Sunil Gavaskar and Mark Nichols just talked about the Australians’s abysmal over rate, and what can be done to correct the situation generally in the game. Both agree it’s a big problem, but they both fail to put forward any new solutions. Nichols asks, along what I proposed, whether a runs penalty might work. He quickly pulls back, however, worrying that that would involve “tinkering with the mechanics of the game.”
Gavaskar agrees, saying that a situation could arise wherein a team will be bowled out below the winning total, only to find out after the match that, due to a collection of penalties on the opposition, it did in fact win.
This is actually very silly. There’s more than enough time in the game — 8 hours in a day, for Pete’s sake! — for a match referee to score up the number of penalty runs and then let both teams know the revised targets before the game is finished. I don’t know why either Gavaskar or Nichols thought about this. Again: until you punish teams where it hurts — the on-field results — you will not effect any behavior modification, be it slow over rates or sledging.