Australia in India 2008-09 November 12, 2008

Buchanan calls for yellow cards on over rates

Cricinfo staff

John Buchanan believes teams should suffer immediate penalties for poor over rates, rather than only fines or suspensions © AFP

John Buchanan, the former Australia coach, has called on the ICC to introduce new on-field penalties for teams that fail to get through their overs quickly enough. His comments came after the fourth Test in Nagpur, where Ricky Ponting was widely criticised for using slow bowlers to lift the over rate at a time when Australia had a chance to push hard for victory.

"I really believe the ICC need to step in and clearly establish what are minimum over rates and support the referees and umpires to administer it," Buchanan told the Age. "And it has to be fines and something that impacts on the game immediately.

"So in 20-over cricket, at the end of every five overs, the umpires' referee would advise the captain, 'Mate, you are an over behind and if in the next three overs or five overs you have not caught that up then your No. 1 bowler bowls one less over in the game'. In other words, there is a yellow-carding or red-carding so it is impacting upon the captain's ability to use his bowling resources."

Ponting's decision to use the slow men after tea on the fourth day against India came at a time when, had the over rate continued to slip, he as captain might have faced a suspension for the first Test against New Zealand. Instead, Australia lifted their pace enough to avoid the ban but the players were still hit with fines after they finished two overs behind.

"Maybe in a Test match it is every hour that the umpires look at the timings," Buchanan said, "and go to the captains and say: 'You are behind and if you don't catch up in the next hour then your prime bowler loses a certain amount of time in the game', a session or whatever."