests, CA chief executive James Sutherland said it has become necessary to find reasons why the team is not in its top form and is falling behind.

The Australian team has struggled with slow over rates in recent times and captain Ricky Ponting was fined yet again after the first Test against New Zealand, this time 30 per cent of his match fees.

The other players were fined half that for falling three overs behind during the first Test against New Zealand in Brisbane, which Australia won by 149 runs on Sunday.

''The Australian team clearly needs to look into the reasons why it hasn't, in recent times, been on top of its game in regard to over rates,'' Sutherland was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.

''The rules and regulations are very clear and we are falling behind, which is not good enough,'' he stressed.

Sutherland further indicated that the fines, which were being levied by the ICC as penalty if teams didn't bowl their overs in time, weren't stern enough.

''I don't think the umpires have a big enough stick to wield during the game,'' he said.

He further reminisced about the over rate problems in the Sheffield Shield, which were solved when state teams were docked points that could cost them a place in the final and added that international cricket should look at penalties other than fines.

''I'm very confident to say we've fixed the problem of over rates (in the Sheffield Shield) and the teams bowl the 96 overs required without a hiccup,'' Sutherland said, giving some possible solutions, which would force teams to bowl their overs in time including banning bowlers or even removing a fielder.

''It would be teams could lose a fieldsman or a bowler if they dropped a certain amount of overs behind,'' he added.


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