Ian Chappell voices displeasure over slow pace of play in Test cricket

Legendary Australia cricketer Ian Chappell has voiced his displeasure over the recent slow pace of play in Test cricket, pointing out why this aspect of the game hasn’t been addressed yet even as discussions are around playing longer format of the game to four instead of five days.

Legendary Australia cricketer Ian Chappell has voiced his displeasure over the recent slow pace of play in Test cricket, pointing out why this aspect of the game hasn’t been addressed yet even as discussions are around playing longer format of the game to four instead of five days.

“Discussion is gaining momentum for four-day Tests in the wake of five-day games lasting slightly longer than a 50-over match. There are valid arguments about the increasing costs and for the introduction of four-day Tests, but why isn’t the tardy pace of play being addressed?”

“The pace of play in Test cricket is abysmal. It’s slowing every day and nothing is being done to improve matters. On the one hand Ben Stokes genuinely strives to improve the entertainment quotient of Test cricket but he’s being undermined by the administrators’ lack of initiative,” wrote Chappell in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

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In recent times, India and Pakistan were fined World Test Championship points and match fee in their respective Tests at Centurion and Perth due to slow over rate. Chappell also questioned the utility of various things happening when a day of Test cricket is on, including the Decision Review System.

“Why are batters allowed to meet mid-pitch during overs to discuss who knows what without penalty? Why aren’t batters informed that etiquette requires them to be in their stance at the crease when a bowler is ready to deliver?”

“Heat extremes excepted, why allow drinks at times outside of the regular break? Why do glove changes occur so often? Surely this is superstition more than need. Why aren’t boundaries signalled only for balls that hit the rope rather than allowing pointless replays that look at the whereabouts of a fielder’s feet or hands?”

“Have administrators heard how players shouldn’t argue with an umpire? Then why do those same administrators encourage arguing with an umpire by allowing players to review decisions? The number of tactical reviews is growing out of hand and replays are taking too much time.”

“How come players are allowed to charge at umpires while they are appealing, without any recrimination? I was appalled to see Australian players indulging in this heinous behaviour in the SCG Test recently. This bad habit should be subject to penalty.”

Though the International Cricket Council (ICC) is doing the time clock trial, Chappell has asked for the administrators and players to ensure Test cricket’s pace of play is not going into overtime.

“A game-time clock is being trialled to ensure that white-ball cricket moves at a respectable speed. It would be better if games flowed naturally because the administrators adjudicated responsibly to ensure all matches moved at an acceptable pace.”

“When was the last time the stipulated minimum number of overs were completed in the regular time allocated for a Test day’s play? Six hours of cricket is ample – for players, the fans, the viewers and administrators.”

“Everything should be done to avoid the game enduring overtime. Overtime is one of the more boring aspects of cricket. Cricket needs to operate as a partnership between players and administrators. It’s about time that relationship was formalised and the game was allowed to grow accordingly,” he concluded.

(IANS)