In a recent episode of The ICC Review, Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting has strongly criticized suggestions made by former England captain Joe Root to extend Test sessions into the evening to combat bad weather and slow over-rates.
Ponting labelled Root's comments as “ridiculous” and emphasized that the laws of cricket cannot be changed at will.
Joe Root's comments came in the wake of a heavily weather-affected Ashes game at Old Trafford, where England's chances of regaining the Ashes seemed to slip away due to persistent rain. The match eventually ended in a tame draw, leaving Root frustrated with the circumstances surrounding its finish, as the entire final day was washed out.
Root questioned the prevailing practice of scheduling 90 overs of action in a day, with the play ending at 6 pm local time in England. He argued that since it stays light until 10 pm in the summer, the teams should continue playing until all the overs are bowled, irrespective of the time.
Ricky Ponting slams Joe Root
However, Ricky Ponting was quick to dismiss Root's suggestion, asserting that the laws of the game cannot be altered arbitrarily. He pointed out that teams cannot choose to change the rules whenever it suits their convenience and that consistency in following the existing regulations is essential for the integrity of the sport.
The cricketing icon further drew attention to a past instance during the 2013 Ashes in Manchester, where Australia had a game in their grasp, but rain denied them a victory. He highlighted that weather-related interruptions are part and parcel of Test cricket, and it is not the first time such a situation has occurred.
While acknowledging the frustration faced by a captain when bad weather affects the game's outcome, Ponting pointed out that teams are well aware of the unpredictable weather conditions and must plan accordingly. He mentioned that England knew about the possibility of rain before the match and should have adapted their game plan accordingly.
“It's not the first time. When you're playing Test matches over five days, the weather will come into it at some stage,” said Ricky Ponting.
England's disappointment at the result of the fourth Ashes Test was palpable, but Ponting highlighted that the team had waited until the last match to play aggressively and dominate the game. He suggested that the approach should have been consistent throughout the series to achieve a different outcome.
As the debate over weather interruptions and Test cricket continues, it is evident that Ponting stands firmly against altering the laws of the game to suit particular situations. While bad weather can be frustrating for teams and fans alike, it remains an inherent part of the sport, and teams must strategize accordingly to maximize their chances of success.
As the Ashes series progresses, cricket enthusiasts will be keeping a close eye on how weather conditions play out and how teams adapt their strategies in the face of such challenges. While Joe Root's concerns about lost overs are valid, it remains to be seen how the cricketing community addresses this issue without compromising the integrity and spirit of the game.
In the end, it is the spirit of cricket and the love for the sport that will continue to unite fans worldwide, regardless of weather-related obstacles that may come their way. As the players take the field in each Test match, they embrace the uncertainty of weather, knowing that it is an integral part of the game they hold dear.