ICC singled out for criticism February 17, 2004

Simpson slams proliferation of chuckers

Wisden Cricinfo staff



Bob Simpson: 'Some of our most high-profile and successful bowlers have actions which, to say the least, are less than doubtful'
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Bob Simpson, the former captain and coach of Australia, has slammed the International Cricket Council for its lax attitude towards bowlers with suspect actions.

"While bowlers with illegal actions have been with us since bowling actions went upright, I have never seen so many bowlers infringe as they do today," Simpson wrote in his column in India's Sportstar magazine. "Why should bowlers who don't conform to the laws be handled with kid gloves while fair bowlers and batsmen have to abide by the laws of cricket?"

Simpson's comments have more clout as he was a member of the ICC committee charged with assessing bowlers' actions. And coming on the eve of the series between Sri Lanka and Australia, with all the history that involves, his remarks are sure to stir up anger in certain quarters.

Simpson was especially critical of the ICC's method of dealing with bowlers whose actions are reported which he described as "hopelessly flawed". He also accused match referees and umpires of being willing to report lesser-known players but of bottling it when big names are involved.

"Unfortunately some of our most high-profile and successful bowlers have actions which, to say the least, are less than doubtful," he continued. "Little wonder we have so many bowlers around the world with actions which do not conform to the laws of the game.

"This is hardly surprising as players have always copied their heroes. Unfortunately cricket's governing bodies are doing very little to help the situation. I still visit quite a few countries and do a lot of coaching around the world and doubtful actions are reaching almost epidemic proportions."

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