ICC must reconsider Draconian rule | Sunday Observer

ICC must reconsider Draconian rule

The long awaited showpiece in limited overs cricket, the International Cricket Council conducted World Cup cricket tournament is penciled for umpires to call ‘play’ on May 30 with hosts England playing New Zealand.

We would like to adduce as an important governance rule to be revised by requesting the Cricket Committee of the ICC to reconsider the rule where a captain is forced to miss a match owing to his team bowling a slow over rate.

While accepting and appreciating that rules and regulations are a must in the conducting of sport, some of the rules need not be as Draconian that forces a captain to miss a game for a slow over rate.

No captain will want to willfully bowl a slow over rate and be punished. Bowling an over or two short is no big deal. The umpires could reduce the time taken for dinner and make up for that loss of time.

In the world cup every captain will take the field under tremendous pressure with the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head. On the field a captain has a hundred and one things to concentrate on, with bowling overs in the time allocated being one.

If a captain or team is guilty of not finishing their overs on time, instead of slapping a one match ban in addition to a fine is over-kill.

Certainly fine him. Fine him of his full match fees, but don’t let him cool his heels in the dugout watching his team playing like a ship without a rudder. A team without a regular skipper could meander aimlessly and could upset the team’s chances of having a tilt at the World Cup.

Every game in the World Cup is of utmost importance. A loss sans a captain could put the team on the back foot and could mean struggling to stay in the radar for a fling in the final and the cup.

It is good to recall what a former Sri Lankan captain and the greatest, stylish and elegant batsman the country had produced Mahadeva Sathasivam telling me when the topic of a captain or an important player of a team is forced out of a game.

‘when a captain or an important player of a team is forced out, it breaks the backbone of the team and as a result, the balance, strategy and all the good work done to keep the form going is hit for six and could even mean the end of the line for the team. Certainly fine him or the entire team, but for the game and the team’s sake don’t force him out.’

These are the words of wisdom Sathasivam told me that even decades later which rings true. Incidentally I had the good fortune of playing under this genius at the Tamil Union as a schoolboy during the twilight of his innings when he came back from Malaysia.

So as it will be seen it is not too late for the ICC rule makers to rethink this Draconian rule and scarp it, or amend it and not let a captain suffer because after it is not him only who is instrumental in bowling a slow over rate, the team as a whole must also take the blame. We hope the rule makers will see reason.

Lasith Malinga over the moon

Sri Lanka’s slinging ace Lasith Malinga must be having that over the moon feeling after sending down a dream over to help his franchise Mumbai Indians to win yet another Indian Premier League tournament.

After getting slammed around in his first three overs by, especially former Australian dasher Shane Watson, when captain Rohit Sharma to deliver the last over with Chennai Super Kings requiring 8 runs for victory. He would have been a bit apprehensive when handing the white ball to Malinga.

But tinted curly haired Sri Lankan renowned for his penetrative death overs bowling did not let down his team and his sponsors the famous Ambanis. With a stinging Yorker he had last man lbw to give his team a heart stopping one run victory.

In recent times Malinga had a dip in form not being among the wickets as he usually does and would like to be. According to former Sri Lanka opening batsman and wicket keeper Ranjit Fernando it was former Indian brilliant opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar who got him back into the wicket taking radar by spotting where it was going wrong. Fernando says that Gavaskar had told the bowler that he has forgotten bowing his Yorkers that was his main wicket taking weapon and that he should concentrate on bowling his famous Yorkers more often.

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