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England vs India marred with a'shameful act' as Ben Stokes and his men were awarded penalty runs by a 'never before seen' ruling

ENGLAND were awarded five penalty runs after Indian batter Ravichandran Ashwin was punished for running down the protected area of the pitch.

Batsmen Sarfaraz Khan and Ravindra Jadeja had been issued a warning for running up the pitch by the umpire, Joel Wilson, ahead of the final session of the opening day at Rajkot.

England batsmen Ollie Pope pointed to the part of the pitch he thought had been scuffed up

Umpire Joel Wilson gave India a five run penalty

Ravichandran Ashwin spoke to the umpire to understand the penalty

In the 102nd over of India’s first innings, Ashwin hit the ball into the offside and ran down the pitch then turned on his spikes, returning to his crease when the run was not available.

The umpire was notified by England star Joe Root and the umpire awarded India the very rare penalty of five runs for allegedly attempting to scuff up the pitch so the ball will spin more.

Rather than deducting five from India’s overall runs – 445 all out – England started batting with an extra five runs in their first innings of the Third Test.

Ashwin appeared to seek clarity from the umpire across numerous conversations and then seemed to accept the decision.

Speaking on TNT Sports, ex England cricket captain Sir Alastair Cook said of the action: “Is it deliberate? Yes it is. 

“Tactic – disturb the middle of the wicket because Ashwin wants as much help as possible when he bowls.

“Normally it happens on the third innings.

“You’re 150 runs, 200 runs ahead.


“You just think lad’s – just make sure you get up and down the wicket.”

Talking about the unprecedented use of the five run penalty for this exact crime, Cook said: “I’ve never seen an actual warning of five runs to start with.

“And I’ve never seen it actually played out like that.”

He went on to jokingly call Ollie Pope, who was the first England player to notify the umpire, a ‘snitch’.

He said: “The bits I like about it; Ollie Pope snitching in straight away.

“He’s gone straight up and said: ‘Jadeja just stamped his feet.

“Look – right on there sir.’

“So we’ve then got England number three batsmen, Ollie Pope complains, and England number four batsmen, […] Joe Root, arm in the air to make sure Joel Wilson [sees].”

He went on to say umpire Joel Wilson rarely gets LBW’s right but was ‘very good at spotting the danger zone.’

Fans were not happy about the affair, and the Barmy Army who were watching at Rajkot, into a wild frenzy, singing: “six more to the England.”

England also were awarded one extra run on top of their five for a no ball.

Meanwhile, cricket fans turned on Ashwin on X, formerly known as Twitter.

One fan said: “Shame on Jay Shah, for running on the pitch during match.”

And some thought five runs was simply not enough for Ashwin’s outrageous behaviour, saying: “5 penalty runs is pointless.

“Ashwin shouldn’t be allowed to bowl this innings.”