SLC’s successful drive against chuckers | Daily News

SLC’s successful drive against chuckers

Eradicates menace – down from 178 in 2016 to 5 in 2017:

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) can proudly lay claim that their campaign to eradicate bowlers with suspect actions from school level upwards has been a tremendous success.

Quoting official figures SLC vice-president K Mathivanan who is also in charge of domestic cricket stated, “Last year there was 178 bowlers reported at school level for suspect bowling actions. We had this visibility drive campaign where umpires had workshops for school coaches and umpires to create awareness. That has helped us to bring down the number of reported cases from 178 (in the under 19, under 17, under 15 and under 13 categories) last year down to 5 this year. Only one boy was reported in the under 19 age group this season and four in the under 13. There was none reported in the under 17 and under 15 age groups. This is certainly an encouraging sign; it’s a vast improvement from last year.”

Mathivanan affirmed that this season in club cricket there were 6 bowlers reported for suspect bowling actions - 4 in the Premier and 2 in the Sara trophy tournaments. These bowlers he said were taken under the wing of former Sri Lanka fast bowler and member of the 1996 World Cup winning team Ravindra Pushpakumara who worked on their bowling actions at the Khettarama Stadium High Performance Centre.

Mathivanan attributed the success of the campaign to the Illegal Bowling Action Committee (IBAC) headed by former Sri Lanka double international Ishak Sahabdeen and the assistance rendered by former Sri Lanka umpires Asoka de Silva and Tyron Wijewardene who have worked assiduously towards trying to eradicating this menace that has affected Sri Lanka in world cricket.

“The boys and coaches know that the umpires are also monitoring them. Some time back the umpires were just calling them but now they know their actions are being monitored and some of the suspect bowlers are not bowling at all. They may have even given up bowling,” said Mathivanan.

One rule that has really discouraged illegal bowling is that schoolboys have been prohibited from wearing long sleeves when bowling so that any deviation of the arm can be visible.

The dire need to stamp out the chucking malady at school level came up after three Sri Lankan bowlers were reported for suspect actions during the 2014 ICC Under 19 World Cup in UAE. To prevent a repetition of it in the 2016 Under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka sent seven bowlers with suspect actions to the accredited testing centre in Chennai to have their bowling actions scrutinized and corrected. With the prior precautions taken no Lankan bowler was reported.

Buoyed by the success Mathivanan said that SLC would continue with their campaign each year.

“We will start the campaign again in August to create more awareness with posters and also issue a CD with the bowling actions of what represents a fair and unfair delivery. Earlier we had the visibility drive through verbal communication only,” said Mathivanan.

“We’ll have posters put up in the schools and have workshops with the school coaches and umpires. It’s only through the workshop program this awareness was created. We want to keep this campaign going each year as there are new boys coming through the under 13 age group upwards.

“We just can’t relax because this is an ongoing thing and the moment there are signs of relaxing this menace can always creep in, we need to conduct this program every year,” he said.

Mathivanan stated that a budget of Rs. One million was approved for the drive last year and this year too he would get approval on a similar budget if not higher following the success of the campaign.


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