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Ashes win raises small-print refund question

[9 Aug 2015] When Mark Wood’s cannonball demolished Nathan Lyon’s stumps to give England victory and the Ashes in the fourth Test match at Trent Bridge, perhaps only a few spectators would have been thinking about such trivialities as the small print on their tickets.

But because the match ended after only 62 balls had been bowled on the third day, a hefty refund on the tickets (most of which cost £85) was triggered. 

But how much would it be? Here’s what the tickets say: ‘You may claim a refund of only the match ticket value subject to there being: (a) 10 overs or less because of adverse weather conditions or completion of the match – a full refund; (b) 10.1 overs to 24.5 overs because of adverse weather conditions or completion of the match – a 50% refund.’

An over is called after 6 legal balls have been bowled. But what happened on this occasion?

To start the day, Mark Wood bowled 4 balls to complete the over interrupted when bad light stopped play on the previous evening. So did those 4 balls constitute an over? Not really. Such an ‘over’ surely wouldn’t have counted towards the number of overs that must be bowled in a Test Match day.

Then Ben Stokes and Wood bowled the remaining 9 overs and 4 balls, with the final Wood delivery ending the innings and the match. Neither of them bowled any no-balls or wides on the final morning.

So although 62 balls were bowled, 4 were to complete an over from the previous day, 54 comprised the 9 complete overs, and 4 came in the final, incomplete over. That looks like only 9 complete overs were bowled, so a full refund would be due. However, if Trent Bridge decreed that 62 balls meant 10.2 overs, then only a 50% refund would be due. [cont]

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