T20 World Cup 2022: Australia devise ingenious ploy to avoid slow-over rate penalty

Australia had used the same strategy in the recently concluded series against England.

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Ashton Agar on fielding restriction penalty
Ashton Agar on fielding restriction penalty. (Photo Source: Twitter/cricket.com.au)

The Australian cricket team has often been scrutinized for exploiting and bending the rules in their favor, but Aaron Finch's side has come up with an ingenious way of dealing with the over-rate issues in the ongoing T20 World Cup on their home soil. Australia's Ashton Agar revealed stationing the benchwarmers around the boundary ropes to save precious seconds in the game.

Earlier this year, ICC introduced an in-game penalty to curb the slow over-rate in cricket. According to the apex governing body, the bowling team failing to adhere to the clock and failing to bowl their overs by the scheduled cessation time will lead to an additional fielder inside the circle for the remaining overs of the innings.

The Australian team has devised an ingenious way to deal with the law which penalizes slow overrate. According to star all-rounder Ashton Agar, the Aussies are stationing reserve players around the fence during the powerplay, which enables them to fetch the ball faster than the fielders on the ground, saving valuable time.

I think it's common sense to do that: Ashton Agar

"In the powerplay obviously, the ball flies around, and you lose time when players have to go and fetch the ball, which is part of cricket. So the time thing is a difficult one to manage. So, I guess stationing the guys who are on the bench around the ground does save you 10 seconds here and there potentially. And that all adds up at the end of the day."

"It's not really giving you an advantage it just makes sense. I think it's common sense to do that because you don't have guys fielding on the fence in the powerplay," Agar said in a chat with cricket.com.au.

Notably, the newly introduced law was seen in full effect during the Asia Cup earlier this year and will be enforced in the T20 World Cup as well. In a game of fine margins, an additional fielder inside the circle can prove to be the decisive factor, especially in the death overs, where batters are looking to clear the ropes frequently.

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