Australia, England slapped with hefty over-rate penalties for the Ashes

England were penalised 19 points while Australia lost 10 points towards the WTC for slow over-rates during the Ashes. 

England and Australia produced arguably the greatest Test series as the Ashes 2023 ended in a 2-2 draw. But now they have been slapped by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for slow over-rates during the series. England have been docked 19 points in the World Test Championship (WTC) while the reigning champions lost 10 points.

England were found guilty for slow over-rate in four of the five Tests. They were behind by two overs at Edgbaston, by nine overs in the second Test at Lord’s, three in the drawn fourth Test at Old Trafford, and five in the final match at The Oval.

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Australia on the other hand, got away in four Tests due to six of those England innings lasting for less than 80 overs. They were on target in the fourth innings at Headingley and the third innings at the Oval, in which England batted over 80 overs. But at Old Trafford, the visitors were found 10 overs short in an innings England batted 107.4 overs. 

As a result of these sanctions, England only earned nine WTC points from the series whereas Australia ended up with 18 points. As per the points system, one Test win accounts for 12 points while a draw gives four points. 

Penalties leave the current WTC champions Australia with 30 percentage points, behind Pakistan (100) and India (66.67). England are placed fifth on the table with 15% points, below West Indies (16.67). 

According to the new over-rate rules for Test cricket, introduced on July 13 this year, a team will receive a five per cent fine of their match fee and lose one WTC point for each over they are found behind. Australia were given a 50% fine for the Old Trafford Test while England ended up paying 10%, 45%, 15% and 25% of their match fees in the four Tests.

Ashes over-rate
Photo by Icon sport


WTC final hopes take a hit after Ashes over-rate penalties

The points penalties have made life harder for both teams regarding the WTC final. If we keep the minimum 60% points target for qualifying for the final, England would need 151 more points from their remaining 16 Tests. That would require 11 wins and three draws, or 12 wins.

Australia would have to get 137 points from their remaining 14 games to get to that mark, which roughly accounts for nine wins and three draws, or 10 wins.

In a series where rain played a big part, spinners did not bowl many overs and that was one of the reasons for the slow over-rates. England’s Moeen Ali and Joe Root bowled a combined 179.1 overs in the series whereas Stuart Broad alone bowled 184.2. From Australia, Nathan Lyon bowled 66 overs before he was ruled out of the series. Todd Murphy, who played the final two games, bowled 38.2 overs, making it 104.2 spin overs from the visiting side. In comparison, Pat Cummins bowled 158.4 overs while Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood sent down 128.1 and 111 overs, respectively. 

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