Former Australia captain Ian Chappell said that ball-tampering and leg-before wicket (LBW) laws should be changed for ensuring better contest between bat and ball once the cricketing action resumes after COVID-19 crisis. Chappell proposed radical changes in the LBW laws, stating that a batsman should be given out leg before as long as the ball is hitting the stumps irrespective of the spot of its landing and impact. Also Read - Three-Phase Unlock 1.0 From Tomorrow: States Decide Dos List, Centre Clears Don'ts List
Expressing his thoughts on the latest debate and speculation as to what will happen with applying saliva on the ball to shine it. Taking note of this, the 76-year-old Chappell said that cricket administrators should select one substance from outside which can be considered legal to use on the ball, and others can be deemed as illegal. Also Read - Coronavirus: As Second-Last Day of Lockdown 4.0 Ends, Here's Where The Four Most-Affected States Stand
“With ball-tampering always a hot topic, in the past I have suggested that administrators ask international captains to construct a list (i.e. the use of natural substances) detailing the things bowlers feel will help them to swing the ball. From this list, the administrators should deem one method to be legal with all others being punishable as illegal,” Chappell was quoted by ESPNCricinfo during an exclusive interview. Also Read - Working From Office in Lockdown 5.0? Follow These Guidelines
“With cricket on hold, this is the ideal time to conduct the exercise. Using saliva and perspiration are now seen as a health hazard, so bowlers require something to replace the traditional methods of shining the ball,” he added.
Chappell also vouched for introducing a new set of rules for lbw dismissals. According to him, any delivery that strikes the pad first and goes on to hit the stumps should be given out, regardless of whether the batsman plays the shot or not.
“The new lbw law should simply say: ‘Any delivery that strikes the pad without first hitting the bat and, in the umpire’s opinion, would go on to hit the stumps is out regardless of whether or not a shot is attempted’,” the former Australia captain said.
“Forget where the ball pitches and whether it strikes the pad outside the line or not; if it’s going to hit the stumps, it’s out.”
Chappell also believes that the change in lbw law would attract expected criticism from the batsmen but it would make the game more fair. “There will be screams of horror – particularly from pampered batsmen – but there are numerous positives this change would bring to the game. Most important is fairness.
“If a bowler is prepared to attack the stumps regularly, the batsman should only be able to protect his wicket with the bat. The pads are there to save the batsman from injury not dismissal.
“It would also force batsmen to seek an attacking method to combat wrist-spinner pitching in the rough outside the right-hander’s leg stump,” said Chappell.
He cited Sachin Tendulkar’s example on how he negotiated Shane Warne’s round the wicket tactic during the 1997-98 Test series in India.
“Contrast Sachin Tendulkar’s aggressive and successful approach to Shane Warne coming round the wicket in Chennai in 1997-98 with a batsman who kicks away deliveries pitching in the rough and turning in toward the stumps. Which would you rather watch?
“The current law encourages “pad play” to balls pitching outside leg while this change would force them to use their bat. The change would reward bowlers who attack the stumps and decrease the need for negative wide deliveries to a packed off-side field,” he said.
Chappell said his proposed change to the lbw law would also cut down ‘frivolous’ DRS challenges.
“This change to the lbw law would also simplify umpiring and result in fewer frivolous DRS challenges. Consequently, it would speed up a game that has slowed drastically in recent times.”
“It would also make four-day Tests an even more viable proposition as mind-numbing huge first-innings totals would be virtually non-existent,” Chappell said.
(With Agency Inputs)