ANI Photo | “It’s really frustrating as a player,” says Usman Khawaja as ICC penalises players for slow overrate

Usman Khawaja has played a key role in ensuring players are not hit as hard in the pocket and potentially saved teams from World Test Championship (WTC) points deductions after he revealed he raised the issue of slow over-rate punishments with the ICC. In a recent interview, Usman Khawaja said, ‘It’s really frustrating as a player.’
The ICC announced amendments to their sanctions for slow over-rates: players will now be fined 5% of their match fee for each over a team is down (previously it was 20%) with the level capped at 50%, reduced from the previous upper limit of their entire match fee.
In the Ashes series, players from both teams were fined 40% of their match fee at Edgbaston and docked two WTC points apiece, while heavier sanctions were on the line for the Lord’s Test.
Australia were also fined 80% (four overs behind) of their match fee in the WTC final while India was docked 100% (five overs behind) but there were no points deductions at stake in that game.
As per ICC, Usman Khawaja said, “It’s just really frustrating as a player, you are giving it your all out there, providing entertainment, then you are getting stung for it.”
He added, “I was pretty frustrated with what was happening, I 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, [providing] entertainment and we were getting fined 80% of our match fee. It’s a lot of money.”
Khawaja said, “Wasim (ICC’s general manager of cricket) was really good. We talked and he took the feedback. To his credit, it wasn’t just listening and no action. Actions happened within one or two weeks. 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. Think England was frustrated with it, too.”
Australian batsman Usman Khawaja said, “I’m still pushing for, if you get a result in the game before tea on the last day, you shouldn’t get a fine,” Khawaja added. “You’ve got what you wanted. It’s cricket. 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 see if you need an update a little bit.”
Sourav Ganguly, who is the chair of the Men’s Cricket Committee and sits on the ICC’s chief executive committee, said: “The Men’s Cricket Committee felt strongly that over-rate penalties in the form of WTC points deductions should remain but recommended that players should not have 100% of their match fee at risk. We believe this provides a balance between maintaining over-rates and ensuring we are not deterring players from playing Test cricket.” (ANI)

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