‘That’s ridiculous,’ Ponting labels Root’s suggestion on extending play

Australia legend Ricky Ponting has labelled as “ridiculous” suggestions by former England captain Joe Root to help combat bad weather and slow over-rates by extending Test sessions into the evening.

Former England captain Joe Root’s recommendations that test matches be played into the evening in an effort to overcome bad weather and slow overrates have been dubbed “ridiculous” by Australia star Ricky Ponting.

“That’s a ridiculous thing to say,” said Ponting adding that it is not within the current laws of cricket.

Root has suggested after Manchester’s fickle weather cost England any chance of levelling a riveting Ashes series at 2-2 when the recent fourth Test at Old Trafford petered out to a tame draw. Root was left frustrated at the circumstances surrounding the finish of the match that saw the entire final day washed out.

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With slow over-rates turning out to be an issue at the Test level and weather too forcing further interruptions like it did in Old Trafford and Queens Park Oval in the West Indies v India second Test, Root questioned why more wasn’t done to prevent overs being lost when speaking to BBC TMS after the fourth Test, the ICC said in a report on its website.

“It doesn’t get dark here in England until 10 pm in the summer, why can’t we just play until we bowl the overs?” asked Root during the Manchester Test.

“There’s been a lot of chat about not bowling the overs. There are so many different ways of trying to find opportunities to get as much play in as possible. At every opportunity at every stage, you should be looking to find ways to get the Test on. We batted in worse conditions at Edgbaston, but that is cricket. You just want consistency in those conditions,” he said.

Ponting discussed Root’s comments with host Sanjana Ganesan on the latest episode of The ICC Review and the Australia legend was clear with his assessment of them.

“You can’t just choose to change the laws of the game whenever you want to,” Ponting said. “I’m sure there have been times when England have wanted to not get back out there and play themselves. I mean, that’s just a ridiculous thing to say.”

Stuart Broad, meanwhile, wrote in his column in the Daily Mail that it would be “unjust if the weather had a decisive say” ahead of the final day’s play.

England had dominated three days of play at Old Trafford to make a strong statement and were in with a strong chance to level the series had the weather not interrupted proceedings.

After asking Australia to bat first, England bowled them out for 317 before building a massive lead on the back of some positive batting. To then have Australia five down before they took a lead made England favourites to win the Test before rain played spoilsport.

Weather too played its role in Port of Spain as India had set West Indies 366 to win and reduced them to 76/2 in their second innings. However, rain disrupted play on the fourth and fifth days of the match, thus depriving India of a chance to force victory.

-IANS

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