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Cricket Discipline Commission upholds Middlesex’s two-point deduction for a slow over rate

The Cricket Discipline Commission have upheld Middlesex’s two-point penalty for a slow over rate.

Middlesex's two-point deduction incurred for a slow over rate in their County Championship match against Surrey at the Kia Oval in August has been upheld.

Over rate penalties are automatically applied in the First-Class game under Playing Condition 16.4 with no right of appeal. However, due to the circumstances of the deduction affecting the relegation picture, the ECB and Middlesex sent submissions to Cricket Discipline Commission Chairman, Tim O’Gorman.

O’Gorman said: “It is in the interests of the whole game that arrangements are put in place to prevent slow over rates, and it is noted that the requirement of 16 overs per hour is a minimum rate. 

“The rules relating to over rates are clear and understood by all teams, coaches, players, and captains. Although it may be common practice that teams will seek to make up time later in a match, even in the second innings, if they seek to do this they must also be aware that approaching their over rate in such a way carries with it an inherent risk. If, for any reason, they are unable to make the time up, the appropriate sanction will be imposed. Middlesex have sought to argue that it was only because of the abandonment of the game that they did not make up their overs but that cannot be entirely correct. There was no guarantee that, if the game had run its normal course those overs could ever have been made up.

“I do not accept that Middlesex only agreed to the abandonment of the match on condition that their slow over rate in the first innings would be overlooked. It is not within the power or gift of either the umpires or the players to make deals like that. The match was abandoned for safety reasons. Play ended accordingly and the points earned or deducted should stand with effect from that time."