'Deliberate' - India handed rare punishment in third England Test as Ravi Ashwin penalised for 'unfair' play

'Deliberate' - India handed rare punishment in third England Test as Ravi Ashwin penalised for 'unfair' play

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as India punished during England Test

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 16/02/2024

- 07:40

Updated: 16/02/2024

- 08:15

The umpires deemed that the India all-rounder had committed an offence while batting

India have been hit with a rare punishment after it was deemed Ravichandran Ashwin committed 'unfair' play on the second day of the third Test against England.

Ashwin was penalised for running down the pitch while batting in Rajkot and England will now start their first innings on 5-0.

India were in command of the Test heading into the second day, starting 326-5 after centuries from captain Rohit Sharma and Ravi Jadeja.

England quickly removed both overnight batters in the morning session, with James Anderson having Kuldeep Yadav caught behind and Joe Root catching Jadeja off his own bowling.

Joel Wilson and Ravi Ashwin

India were handed a five-run penalty on the second day of the third Test against England


But India dug deep and frustrated the tourists, who would have hoped to have restricted the first innings score to under 400.

However, with the hosts on 358-7, a contentious moment occurred during the 102nd over which was bowled by Rehan Ahmed.

Ashwin pushed a ball into the off side and attempted to go for a run before being sent back by partner Dhruv Jurel.

Umpire Joel Wilson deemed that Ashwin had run down the middle of the pitch and immediately spoke to the spinner.

Ashwin argued his case but Wilson tapped his shoulder towards the scorers, signalling five penalty runs to be awarded to England.

England will now begin their first innings on 5-0 instead of the usual 0-0.

India had already been warned on the first day in Rajkot, with the umpires speaking to Jadeja for running on the danger area.

The law states the protected area is the "area of the pitch contained within a rectangle bounded at each end by imaginary lines parallel to the popping creases and 5 ft/1.52m in front of each, and on the sides by imaginary lines, one each side of the imaginary line joining the centres of the two middle stumps, each parallel to it and 1 ft/30.48 cm from it."

Former England captain Alastair Cook claimed that Ashwin's actions were 'deliberate' and he was rightly punished.

Cook said on TNT Sports: "Is it deliberate? Yes, it is. It's a tactical ploy that you can disturb the middle of the wicket because Ashwin wants as much help [as possible] when he can bowl.

"Normally, it happens in the third innings. You're 150-200 runs ahead and you think, 'just make sure you get up and down the wicket'... that was gamesmanship there, wasn't it?"

It is more common for fielding teams to be punished for such offences when bowlers fail to get off the pitch in their follow through.

Australia were penalised five penalty runs in January 2020 during a Test against New Zealand when Marnus Labuschagne and then David Warner were deemed to have run down the pitch while batting.


Ravi Ashwin and Dhruv Jurel

Ravi Ashwin was deemed to have run down the pitch during his innings for India


The MCC Laws outline how batters running on the pitch is an offence.

Law 41.14 states: "It is unfair to cause deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch.

"If the striker enters the protected area in playing or playing at the ball, he/she must move from it immediately thereafter.

"A batter will be deemed to be causing avoidable damage if either umpire considers that his/her presence on the pitch is without reasonable cause."

While Law 41.14.2 adds: "If either batter causes deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch, other than as in 41.15, at the first instance the umpire seeing the contravention shall, when the ball is dead, inform the other umpire of the occurrence.

Ravi Ashwin

England will start their first innings on 5-0 after India were punished


"The bowler's end umpire shall then warn both batters that the practice is unfair and indicate that this is a first and final warning. This warning shall apply throughout the innings.

"The umpire shall so inform each incoming batter, inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred."

England got Ashwin out for 37 shortly after lunch, with Ahmed picking up the wicket.

The young leg-spinner then had wicket-keeper Jurel caught behind before Jasprit Bumrah struck a quickfire 26, with India eventually bowled out for 445.

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