Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day June 24, 2012

Don't ban captains for slow over-rate - Whatmore

Dav Whatmore, the Pakistan coach, has criticised the ICC's decision to ban the captain Misbah-ul-Haq from the Galle Test because of an over-rate offence committed during the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo earlier this week. Whatmore suggested that instead of banning a player, a better alternative would be to impose penalties during the match in which the offence was committed, rather than let the punishment affect the next game.

"I find it very difficult to understand why a good player, a captain, is barred from playing," Whatmore said after the third day in Galle. "I know there's rules with it. People want to see the best teams participating, particularly in Test matches where there is some discussion on the popularity of it. You want your best players playing all the time. I think we need to reassess and revisit that."

During the fifth ODI, Pakistan were found to be three overs short of their target even after time allowances were taken into consideration. As this was Pakistan's first serious over-rate offence in the past 12 months, the match referee Chris Broad handed Misbah two suspension points while each of his players received a 40% fine. It meant Misbah had to sit out the Galle Test, since suspension points are to be applied to the subsequent international matches in which Misbah was most likely to participate on a chronological basis immediately following the announcement of the decision.

Misbah was replaced by Mohammad Hafeez as captain, and his place in the side went to a debutant, Mohammad Ayub. In Misbah's absence, Pakistan struggled in response to Sri Lanka's 472 and were bowled out for 100. They are 36 for 3 in the second innings, chasing 510 for victory.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo