|Tuesday, 1 March 2005|
by Elmo Rodrigopulle
Bowlers, especially the ones with suspect actions will say 'Cheers' to the International Cricket Council, because from today, March 1st they would be allowed to bowl every way they want.
The ICC at its Executive Meeting in London recently, passed unanimously a recommendation to allow all bowlers a tolerance level of 15 degrees.
So now umpires and match referees would not have to keep a close watch on bowlers actions and report them. When the umpires and the match referees did just that they came in for flak from the Cricket Boards from where the bowlers with suspect actions were reported.
With the ICC stripping umpires from most of their duties, the umpires will have less to concentrate on and they would have more time to rule on appeals.
Umpires would do themselves a lot of good and not demean themselves and their profession if they stand stern and not refer every decision to the third umpire.
The umpires should not be afraid to standby their conviction as long as they do not cheat.
Now that the spinners especially would have more freedom to bend their arms, it would be interesting to see who the umpires or the match referees would be who would want to stand up and report any bowler who they think is going over the 15 degree level.
Shame on Woolmer
Bob Woolmer the former England player and now coach of Pakistan had told a newspaper in Brisbane that he was not happy with the umpiring in Australia which caused his team's defeats.
He said that 29 decisions went against them and 5 in favour of Pakistan.
Apparently in saying this he had infringed on some ICC rules. ICC in turn asked the PCB to look into the allegations and take whatever action they deemed right.
But what happened is hilarious. Woolmer finds the easy way out. He says that he had been misquoted and the matter ends. Why did Woolmer not deny the report after it appeared?
Woolmer is doing what most cricketers and officials do today. They say it and don't have the guts to stand by it.
Sachin all agog
Now that all obstacles have been cleared, the India-Pakistan series due to begin shortly, would be chockful of interest with no quarter asked or given.
India no doubt go out favourites playing at home what with Pakistan without their hit man Shoaib Akhtar nursing an injury. Had Akhtar been available, Pakistan's chances would have been brighter and it would have also given spectators the much needed excitement that they would be craving for.
However the inclusion of master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and how he performs would be followed with great interest.
He seems to have recovered from his nagging tennis elbow and this series would be the ideal one to go past Sunil Gavaskar's batting record of 34 centuries by scoring a century that would be much valued and then hugging the record of being the batsman to score the most number of Test centuries.
If the usually vociferous crowds behave themselves and there are no untoward incidents and if the two teams play the game in the right spirits, then there is no reason why the series should not end on a successful and encouraging note.
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