Kumar Sangakkara, president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), insists that the bouncer remains an integral part of a quick pitcher’s arsenal and that banning it will not guarantee player safety.
The comments from the former Sri Lankan captain have gained prominence as they come at a time when the MCC, responsible for overseeing the rules governing the game, has already begun a consultation process to discuss the issue of whether bowlers should be allowed to make short deliveries.
“Cricket is a sport that takes courage, so it’s not just the bumper that sometimes poses a danger to players. The pace of the cricket ball is such that you can get hit in different parts of the body and cause damage. So, I’m not really sure that taking the bouncer away from the cricket will improve the safety of the players. I think that’s a critical part of the game, which allows for a specific kind of challenge between the batsmen and the bowlers, ”observed the stick legend, who joined Rajasthan Royals ahead of this IPL season as cricket manager.
The tragic death of Aussie batsman Phillip Hughes after being punched by a Sean Abbott bouncer in a national game six years ago was the trigger that sparked a debate over player safety protocols.
The MCC exam was triggered when Steve Smith suffered a concussion after being hit in the head by bouncer Jofra Archer in the 2019 Ashes. Young Australian opener Will Pucovski suffered a concussion after being hit by Indian point guard Kartik Tyagi last year.
Mike Atherton, former England captain and one of the most authoritative voices in international cricket, has called for maintaining the balance between the ball and the bat.
“Will Pucovski’s latest concussion is a reminder that gambling is risky; that a short ball can be dangerous; that not all short balls are necessarily a scoring opportunity; and that drummers need to think again about how best to combat this problem. The answer is not to ban the bouncer, but to undertake a recalibration of how some batsmen can best counter him. The Pucovski problem can reignite this conversation, ”Atherton wrote in The Australian.
For a long time, the bouncer – who provided a stern challenge for batsmen – presented some of the most exciting sessions in cricket. Over time, the number of bouncers allowed has dropped dramatically, from infinity to the current specification of allowing two in tests and one in shorter formats per over.
“It adds a different dimension and an exciting dynamic to the challenge of facing a fast bowler. It also gives the bowler options as to how he can make other deliveries worthwhile. Forget the thrill feeling. It’s competition and the dynamic it brings to the game, ”said MCC President.
Recently, concussion specialist Michael Turner, media director of the International Concussion and Head Injury Research Foundation, urged authorities to consider banning the use of bouncers against players under the age of 18 in order to limit harm. long-term complications.
Sangakkara believed that such a blanket ban could potentially have serious ramifications. “You have to be careful that if you take him out of junior cricket then when a player improves he / she will have absolutely no idea how to play the short pitch.
The demands of modern times
Why are so many drummers getting hit on the headphones by short deliveries? It’s a question that has piqued the interest levels of fans and pundits alike in equal measure. Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar suggested the movement of the front trigger as the reason. Sangakkara offered his point of view. “I think it’s the modern demands of batters who have to face fast bowlers more often to score runs that batterers in the past would have ducked or missed.
Another reason cited by Sangakkara is the amount of analysis teams typically do on opposition players. “If a batter is showing sensitivity to short bowling, bowlers tend to target him.”
Sangakkara explained how the ICC supports manufacturers to achieve standardization of equipment meeting international standards. “The ICC is researching and doing everything it can to support manufacturers, because standardization of cricket equipment is vital,” he added.