MCC proposes countdown clock for test cricket

Situations like the one which recently saw Windies captain Jason Holder being suspended and fined for a slow over rate could be taken out of the game of cricket soon if recent changes proposed by the mcc are accepted. Holder missed the Windies third test against England after the team had a slow over rate in their second test victory over the visiting side.

The raft of changes being proposed by the MCC World Cricket Committee is for the playing of the World Test Championship, which begins with this year's Ashes. A standard ball in test cricket is one of the changes that have been suggested by a group of leading figures in the sport.

Three different brands of red ball are currently used in test matches with the Dukes ball used for tests in England and West Indies, the SG Ball being used in India with all other countries playing the game's longest format with the Kookaburra brand. There are also measures being proposed to speed up the 5-day game with proposals for a free hit to follow a no-ball in test cricket.

It's also being proposed that a countdown clock which will count down from 45 seconds from the call of "over" after which if either side is not ready when the clock reaches zero, they would receive a warning. Further infringements in that innings would result in five penalty runs being awarded to the opposition. Ninety overs should be bowled in a full day's play, with an extra 30 minutes available if teams need to make up time.

A timer is also being suggested for after every wicket falls to ensure batsmen and fielders are in position in time. The use of a standard ball will be discussed by the International Cricket Council Committee in May. 
Recommendations could then be put to a general meeting of the ICC for test nations to approve.

The committee, which includes ex-Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne and former England captain Mike Gatting said the "balance between bat and ball is crucial". 


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