Back-to-back overseas failures prompt BCCI technical panel to allow bowlers couple of bouncers in an over instead of one
India's miserable show in England and Australia seems to have shaken the mandarins of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The technical committee of the Board headed by former India captain Sourav Ganguly has recommended changes in domestic cricket right from the inter-state one-dayers that get underway from February 20.
Time to intervene: Former India players Chetan Chauhan (left)
Roger Binny (centre) and chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth discuss
a point before BCCI's Technical Committee meeting at the Cricket Centre
in Mumbai yesterday. PICs/Suresh KK
Most important among those recommendations was that bowlers must be allowed to bowl a maximum of two bouncers per over instead of the current 'one-bouncer' restriction. This recommendation has earned accolades from all quarters, including former fast bowlers and coaches, some level of apprehension notwithstanding.
India's 1983 World Cup-winning seamer Balwinder Singh Sandhu welcomed the idea, but suggested a few alterations to make the structure foolproof and exciting.
"It's definitely a good idea, but there are few other things that should also be taken care of. You can allow six bouncers per over, but for that, you need to have wickets with bounce which will help our bowlers to improve and batsmen to adapt to such pace and bounce," Sandhu told MiD DAY.
"If the wickets are hard and bouncy with grass on them, our batsmen will learn how to tackle bounce on fast tracks when they go overseas," Sandhu said. Current East Zone coach Debasis Mohanty, who played for India in the late 1990s, also lauded the technical committee's two-bouncers-in-an-over call. "On most pitches across the country, seamers don't get any assistance and if they use up one bouncer in their first delivery, they have to be cautious for rest of the five deliveries. This new rule will ease their problems a bit," Mohanty said.
Another former India pacer, Karsan Ghavri felt the International Cricket Council (ICC) should also look to follow the 'two-bouncer' rule. "I think even ICC should think of doing this to make the game more competitive. In our time, there was no restriction on bouncers and that helped everyone," felt Ghavri.
Veteran coach Tarak Sinha, who mentored seamers like Manoj Prabhakar and Ashish Nehra, felt that this is a good move as long as the nature of wickets change. "You need to create competitive conditions to get results," stressed Sinha.
Besides Ganguly, the meeting was attended by Krishnamachari Srikkanth (chief selector), Roger Binny (former Test player) and five zonal representatives (Chetan Chauhan, Venkatapathy Raju, Arup Bhattacharjee, Shantanu Sugwekar and Rahul Sapru).
>> Two-bouncer-per-over permitted instead of current rule of one in an over
>> The Ranji Trophy quarter-finals and semi-finals will be five-day games with point structure and format remaining the same.
>> If a first-innings result is not obtained at the end of scheduled play in a knockout match, the match will be extended to an additional day.
>> If a domestic match is played on an 'underprepared wicket' (in match officials' opinion), then two points will be deducted from the host association's tally.
>> Floodlights will be used during Test matches, if required, wherever the facility exists.
>> The use of Kookaburra balls to be continued in the Duleep Trophy.
>> Domestic tournaments to be played in following order: Challenger Series, Duleep Trophy, Ranji
Trophy, Irani Cup, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Twenty20.
>> Hyderabad CA was let off with warning following complaints submitted by match referees
>> Railways have been barred from hosting any BCCI match at the Karnail Singh Stadium in the