Slams Bangladesh's and Zimbabwe's continued Test status July 12, 2006

Crowe criticises ICC's '15-degree bend'

Cricinfo staff

'If by the naked eye a bowler is clearly chucking, he should be chucked out' - Martin Crowe © Getty Images

Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, has said that the ICC's decision to allow a 15-degree straightening of the arm when bowling is turning out to be "cricket's Achilles heel" and that the law, which was fine ten years ago, now has room to be bent.

"If by the naked eye a bowler is clearly chucking, he should be chucked out," Crowe said at the MCC's Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's. "Having been pinned in the head by chuckers over 15 years, having been bowled first ball in a Test by a certain Sri Lankan bowler, I've had more than enough of this aspect of the game.

"To straighten your arm from a bent position is a massive advantage. If the umpire believes he has seen a throw then he should, as part of the laws of cricket, be allowed to no ball it or at least report it."

Crowe also said that Test cricket was being undermined by the continued presence of weak teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. "Bangladesh have played a staggering 44 Tests, for one win, over just six years - they simply aren't going to make it." Bangladesh received Test status in 2000-01 and the only Test they have won, has been against Zimbabwe at Chittagong.

"The game is too ruthless in all respects for the top nations to allow Bangladesh to step up," said Crowe. "Let's face it, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are being kept on the international stage for political reasons - what hypocrisy from the ICC that argues that politics should not come into the sport."

Crowe won two out the 16 Tests that he captained, losing and drawing seven each. The two victories came against Zimbabwe and Australia in 1992-93.