Having spent much of the past two years dodging trucks on the highway Faf du Plessis has just been knocked down by a bicycle on the safety of the pavement. He will take no part in the Wanderers Test match against Pakistan having fallen one over short of the required bowling rate while thrashing Pakistan by nine wickets in a little over three days at Newlands. Back in the ’70s and early ’80s the West Indies four-man pace attack often bowled just 12 or 13 overs per hour with as many bouncers as they cared to deliver. No wonder touring teams did well to score 180 in a day. So it was obvious that some regulation was necessary. Over-rate requirements and bouncer restrictions have been tinkered with many times but today’s numbers are: two bouncers (above shoulder height) per over and 15 overs per hour to be bowled. On about 85% of Test match days since the “15 per hour” rate has not been achieved. Teams are rarely punished for not maintaining the required rate because the ICC match refere...

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