Food, not money may be key to winning cricketer’s compliance on the field: Wisden

April 9th, 2009 - 4:37 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr.9 (ANI): It seems, that the way to win a cricketer’s compliance on the filed of play is not through his wallet, but through his stomach.

In its 146th edition, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack editor Scyld Berry has decried the funereal pace of Test cricket and suggests that “The ICC should adopt the adage: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

Berry warns that fielding sides who drag out play could soon become unpopular with umpires who would miss out on putting their feet up, commentators who want their lunch and caterers who want to sell theirs.

In 2008, the average Test over-rate was down to 13.79 overs an hour.

“It’s appalling that over rates around the world haven’t reached even 14 an hour for so long,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Berry, as saying.

However, it’s not just players, particularly captains, who are to blame, with Berry raising the case of play being disrupted when England played India at Chennai so that a banana could be brought out for umpire Billy Bowden.

Berry argues that during play, the boundaries should be sealed, with no one entering or leaving the field in anything other than exceptional circumstances.

Although, in many instances, time is made up at the end of the day, that only increases the demands on spectators and, as Berry points out, is frequently not possible in the tropics, where daylight hours are limited.

“It needs to start with each board sitting their captain down and telling them, ‘Your job is going to be in jeopardy if you don’t maintain the over rate’,” he said.

“And the ICC needs to sit the umpires down and say, ‘It’s your job to maintain the tempo. This faffing around, talking between overs, has got to stop’. ”

But commentator and former coach of Pakistan Geoff Lawson thinks the argument doesn’t stand up.

“I’ve just been in South Africa and witnessed some pretty good cricket and I didn’t hear anybody talk about over rates once. I think it’s all down to the quality you’re seeing. I think it became less of an issue in the last six months,” Lawson said.(ANI)

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