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Thread: Countdown timer clocks to speed up the pace of play in Test cricket

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    Countdown timer clocks to speed up the pace of play in Test cricket

    Countdown timer clocks to speed up the pace of play in Test cricket, free hits for no-balls in the longer format and the use of a standard ball in the World Test Championship are some of the radical proposals put forth by the MCC World Cricket Committee to "improve the spectacle" of the longest format.

    According to the MCC, the proposals, discussed last week during meetings held in Bangalore, will be tested as well as forwarded to the ICC for consideration.

    In an exclusive chat with ESPNcricinfo, former England captain Mike Gatting, who chairs the MCC world cricket committee, and former Australian legspinner Shane Warne, outlined the idea behind each of these proposals which are as follows.

    Countdown clock, free hit for no-ball in Tests? | ESPNcricinfo.com

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    International Debutant Bijed's Avatar
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    Got a few thoughts on the various things they mention:

    Countdown Timers

    The spirit of it is fair enough - I don't think slow over rates etc are as big a problem as the media has sometimes made out recently, but equally when I was at the matches in the West Indies, it was a bit frustrating on the few occassions when they were just faffing around. Hard and fast limits at the end of overs, fall of wickets etc is not the way to do it imo. I don't think i would be fair to penalise a fielding side that had been good all day with regard to getting ready quickly, then slip a couple of times towards the end of the day and get hit with a penalty when it's not really an issue. The current system of basically saying get the overs in during the day needs tweaks with regard to enforcement and penalties, but is basically the right structure. Also, say at the fall of a wicket, the fielding side overruns because the batsman takes a little while to appear and when they do, it's not who they expected it to be, so they want to set a different field?

    The DRS point is fair enough as you do occasionally get the scenarios like the one they mention. Just as long as there's no pressure, direct or implied, on the third umpire to compromise the process whatsoever in the interests of time.


    Free hits

    One of those things where the test purist in me is immediately riled, but on further reflection I conclude that it wouldn't really be a bad thing. That's not to say I think it would be a good thing either, it would just be different. Not sure how much excitement it would add tbh, I guess it would vary from person to person, but one of the most memorable moments from my trip was in the 3rd test when Stokes was dismissed off a no-ball, only to be recalled having taken his kit off in the dressing room. The reaction from the crowd was fantastic, as loud as when wickets were falling (and Bairstow getting a standing ovation for his 'innings' - he'd walked halfway out to the middle then had to come back - was pretty funny) and I don't think having the promise of a free hit would have added to it, but maybe it would. It shouldn't be massively common anyway, so no strong feelings either way - though I'd be inclined just to leave things as they are.

    Although actually, thinking about it, if the no-ball in Flintoff's over to Ponting at Edgbaston 05 had meant Ponting got a free hit on the 7th ball instead of nicking off, how rubbish would that have been? Stupid change, don't do it.

    Dukes ball as standard

    Yeah, fair enough
    Last edited by Bijed; 12-03-2019 at 03:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bijed View Post
    Free hits
    Although actually, thinking about it, if the no-ball in Flintoff's over to Ponting at Edgbaston 05 had meant Ponting got a free hit on the 7th ball instead of nicking off, how rubbish would that have been? Stupid change, don't do it.
    Yup, this sort of thing completely disappears from test cricket if you have free hits. It's an absolutely moronic idea and would adds precisely nothing while taking away at the same time. It's the sort of thing thought up of by people who think that runs are the only thing which matter, when this is so not the case.
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    International Debutant GoodAreasShane's Avatar
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    Maybe the ICC should actually make sure no balls are called properly before thinking about a free hit. Ishant in Adelaide springs to mind immediately, he got away with a lot there. I am inclined to believe India still would have won the game anyway, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a piss poor effort from Kumar Dharmasena all match
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    Free hit runs shouldn't count toward career averages.

    I hate free hits with a burning intensity of a 1000 white hot suns. What is this? kids cricket?
    Whoop-de-do, some guy over-stepped by a centimetre. Lets crush his will to live.

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    Free hits in tests go completely against the spirit of what test cricket is meant to be, imo.

    I want test cricket to be what it used to be. I don't want advertising everywhere. I don't want songs between overs. I don't want to be "entertained" by ground announcers. I don't want pink tests or themed tests of any sort. I don't even really want the Milo cricketers, but I'll cede that in the interests of the future of the game.

    Test cricket is enthralling, for those who appreciate it. Perfectly and utterly enthralling. Stop with the fkn distractions and faux hype. Just **** off all you marketing ****s.
    Last edited by Red Hill; 13-03-2019 at 06:53 AM.
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    The free hit idea is plain bonkers, the Dukes ball will keep James Anderson playing test cricket until he's 50, and the timer idea isn't much better. I'd rather extras were just added to a team's score. In a few years they will probably bring in a "shot clock" variant meaning batsmen who leave/pad off etc. for 10 balls are automatically dismissed

    Shame Shakib is fit enough to be involved in this, but not play in NZ

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    The reason over rates are an issue is entirely because slow over rates means less advertising, not because they make the game any worse (within reason).
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen View Post
    The reason over rates are an issue is entirely because slow over rates means less advertising, not because they make the game any worse (within reason).
    Really? The slow switch over between overs means you can stick in two ads rather than one, and provides time for the channel to pitch their own shows.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Once again we have a range of proposals which are immediately discountable the moment any sensible person asks "is this 'solution' better or worse than the claimed problem it's trying to solve"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starfighter View Post
    Really? The slow switch over between overs means you can stick in two ads rather than one, and provides time for the channel to pitch their own shows.
    Nah I'm pretty sure the number of ads you can run in over breaks is fixed (30 seconds). It's more beneficial for advertisers to have more over breaks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Nah I'm pretty sure the number of ads you can run in over breaks is fixed (30 seconds). It's more beneficial for advertisers to have more over breaks.
    The Bangladesh matches I've watched consistency have two ads, sometimes going over the first ball of the over.

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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starfighter View Post
    The Bangladesh matches I've watched consistency have two ads, sometimes going over the first ball of the over.
    Probably because it's fixed and consistent for every over break. So they don't care how long it takes for the actual players to start the new over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starfighter View Post
    The Bangladesh matches I've watched consistency have two ads, sometimes going over the first ball of the over.
    Channel 7 did this several times during the summer as well
    And tell me
    If it's still raining there in England (in June)

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    Incidentally, the surveys floating around about fans preferring test cricket show that 'one-daying' or 'twenty-twentying' up test cricket, which free hits would do, is perhaps that wrong way to go.

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    The best thing for test cricket viewership would be for it to be on free-to-air and to not charge through the nose for a ticket like certain countries *cough*England*cough*.
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