Banning bouncers is not the solution: Shoaib Akhtar
Dubai: The unfortunate and tragic death of Phil Hughes has given rise to another debate on the use of bouncers in cricket. While some voices have called for the bouncer to be banned, some others have called for more regulations on its use.
But former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is against any further regulation on the usage of bouncers. "Bouncers should not be banned. That is not the solution to this issue. Phil Hughes' death is an unfortunate incident, but banning the bouncer will not help matters," said Akhtar.
During his 13-year international career, Akhtar, known for his ferocious pace, played 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 T20 internationals. A number of batsmen endured the wrath of his express speed.
Akhtar himself recalled two instances when batsmen suffered at his hands. The first was when former South Africa batsman and former India coach Gary Kirsten got hit on his face in 2003-04 during a Test. The second was the unfortunate injury that former West Indies captain Brian Lara suffered during the 2004 Champions Trophy semi-final.
Lara's injury seemed to be closest to what Hughes suffered as he got hit on the back of his head, but fortunately the Trinidadian dasher survived to fight another day.
"When I bowled, batsmen got hit worse than this (Hughes), maybe Phil Hughes got hit on a sensitive part.
Phil Hughes (right) is struck in the head by the fateful delivery that claimed his life at Sydney Cricket Ground. Pic/Getty Images
I remember Brian Lara got hit when I bowled to him at around the same area during the Champions Trophy. There have been other cricketers too like Gary Kirsten who got hit on his face when I bowled to him in 2003," recalled Akhtar.
Akhtar though had a piece of advice for the helmet manufacturers around the world. "It is time the helmet manufacturers look at adding a protective material which takes care of the back of the head and the neck. Hopefully some work will begin on it soon," advised Akhtar.