Having looked at this question about time wasting tactics by fielding teams in test cricket, I thought about the following scenario: What if, instead of the fielders refusing to chase the ball, the bowler takes and extraordinarily high amount of time to complete his or her runup to the crease? I understand that this is against the spirit of the game and that the fielding time will definitely be penalized for a slow over rate, but do any of the rules of cricket actually prevent this from happening? And if all the bowlers are banned from bowling, what happens to the innings?

2 Answers 2


A game of cricket isn't a computer program where everybody involved must just follow the rules blindly. If a team tries this, the umpires should first tell them to stop being silly, then warn them, then award the match to the opposition for refusal to play the game via Law 16.3.1:

a match shall be lost by a side which [...] in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play. If so, the umpires shall award the match to the other side.

The losing team can then if they wish appeal to the organising body for whatever tournament was being played. The organising body can then expel the offending team from the tournament for being idiots.


In one day cricket teams are expected to adhere to a certain over rate so as to ensure games are finished in a certain amount of time. This has to do with tv schedules. Broadcasters want the game to finish in a specific amount of time.

Financial penalties for captains can be made if it turns into a chronic problem.

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