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Saturday, 7 September 2019

'Disgraceful, pathetic' Ashes ploy slammed


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Australian great Ian Healy has slammed "disgraceful" England and "pathetic" umpiring after 11 overs of play vanished into thin air on day four of the fourth Ashes Test.

Joe Root's Poms were on the go-slow as Australia marched towards victory at Old Trafford, on a day where 98 overs were scheduled to be played in the rain-affected match.

England ended the first innings 196 runs in arrears, barely avoiding a potential follow-on. Joe Root's side then bumbled through Australia's second innings, with Healy saying that they engaged in deliberate time-wasting as the visitors extended their lead.

Only 82.5 overs were bowled on day four. Allowing four overs lost to two changes of innings, 11 overs simply weren't bowled; even with an extra half-hour of play and with no breaks in the action for injuries.

"It's pathetic. It was pathetic administration by the umpires, the game is pathetic administrating this type of occurrence," Healy told Wide World of Sports.

"There was blatant time wasting and no advantage to Australia. It was a disgraceful performance by England and they were allowed to do it."

Veteran ICC umpires Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena are in charge at Old Trafford. The lost overs under their watch may prove costly for Australia, who can retain the Ashes for the first time since 2001 if they win at Old Trafford.

England are 2-18 and need 365 runs to win, with eight wickets in hand to start day five. The Aussies will have 98 overs to complete the job and third Test hero Ben Stokes one of the remaining wickets they must take.

While Australia will be hot favourites to go on and win, they have still been disadvantaged by England's tardiness in the field.

Healy said that it was time for cricket to take a radical path on slow over rates, a long-time scourge on the game.

"I think if they're going to play like that, let's get the shot clock out," Healy said.

"A five-minute limit might be a good start; you must bowl an over in five minutes, otherwise the other team's getting five runs. See how they go then.

"Poor by England, poor by the umpires and poor by the game; which we continually say, year after year."

Australian great Ian Healy has slammed "disgraceful" England and "pathetic" umpiring after 11 overs of play vanished into thin air on day four of the fourth Ashes Test.

Joe Root's Poms were on the go-slow as Australia marched towards victory at Old Trafford, on a day where 98 overs were scheduled to be played in the rain-affected match.

England ended the first innings 196 runs in arrears, barely avoiding a potential follow-on. Joe Root's side then bumbled through Australia's second innings, with Healy saying that they engaged in deliberate time-wasting as the visitors extended their lead.

Only 82.5 overs were bowled on day four. Allowing four overs lost to two changes of innings, 11 overs simply weren't bowled; even with an extra half-hour of play and with no breaks in the action for injuries.

"It's pathetic. It was pathetic administration by the umpires, the game is pathetic administrating this type of occurrence," Healy told Wide World of Sports.

"There was blatant time wasting and no advantage to Australia. It was a disgraceful performance by England and they were allowed to do it."

Veteran ICC umpires Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena are in charge at Old Trafford. The lost overs under their watch may prove costly for Australia, who can retain the Ashes for the first time since 2001 if they win at Old Trafford.

England are 2-18 and need 365 runs to win, with eight wickets in hand to start day five. The Aussies will have 98 overs to complete the job and third Test hero Ben Stokes one of the remaining wickets they must take.

While Australia will be hot favourites to go on and win, they have still been disadvantaged by England's tardiness in the field.

Healy said that it was time for cricket to take a radical path on slow over rates, a long-time scourge on the game.

"I think if they're going to play like that, let's get the shot clock out," Healy said.

"A five-minute limit might be a good start; you must bowl an over in five minutes, otherwise the other team's getting five runs. See how they go then.

"Poor by England, poor by the umpires and poor by the game; which we continually say, year after year."

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