Calls for concept of ‘retaining’ the Ashes to be abolished amid fourth Test frustration

One of many world’s most distinguished cricket journalists has known as for the idea of “retaining” the Ashes to be abolished after the Fourth Check at Previous Trafford.

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Gideon Haigh, on Information Corp’s Cricket Et Cetera podcast with The Australian’s Peter Lalor, mentioned that the idea was merely a “conference”, and {that a} drawn sequence shouldn’t essentially give an implied victory to the prevailing holder of the urn.

“This concept of retaining the Ashes, I feel we truly have to assume once more about it,” Haigh mentioned.

“It’s merely a conference, it’s not codified, it’s not legislated. It’s merely an understanding.

“And an understanding can change by decree of the events.”

“You do must win them again, and subsequently I feel that when neither group wins them outright, they shouldn’t be gained by anybody.

“They need to stay in abeyance (a state of short-term suspension).”

Australian captain Pat Cummins known as retaining the Ashes after the rain-affected fourth Check “a little bit of an odd one”. (Picture by Clive Mason/Getty Pictures)Supply: Getty Pictures

Haigh mentioned that the present preparations incentivise “damaging cricket”, with the group holding the urn needing solely to attract at instances, as would be the case when Australia head to the Oval for the ultimate Check this week needing solely to attract to win the sequence outright for the primary time because the flip of the century.

“The draw has an unequal weighting – a draw is nearly as good as a win right here for Australia and so in some methods it’s an incitement to play damaging cricket,” he mentioned.

“To easily draw – let’s say two groups are going 2-2 to the Oval, the motivation could be for the group holding the Ashes to attract that, and also you don’t need that.”

Co-host Lalor disagreed, saying {that a} group must be crushed outright to lose possession of the urn.

“No I feel you’ve bought to beat the opposite group, and equally I feel it’s best to must be crushed to lose them,” Lalor mentioned.

Haigh famous that the origins of the conference are unclear, with lots of the understandings that cricket followers take with no consideration within the Ashes primarily based in nebulous concepts of custom, and took the primary ever 5-0 Ashes whitewash for example.

England’s Joe Root has known as for play to proceed till the overs are bowled, no matter time. (Picture by Gareth Copley/Getty Pictures)Supply: Getty Pictures

Haigh famous that Johnny Douglas, the English captain that misplaced 5-0 to Warwick Armstrong’s Australians in 1920-21, was “shocked to study he had misplaced the Ashes, as a result of he thought the Ashes was solely performed for on English soil.”

“The place did he get that concept?” requested a bewildered Lalor.

Haigh elaborated on his ideas in his common column for The Australian, calling it a “conference of mysterious provenance, understood relatively than codified.

“And I wonder if it’s fairly truthful, provided that it confers a sizeable benefit earlier than the groups even begin,” he mentioned.

“The best way to clarify to the uninitiated the Oval Check’s bizarre hybrid character of being ‘dwell’ the place the end result of the sequence is anxious, however ‘lifeless’ within the context of the Ashes?

“I do know cricket’s not meant to make sense. However it may, every so often, no less than attempt to take action.”

Haigh was not the one cricketing determine suggesting a departure from custom after the fourth Check at Previous Trafford, with England batter Joe Root calling for play to proceed into the night time till the allotted overs had been bowled, with loads of conjecture round sluggish over-rates within the sport.

Each groups had been fined 40 per cent of their match charges for sluggish play after the sequence opener by the ICC, and docked two World Check Championship factors every, with the allotted 90 overs a day not bowled at any level through the fourth Check at Previous Trafford.

“It doesn’t get darkish till 10pm right here in the summertime,” Root advised BBC’s Check Match Particular.

“Why can’t we play till the overs are bowled?”

Rain introduced a humid finish to the fourth Check at Previous Trafford, permitting Australia retention of the Ashes. (Picture by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Supply: AFP

Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg additionally known as for a reserve day after the rain-marred draw.

“You possibly can have a reserve day,” Hogg advised talkSPORT after the Check.

“I feel they need to have mentioned, ‘There’s an opportunity of rain right here at Previous Trafford. An enormous probability of rain, so we could put a relaxation day right here and push the following Check match one other day later.’

“We need to be sure that we’re going into the ultimate Check match with a chance of each groups being 2-2 and we wish that spotlight going into the final Check match.

“And now we have now simply missed that chance.”

Hogg’s ideas had been roundly rejected by the ECB and the ICC, on the grounds that such a transfer would value virtually $3 million over the course of a five-Check sequence.

Whereas the World Check Championship closing during which Australia performed forward of this Ashes tour has a sixth reserve day within the occasion of rain (which was used for a end result within the inaugural closing in 2021), it’s a one-off occasion on the finish of a two-year league.

It additionally raises numerous logistical and participant welfare points, with the ICC at present mandating a minimal relaxation interval between scheduled Checks.

The thought of introducing longer time durations for Check matches is itself unsustainable in an already packed cricket calendar.

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Revealed : 2023-07-25 00:57:00

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