Regulating Spirit Fairly (2): Gavaskar Comments

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.


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