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Wanted... Over rates

by Homer

All I had wanted for Christmas was a ban or a fine or both. That did not happen. So this is how the just concluded 3rd Test between South Africa and England breaks down

10.30am start, Lunch 12.30-13.10, Tea 15.10-15.30, Close 17.30

Day 1 11:00 AM  start - 83.2 overs bad light                                             05:46 PM stumps
Day 2 10:15 AM start -  3 overs+2 overs + 82 overs  = 87 overs              06:00 PM stumps
Day 3 10:30 AM start -  6 overs+2 overs + 80 overs = 88 overs               06:00 PM stumps
Day 4 10:30 AM start    31 overs+2 overs + 51 overs = 84 overs             06:00 PM stumps
Day 5  10:30 AM start   90 overs                                                             05:58 PM stumps

Ban? Fine ? Both?


raj said...

Nice try. Now J......n of Peace will come and obfuscate and justify why there is no need for ban or fine in this case. And a reminder of why Dhoni deserved the ban. Or some random comparison to someone else who didnt get punished. And basically that this is a harmless case and no need to be so harsh.

Butjazz said...

It was the most exciting end to a great test match. I could have never imagined somebody could be complaining at the end of it... but an interesting point nonetheless!

Homer said...


Just because the test match had an exciting end does not excuse the captains from maintaining a poor over rate right through the test.

And more fundamentally, it is a matter of the rules and their application. MS Dhoni gets banned for two ODIs for maintaining a poor over rate. And that is a fair call.

By the same token, in back to back tests now, England and South Africa have been responsible for maintaining poor over rates, despite early starts and extended playing hours.

So the question is, is the ICC actively encouraging a sauce for the goose policy?


Butjazz said...

No arguments there.... I was just surprised that within minutes of 'cricket reaching a crescendo' why would somebody want to talk about fines and bans.

Homer said...


Because I had to wait until the last ball of the last over on the final day to get an accurate number on the overs bowled and the time taken on Day 5.


Butjazz said...

Maybe while you were so eagerly waiting for the final ball of the final day to be bowled, you completely missed the fact that a great test match was in progress... i was just gently reminding you!

Homer said...


I enjoyed England hashing up what should have been a fairly straightforward draw and turning it into another nail biter. Like in the first test here. Or Cardiff.

But enjoying a Test match ( or the ability to make things interesting as a matter of routine) has nothing to do with the post :).


Tifosi Guy said...


You expecting a match refree who doesn't ban ball tamperers to ban captains for over rates ???

I will see Pigs fly before this happens !

ICC doesn't believe in ' what's sauce for the goose is also sauce for gander'


Don't know if you are Eng supporter or not - enjoy these escapes while you can. Come Ashes end of this year , you would wish Eng could have saved some of their luck !!!

Homer said...


87 overs in day with an early start and extended playing hours. 84 overs in a day with extended playing hours.88 overs in a day with extended playing hours.

If that is not a mockery of the over rate rule, I wonder what is.


Mahek said...

People make it sound like England staged a miraculous recovery to draw this test. The word great is used too loosely these days. Screwing up a perfectly good batting effort doesn't make a test great. Unless you're an England fan that is.

Jonathan said...

Let's looks at the relevant figures. Considering intervals, wickets and UDRS, but not other tv consultations or any other disruptions not caused by the fielding team, we have:

While England bowling, an average over rate of 89.1 overs per 6 hours. (Not enough to argue with the umpires there IMHO, although not as good as the last match, where they were well over 90.)

While South Africa bowling, an average over rate of 87.9 overs per hour. 22 minutes missing somewhere, potential for up to 40% fine.

I don't want to say anything about whether a ban is deserved - just make sure we're putting blame in the right place for the right reasons.

1. If you think the CoC allows too much room for slow rates in Tests, blame the CoC.

2. If you think unacceptably slow rates were caused by the SAffer captain and fielders, blame them, and if they are not charged, the umpires.

3. If you think the slowness was caused by neutral issues such as sightscreens, there's a whole different topic to talk about.

4. If you think the batsmen wasted time, blame them, and if you think it was deliberate enough to lay a charge, the umpires, although obviously this is more controversial.

5. If you think the CoC is too harsh on over rates in ODIs, blame the CoC.

I didn't pay enough attention to that Test to answer any of those, but I'd be easily convinced of 4, and think there's something in 1 and possibly 5 in general terms.

While we're at it, I'd throw at least a 5-run tampering penalty and charge in as well, but I'm not sure I can blame the umpires for avoiding that kettle of fish.

And Raj, if you're talking about what I think you are, then you've completely misunderstood my "random comparison". (Was it also you who thought my description of a referee as "inconsistent" was an excuse, rather than one of the worst criticisms you can make of someone in that position?)

Homer said...

Not sure what you are driving at Jonathan. There are a total of 16 referrals in a match. Assuming that each takes a maximum of 5 minutes from the time it is called till a satisfactory conclusion is reached, that adds to 80 minutes of time to a test match, over 5 days.

How does that justify 84 overs in 6.30 hours of play? Or 87 overs in 6.45 hours of play?

And arent loss of wickets factored in the time of play.. As far as I know, no separate time allowance is made for every wicket lost.

And te bigger question is, is the ICC even serious about its own rules?

If Dhoni can rightly be banned for maintaining slow over rates, surely there is a case for atleast a fine for bowling 84 overs in six and a half hours of play?


Jonathan said...

I'm not driving at anything - I just want to ask the right questions. I simply followed the Code of Conduct with all the information readily available, which includes wickets (apart from those at the end of an innings or just before an interval), referrals, and drinks breaks (including the extra ones due to heat and/or extended hours).

Wickets (and drinks breaks) are factored into the time for ODIs, with no extra allowance made, but for Tests, Clause 2.3 of Appendix 2 of the Code of Conduct specifies 4 minutes for drinks break and 2 minutes for each relevant wicket.

I have allowed only the same 2 minutes for each of the referrals. As I said last time, in practice the umpires probably actually measure the time, but I figure it's not a bad estimate.

According to the CoC, on day 4 there were 83 overs bowled (an extra 2 balls counts as an over for the 90 over target, so I assume it does here), with actual playing time at most around 5:50. On day 2, around 85 overs in at most around 5:55. A fait bit of time unaccounted for, which may or may not have been made up on other days.

So we look at the averages for each team, as the CoC says, and there is about 30 minutes missing, 8 minutes (out of 13+ hours) for England who aren't far off their target (although strictly they could be guiltly, if not fined, if that time isn't accounted for), and another 22 which we at least would like an answer for, needing to attributed to the fielding team, the batsman or other factors.

There are a few separate questions here:
Whether the umpires have applied the rules seriously - which I believe depends mostly on how they have accounted for those 22 minutes.

Whether the rules for Tests are fair and reasonable, not just objective.

Whether the rules for ODIs are fair and reasonable, not just objective.

If we are going to bring Dhoni into this match, then the last two questions need to be considered in relation to each other.

Homer said...


The time breakdown works thus

Day 1
wickets 6*2 +
drinks 4*4 +
lunch 1*40 +
tea 1*20 +
referrals 2*2
= 92 83.2 overs 406 mins
83.2 overs 314 mins COR = 78 Act 83 = +5

Day 2
Wickets 2*2+
Innings break 1*10+
Drinks 4*4+
Lunch 1*40+
Tea 1*20+
Referrals 2*2+
Wickets 7*2
= 108 85 overs 465 mins
85 overs 357 mins COR 89 Act 85 = -4

Day 3
referrals 4*2+
wickets 2*2+
drinks 4*4+
lunch 1*40+
tea 1*20+
innings break 1*10+
wickets 2*2
= 102 86 overs 450 mins
86 overs 348 mins COR 87 Act 86 = -1

Day 4
referral 1*2+
wickets 5*2+
Innings break 1*10+
lunch 1*40+
tea 1*20+
drinks 4*4+
wickets 3*2
= 104 82 overs 450 mins
82 overs 346 mins COR 86 Act 82 = -4

Day 5
referrals 4*2+
drinks 4*4+
lunch 1*40+
tea 1*20+
wickets 6*2
= 96 90 overs 448 mins
90 overs 352 mins COR 88 Act 90 = +2

*COR = calculated over rate

Interestingly, there are 4 drinks breaks taken per day- the ICC mandates the additional drinks break only in case the temperatures are 40 degrees Celsius or higher.


Jonathan said...

Homer, I just emailed you my calc, before seeing you'd posted this. As you can see, I didn't do totals for each day, splitting it into the two teams instead, as this is what the CoC talks about. I only found 3 drinks breaks recorded for days 4 and 5 - not sure whether I missed something. (In recent Tests in Aus, an additional break has occurred in the last session when the over rate is already lagging - interesting.)

Apart from that, our figures are similar enough. It really shows how much leeway the CoC gives in Tests.

Jonathan said...

2nd drinks break on day 4 was taken as part of the innings change, maybe day 5 was cooler.

After looking at your figures, Homer, I discovered I misattributed a referral on day 3, and missed 3 wickets on day 2. Now I have the SAF rate the same as before, but ENG are 90ov/6hr exactly.

raj said...

Jonathan, did you do a similar analysis on Dhoni's ban. I mean, the detailed analysis on possible causes for delay in the matches where Dhoni maintained a slow over rate? I dont remember seeing it anywhere. Please link if you have done it.
If you haven't, then ask yourself a question - why do you feel obliged to make such detailed analysis only in certain cases?

When Broad's case is eloquently put forward by Karthikeya, and a open-and-shut case is made by him, all you can say is "Ponting is worse". But I dont remember you ever arguing for punishment for Ponting before this. Sorry if you have done and I have missed it. So, why cant you categorically agree with Kartikeya there and unequivocally state that Broad jr deserves punishment? Why just brush it off with "Ponting is worse", especially when Ponting has not been cited for his misdemeanours by you before in unequivocal manner?

raj said...

The point simply is that only certain countries and players from certain countries are given such leeway and "honest, trye calculcations". ICC is waiting to pounce on the Dhonis and Gangulys(in the past).
Why do you fight shy of agreeing to this?
Clearly, you know about Ponting. Is it not worth a simple acknowledgement from you that it is a bias on ICC referees' part that a Ponting has got away with murder while Dhoni, who has a great disciplinary record, is punished at the first opportunity?
And cant you even see Broad has responded to similar actions from different players(of different countires) differently? I mean why obfuscate there?

raj said...

Mahek, bully to you. Just because England screw up and hang on on the last day, doesnt make a great ttest match, much less a justification for poor over rates. To what lengths apologists can go to defend their teams!

raj said...

Mahek, bully to you. Just because England screw up and hang on on the last day, doesnt make a great ttest match, much less a justification for poor over rates. To what lengths apologists can go to defend their teams!

Jonathan said...

Raj, my first response to Dhoni's ban was, believe it or not, to make a fairly pointless reference to Ponting. This is starting to look like an obsession with the man (or goblin, as some say). Anyway, the reason I didn't spell out any of the three things I was referring to with the Ponting comment on Kartikeya's post was because I didn't think it was fair to derail it into a discussion about me and/or whoever else you had in mind. I don't think it would be fair here, either, so let's stick to the topic.

We could dream up all sorts of motivations for the analyses presented by myself and Homer. In my case there are several reasons, but ultimately the fact is that both of us have gone into more detail for the Test match because it is more complicated than an ODI. Not only does it involve 4 innings and 5 days, but as discussed above, the CoC deals with the two in fundamentally different ways (which Homer noted in the earlier Test, but not at first for this one).

When I analyse the Dhoni case, there is nothing to do. All interval and wicket allowances are already included already, there are no referrals, there is no possibility to go wrong by looking at single days or innings, and so I quickly get to the same point I reached here - that India went 33 minutes overtime, which may or may not be explained by injuries, batsmen, or other occurences. I would not go any further than that, but I don't see any reason to question Homer's assertion that even the injury we all know about leaves a lot to explain. Samir's observation that India did appear to cause things to move slowly is in itself a lowsy justification for a ban over something which is so quantifiable, but it is enough to suggest to an otherwise uninformed observer (and presumably to Samir himself), that the umpires' report and referees conclusion of 3 overs under the rate is believable. If you can do a more thorough analysis than that, go ahead.

As for your other point relevant to the original post, no, I don't believe that anyone was waiting to pounce on Dhoni on this issue. I have been aware that this is one of the most objective parts of the CoC, and to some extent it is easy to check up on the umpires. I think Tifosi Guy is wrong to suggest referee's are less likely to penalise over rates than tampering - the mathematical nature of it makes it fairly uncontroversial. Broad has even fined Ponting (there he is again!) for over rate offences - it is very hard to believe he would do so for any other offence!

First time or not, the recent ODI was a shocker, and was over the current ban limit. Collingwood has also been banned, first for two matches, and then for four. Ponting avoided a ban (although not a fine) in a Test (under old rules?) by resorting to desparate measures, a rare occasion where I thought he was (slightly) less wrong than many of his critics. If you go back far enough, you find that even Smith himself has been banned for four matches. I haven't yet seen an obvious problem in this particular area, other than those discussed above - there is a big discrepancy between the required rate for Tests and for ODIs. I can see reasons which might be used to justify that, but I'm not convinced. What do you think?

As for other areas, I really don't see how calling Broad "inconsistent" can be interpreted as obfuscating, but let's not get into a discussion about me. If you think that's copping out, feel free to see this. I think it's relevant to both Kartikeya's post on the interview (I didn't comment on the post on the dissent itself) and to your comment there.

Naresh said...

mahanama has learnt well from madugalle. don't mess with a certain segment....F some others....

funny how broady did not get pulled up for ball tampering - and it will be interesting to see how broady and andy swing it now.