England cop massive new blow as 'horrible' Ashes farce worsens

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Joe Root, pictured here celebrating the dismissal of Travis Head during the second Ashes Test.
Joe Root celebrates the dismissal of Travis Head during the second Ashes Test. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

England's nightmare start to their Ashes tour of Australia just keeps getting worse.

On Saturday it emerged that the penalty they'd received for their slow over-rates in the first Test in Brisbane had been increased after an error.

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England players were initially fined the entirety of their match fees (about $300,000 in total) and docked five World Test Championship points.

However the ICC has since corrected the points penalty and increased it to eight.

The ICC announced on Saturday that England were actually eight overs short of the required target in Brisbane, not five as originally stated.

“England were eight overs short (not five overs short as previously announced) but were only fined 100 per cent of their match fee due to the limit,” the ICC said.

“However, the points deduction for penalty overs is not capped and must reflect the actual number of penalty overs a team is short of the minimum requirement as per Clause 16.1.2 of the ICC Playing Conditions, hence they have been penalised one point for each over they were short.”

The points deduction leaves England languishing in second-last on the World Test Championship ladder and little chance to make the final.

Australia were cruelly denied the chance to play in the inaugural Test Championship final this year because of a two-point penalty they'd received for slow over-rates in the Boxing Day Test in 2020.

England under fire over 'horrible' over-rate farce

Despite the massive penalty, England don't seem to have learned their lesson.

Skipper Joe Root once again came under fire on the opening day of the second Test in Adelaide after England fell short of the minimum 90 overs.

Umpires were able to extend play for an additional 30 minutes past the 9.30pm cut-off, but even then the tourists fell one short of bowling their 90 overs for the day.

Root bowled himself for 11 overs on Thursday, hustling through his deliveries in an apparent attempt to speed up the over-rate.

Nathan Lyon and Joe Root, pictured here leaving the field after day two at the Adelaide Oval.
Nathan Lyon and Joe Root leave the field after day two at the Adelaide Oval. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

“He has brought himself on now and he’s bowling in at leg stump or down the leg side just to get through these overs,” Mark Taylor said on Triple M.

“How about getting a wicket or two and then taking the new ball? I think the tactics are terrible, they stink.”

Greg Blewett said on Channel 7: “They were way down in Brisbane ... surely that was their main point going into this bowling innings. It’s just mind-boggling.”

Speaking on Fox Cricket, Shane Warne said Root should be facing a suspension from the ICC.

“I sit on the World Cricket Committee, and often talk about the over-rate issue and what’s the appropriate fine,” he said.

“A lot of us on that committee have talked about not having a fine for over-rates, but the captain misses the next game, because if you don’t bowl your overs in time, the financial penalties don’t seem to be working, and they haven’t worked for a while.

“In the first Test, the entire England team got fined their entire match fee, and they’re still miles behind in this match.

“What about the people that paid their money up in the Gabba to see a full day’s play of 90 overs? They’ve been robbed.

“If the captain doesn’t play the next Test if you don’t bowl your overs in time, you watch them get through the overs.”

Assistant coach Graham Thorpe said the scorching temperatures and a lengthy DRS review led to the slow over-rates, while England's choice to employ five seamers and no front-line spinner didn't help.

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