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ICC asks umpires to curb slow over rates

December 17, 2008 10:34 IST

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has called on match officials to clamp down on slow over rates and verbal abuse.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat wrote to umpires and referees asking them to be "assertive and proactive" to help cricket maintain its feelgood factor.

He has urged players, especially captains, to help ensure the game is played in the right spirit.

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"After the recent Test match in Chennai there is a real feelgood factor about the game, and rightly so," Lorgat said in a statement.

India achieved the fourth highest successful run chase in Tests to beat England in a thrilling match on Monday.

The series was almost called off before England resumed their tour despite safety fears following last month's terror attacks in Mumbai.

"It's great that the game is in the news for all the right reasons," Lorgat said. "I want that to carry on now we've moved into what is traditionally the busiest period in the cricketing calendar.

"Verbal abuse and slow over rates have the potential to impact negatively on the way the game is perceived."

The ICC celebrates its centenary year in 2009 amid a busy calendar which includes the World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy.

Slow over rates have previously led to suspensions for captains and Australia's Ricky Ponting was fined last month.

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