MCC consider introducing shot clock to speed up over rates in Test cricket
- The MCC are proposing the introduction of a number of new measures
- Slow over rates have become an increasing problem in Test cricket
- It has also been put forward to agree on a standard ball for the longer form
The MCC World Cricket Council is proposing the introduction of a shot clock in Test cricket as one of a number of new measures for the longest form of the game.
Slow over rates have become an increasing problem in Test cricket and is cited as one of the factors that put people off attending matches.
International Cricket Council statistics from May 2018 suggested that over rates in the last year were the lowest in the 11 years they had been measured.
The MCC is proposing the introduction of a shot clock between overs in Test cricket
While the MCC council acknowledge that the introduction of the Decision Review System (DRS) was partly responsible for this, they believe a number of measures could be brought in to speed things up.
The shot clock is one of those suggestions, with the MCC statement proposing: ‘A timer, to be shown on the scoreboard, to count down from 45 seconds from the call of ‘Over’ (This would be increased to 60 seconds for a new batsman on strike and 80 seconds for a change of bowler).
‘If either side is not ready to play when the clock reaches zero, they would receive a warning, with further infringements in that innings resulting in five penalty runs being awarded to the opposition.’
There would be a similar timer used at the fall of a wicket, while proposals to speed up the DRS process have also been put forward.
‘During DRS reviews, the standard protocol should be cut short as soon as the TV production team is aware that it will be not out,’ the statement read.
Slow over rates have become an increasing problem in Test cricket in recent years
‘For example, time is often spent trying to discern an inside edge for LBWs, only to see, for example, that the ball was missing the stumps.
‘As soon as the ball tracking has been loaded, if it will result in a not out decision, the TV umpire should be informed immediately.’
The shot clock is just one of the ideas being proposed, with particular focus on improving Test cricket.
It has also been put forward that the World Test Championship, which begins after this summer’s World Cup, should feature a standard ball used in all matches.
Currently Test matches feature either a Dukes ball or a Kookaburra ball – with a pink version used for day/night Tests. The council believe one ball must be used to benefit the championship.
It has also been put forward that the World Test Championship should feature a standard ball
A further proposal is for Test cricket to implement the rule used in white-ball cricket where a no ball is followed by a free hit for the batting side.
‘The MCC World Cricket committee recommends that free hits should be introduced after no balls in Test matches.
‘The system is used in the white-ball formats and the added deterrent results in there being fewer no balls than in Tests.
‘The system would not only be exciting for crowds when there was a free hit, but also it would help to speed up over rates, if fewer no balls are bowled.’