Hitting out at the slow over-rate in the first ODI, Australian cricketer Callum Ferguson has insisted that the administrators should put adequate pressure on players so that such instances don’t happen. He added that such problems don’t exist at the domestic level as captains are responsible there.
The first One-day International between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday was a clear reflection of the lack of match practice that both the teams had, with match going over the stipulated time by almost an hour. The match was supposed to end at 10.15 p.m. local time, but the final ball was delivered at 11.10 p.m. Such an unprofessional approach from both teams has resulted in various cricket pundits coming out and criticising the lack the intensity in the match, the latest of them being Australian cricketer Callum Ferguson.
Ferguson insisted that the cricket authorities need to enforce strict penalties to get rid of slow over-rates from international cricket.
"It's literally got to come down to a lack of pressure being put on by administrators," Ferguson said as quoted by Indiatvnews.com.
The more culpable of the two sets of cricketers, India players were fined 20% of their match fee for the slow over-rate. This fine collected from the players amounts to nothing as it is a negligible part of their income. Ferguson stated that ICC needs to work out the punishments that will hurt the players.
"I don't understand how it has been able to happen for so long, not just in this format, but all three formats. We need to start taking a harder line, work out what is going to hurt the players the most," he said.
The match was also held up during Australia's innings after a couple of protesters came onto the pitch, delaying the proceedings. However, they caused a delay of only about five minutes. The right-handed batsman pointed out that slow over-rates don’t happen at the domestic level because captains are much more responsible at that level.
"It doesn't seem to be a huge issue at domestic level… why do captains and players feel like it's OK to stroll between overs, when you see in domestic competitions around the world players sprinting between overs trying to make sure to keep up with the over rate?" he added.
Interestingly, this series is also part of the ICC’s World Cup Super League, where each team will lose one point for the delay in bowling each over after the over-rate is calculated. India have already qualified for the World Cup 2023 as they are the host country, but Australia will have to bear the brunt, losing points in the process.