November 20, 2009

Three cheers for the crackdown on chucking

India seem to have made a start to combat illegal actions by allowing umpires to call bowlers on the field
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So umpires in India have started calling bowlers for chucking, and it is nice to see a forgotten law being implemented. Some bowlers, especially those who have played first-class cricket for eight or 10 years, might choose to disagree with the current practice. They are entitled to be a bit confused, but really, in our part of the world we have no alternative. In law, in spirit and in fairness, bowling has to be a straight-arm exercise, and that definition has been mutilated over the years. I suspect the reason umpires have started calling bowlers is not because, during an off-season revision, they discovered a law that seemed abandoned, or because they feel very strongly about it, but simply because there is now a list of offenders and umpires have been given the freedom to call them. It is a welcome change.

Bowlers might complain that they were fine all this time and that it is a bit unfair to call them now. But the law hasn't changed, merely the tools for its implementation. With fixed cameras at every first-class game, there is no place to hide anymore, and in any case the argument against unfairness suffers when confronted with the number of wickets that have been obtained with illegal actions over the years. In truth it had become an epidemic and had reached a stage where if we saw a finger spinner, rather than look at how good he was, we were overjoyed that he actually bowled with a straight arm. That is exactly the feeling I had when I first saw Shakib Al Hasan, the talented Bangladeshi cricketer. That he was a good bowler was almost secondary; that he didn't bend his arm was a surprise.

The idea of calling a bowler on the field is sound for at least a couple of reasons. The current procedure at the ICC is cumbersome and has an in-built failure mechanism. Umpires can only report bowlers, and if they report them frequently enough (and they can keep bowling till then), the bowlers have to, after undergoing remedial action, demonstrate the legality of their action before cameras, in an artificial situation. That is easily done. Now umpires are looking at what a bowler does in tense, sometimes desperate, situations, and that is the best indicator of how clean his action is at that moment. A bowler might bowl five clean deliveries and let one slip through. Only the on-field umpires can catch the moment.

Now umpires are looking at what a bowler does in tense, sometimes desperate, situations, and that is the best indicator of how clean his action is at that moment. A bowler might bowl five clean deliveries and let one slip through. Only the on-field umpires can catch the moment

India has actually done a commendable job by shortlisting bowlers with suspect actions, based on video footage, inviting them to the National Cricket Academy for remedial action and warning them that future transgressions will invite a no-ball call from an umpire. Bowlers therefore are aware that they are under the scanner, and that, in effect, takes much of the sting out of their argument. Now if everybody took care of this at domestic level, we would have few problems at the international level, where currently bowlers seem to enjoy greater latitude.

What this tells me is that intent is often the starting point, and therefore the stumbling block, for change. Intent has led to this action against one of the two epidemics in our cricket. Now we must look at the second - the problem with cricketers' ages. When I see the age against a player's name on some of the graphics, I cringe. It is embarrassing. In all fairness, once players are playing international cricket it shouldn't matter what number goes against their name in the age column, since it is one player's ability versus another. And irrespective of what a certificate says, the body knows its real age and so it knows when to send out the right signals. The problem is at the Under-19 level and lower, where you see players of every vintage on the field.

So either we crack down on players very early - difficult because local administrators and doctors are pretty strong and willing accomplices, or we reduce the importance given to Under-19 cricket. Today, because of the attention, and the resulting monetary benefit, there is a temptation to stay 19 for just a little while longer! It is unfair on genuine 17-year-olds because a two- or three-year age gap can be very large at that level.

I'm waiting to see a news report that says an Under-19 cricketer was banned for three years for being found over-age.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vakkaraju on November 22, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    Harsha is absolutely right. It is time that BCCI and other boards started doing this. Live footage from matches (tests ) with the ultra slow motion in multiple angles could be presented to the same Laboratory analysts of the ICC. This will conclusively show who bowls what and how many times.

  • gaunt on November 22, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    @longmemory murali can't straighten his elbow. Watch video on youtube. The elbow is always bent but the arm is perpendicular to the ground before the ball leaves the hand.(i think that is what you meant, but you should watch the video and you will see the elbow is still bent). Watch the video on youtube where murali bowls with plaster so that he can't bend it for proof that he doesn't chuck.

  • 9ST9 on November 22, 2009, 5:40 GMT

    @nelrod03- dear sir get your facts straight before making a comment. Observe Lasith malingas action. It is legal in every sense.Have you sean Shaun Tait bowl? Read the rules.Learn more about the game. If you still think he chucks a visit to the doctor will do you a world of good.

  • Longmemory on November 21, 2009, 23:04 GMT

    For all those hyper-active conspiracy theorists out there, go back and read the article. Nowhere does Harsha mention Murali or Afridi. Not even obliquely. You guys must harbor doubts about these things yourselves, and so you see it even where it isn't there. For all the scientific tests, slo-mo cameras, permittted angles of bending etc., the truth is I cringe when I watch certain bowlers at the international level. In my school days, they would have been called for 'chucking' - pure and simple. I understand some of them have physical deformities and their elbows are bent at an angle even when at rest. Yet, their arms do seem to straighten at the point of delivery -usually when they are trying extra hard: a bouncer or a fast yorker in the case of a fast bowler or more spin or the doosra for the spinners. Despite all the technology, I feel the best solution is to leave it to the square leg umpire to do it the old-fashioned way: to call it as he sees it.

  • NashRambler on November 21, 2009, 22:39 GMT

    "The law was made for a reason." What exactly was the reason? What would be the consequence to the game if deliveries were allowed to be thrown? I've read that back in the 19th century the great Australian bowler Spofforth suggested allowing deliveries to be thrown. Wouldn't batsmen be able to adjust to batting against thrown deliveries?

  • theoptimist on November 21, 2009, 17:49 GMT

    wait a minute hasn't murali proved him self enough already? also the 15 degree rule was not written to facilitate murali. first of all it only came about after 2003 and murali was cleared of chuking by the ICC (and Australian university) after 1995. yes Cris broad calling muralis dusra promoted the icc to look into the actions of all the bowlers after which they decided the 10 degrees given to spinners and medium pacers was arbitrary and decided to bring them on par with fast bowlers (give evry1 15 degrees). also Malinga doesn't chuk if he has a different action but any one who thinks having a slinging action is tantamount to chucking should get there heads examined

  • srikeshi on November 21, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    Though overaged boys should not be allowed to play in junior matches, i don't think there is a fool proof method to know the exact age. We can't go just by the looks, because some look much older than their age and some much younger. some boys are strongly built, some can get a decent facial hair by as early as 11 years of age, some go fairly bald by 14. In fact there is more chance of younger looking boys to cheat because nobody is going to doubt them.

  • pietrojackson on November 21, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    Very timely given the current chucking contest between Harbajan and Murali - though why a nation should be applauded for following a common-sense and important law is beyond me [can only assume that this article is tongue-in-cheek].

    Occasional throws are if anything more dangerous due to the surprise factor e.g. Lock's faster ball, Griffiths bouncer and yorker.

    Key, I think, is the amount of lateral elbow movement not bending beyond the horizontal.

  • Anu-srilanka on November 21, 2009, 14:26 GMT

    Nelson said Malinga is a chucker. Joke of the year.It's better than Anand Ramachandran's jokes.Please understand the meaning of the chucker before commenting.

  • cricktah on November 21, 2009, 14:04 GMT

    Chiligonzales - In the late 90s and probably early 00s, Afridi's faster ball was quite clearly illegal. His arm bent and straightened generating quite a bit of pace. He was reported and subsequently remedied the fault. I agree that his action is clean now but it was wasn't always tha case.

  • vakkaraju on November 22, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    Harsha is absolutely right. It is time that BCCI and other boards started doing this. Live footage from matches (tests ) with the ultra slow motion in multiple angles could be presented to the same Laboratory analysts of the ICC. This will conclusively show who bowls what and how many times.

  • gaunt on November 22, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    @longmemory murali can't straighten his elbow. Watch video on youtube. The elbow is always bent but the arm is perpendicular to the ground before the ball leaves the hand.(i think that is what you meant, but you should watch the video and you will see the elbow is still bent). Watch the video on youtube where murali bowls with plaster so that he can't bend it for proof that he doesn't chuck.

  • 9ST9 on November 22, 2009, 5:40 GMT

    @nelrod03- dear sir get your facts straight before making a comment. Observe Lasith malingas action. It is legal in every sense.Have you sean Shaun Tait bowl? Read the rules.Learn more about the game. If you still think he chucks a visit to the doctor will do you a world of good.

  • Longmemory on November 21, 2009, 23:04 GMT

    For all those hyper-active conspiracy theorists out there, go back and read the article. Nowhere does Harsha mention Murali or Afridi. Not even obliquely. You guys must harbor doubts about these things yourselves, and so you see it even where it isn't there. For all the scientific tests, slo-mo cameras, permittted angles of bending etc., the truth is I cringe when I watch certain bowlers at the international level. In my school days, they would have been called for 'chucking' - pure and simple. I understand some of them have physical deformities and their elbows are bent at an angle even when at rest. Yet, their arms do seem to straighten at the point of delivery -usually when they are trying extra hard: a bouncer or a fast yorker in the case of a fast bowler or more spin or the doosra for the spinners. Despite all the technology, I feel the best solution is to leave it to the square leg umpire to do it the old-fashioned way: to call it as he sees it.

  • NashRambler on November 21, 2009, 22:39 GMT

    "The law was made for a reason." What exactly was the reason? What would be the consequence to the game if deliveries were allowed to be thrown? I've read that back in the 19th century the great Australian bowler Spofforth suggested allowing deliveries to be thrown. Wouldn't batsmen be able to adjust to batting against thrown deliveries?

  • theoptimist on November 21, 2009, 17:49 GMT

    wait a minute hasn't murali proved him self enough already? also the 15 degree rule was not written to facilitate murali. first of all it only came about after 2003 and murali was cleared of chuking by the ICC (and Australian university) after 1995. yes Cris broad calling muralis dusra promoted the icc to look into the actions of all the bowlers after which they decided the 10 degrees given to spinners and medium pacers was arbitrary and decided to bring them on par with fast bowlers (give evry1 15 degrees). also Malinga doesn't chuk if he has a different action but any one who thinks having a slinging action is tantamount to chucking should get there heads examined

  • srikeshi on November 21, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    Though overaged boys should not be allowed to play in junior matches, i don't think there is a fool proof method to know the exact age. We can't go just by the looks, because some look much older than their age and some much younger. some boys are strongly built, some can get a decent facial hair by as early as 11 years of age, some go fairly bald by 14. In fact there is more chance of younger looking boys to cheat because nobody is going to doubt them.

  • pietrojackson on November 21, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    Very timely given the current chucking contest between Harbajan and Murali - though why a nation should be applauded for following a common-sense and important law is beyond me [can only assume that this article is tongue-in-cheek].

    Occasional throws are if anything more dangerous due to the surprise factor e.g. Lock's faster ball, Griffiths bouncer and yorker.

    Key, I think, is the amount of lateral elbow movement not bending beyond the horizontal.

  • Anu-srilanka on November 21, 2009, 14:26 GMT

    Nelson said Malinga is a chucker. Joke of the year.It's better than Anand Ramachandran's jokes.Please understand the meaning of the chucker before commenting.

  • cricktah on November 21, 2009, 14:04 GMT

    Chiligonzales - In the late 90s and probably early 00s, Afridi's faster ball was quite clearly illegal. His arm bent and straightened generating quite a bit of pace. He was reported and subsequently remedied the fault. I agree that his action is clean now but it was wasn't always tha case.

  • cricktah on November 21, 2009, 13:57 GMT

    For those harping that Murali has been repeatedly cleared - being cleared under lab conditions has no value if the bowler continues to chuck (either intentionally or under the stress of a match situation) in matches. This is precisely why the BCCI's initiative is specially praise-worthy. It monitors bowlers under match conditions and not in some arcane lab. I wish the ICC would take note and introduce such measures in international cricket also.

  • cricktah on November 21, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    Some have accused Harsha of "mental disintegration". Well, the original news item on the BCCI's initiative on chucking was written by cricinfo staffers on Nov 8. It appears quite logical that Harsha's article would follow and not predate this. Also, the only mental disintegration tactics currently being employed in the media are those orchestrated by the current captain of the Sri-Lankan team (India don't like being put under pressure), who by his admission is an accomplished sledger both on and off the field.

  • singhpr on November 21, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    I understand that "Chucking" is outlawed and it is good to see the umpires implementing the law and forcing players to correct their action before they get to a higher level. Is it time the law got changed though? Should spinners be allowed to chuck? It does not pose a physical danger to the batsmen and gives the bowler some advantage in games where laws are being devised on a daily basis to give the batsman the advantage. Probably not in the longer format, but introducing this for the 50-and less over games might help even the battle between bat and ball out.

  • bonaku on November 21, 2009, 11:56 GMT

    good one harsha, we need to take a hard look that u19

  • Binodbikash on November 21, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    About over-age players in age group matchea..... Couple of years ago, Asian Cricket Council has once disqualified 8 teams out of 10 while the tournament was running for players being overage. Since then ACC requires all participting teams to submit Bone density age verification (not sure about its legality though). I agree that there should be togher measures to combat this problem.

    I am also interested to see ICC to introduce FIFA style rule in players representing the nation. Most of the associate and affiliate nations have foreign national representing the nation. Its unfair to those nations who cannot afford to "buy" players from Test playing nations.

  • addiemanav on November 21, 2009, 4:31 GMT

    i agree with harsha that it is a good sign to call the bowlers in the middle.such things should be practiced more to keep the game clean.i would also suggest the bcci to look in to the matter of flat tracks being provided in all the first class games.the india-sl test match was a killer.anyone who loves the game would agree ,test cricket died bcoz of such a flat track.hopefully bcci takes stronger stand when it comes to wickets.where have the 4day finishes in india gone.this was the 11th draw in the last 24 matches.definitely not the result anyone woul want.

  • nelrod03 on November 21, 2009, 2:41 GMT

    How come no one at ICC has pulled up Lasith Malinga for chucking ??? When he gets his bowling arm down, its almost paralled to the ground. We isn't anyone making an issue about Malinga. Nelson, Canada

  • mg_Rajkumar on November 21, 2009, 1:46 GMT

    Its a tough one for the umpires in the middle whether to call no ball for chucking if only one ball in a over goes like that. I would say there are bowlers who can chuck when they are under pressure. All the examinations about the bowlers are not done under pressure rather than its done in the test labs. I would say Harbajan, sahid afridi, sohib akhtar, Malinga, Muralitharan,Praveen kumar(late overs) old Manoj Prabakhar these bowlers can do chucking under pressures. Umpires has to watch them closely and report them to ICC officials at the end of the match so that they should know they all monitored all the times.

  • Julian12 on November 21, 2009, 1:18 GMT

    One I started to read this article i was pleased to see that CHUCKERS were been penalized in 1st class cricket. but I also has a strong feeling that some Australian leaders will have comments on ONE OF THE GREATEST SPINNERS OF ALL TIME Murali.And my suspicions were confirmed. And its 90% of the time it is Australian's that are leaving comments. First of all Murali doesn't straighten his arm in the process of bowling (Chuck is when the arm goes fro bent to straight) but in continues to be bent throughout, confirmed by your very own Michael slater watch this video on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDxRhcpBZio , furthermore I like to see anyone spin the ball like he does and get as many wickets as he has suspect action or no suspect action.

  • badnoc on November 20, 2009, 23:13 GMT

    Harsha, have you deliberately ignored Murali? I it because you think it is like opening Pandora's Box?

    SidhantaPatnaik - When Afridi scored 102 / 37 balls against Sri Lanka, it was not a under 19 team, that team was World Champion. Perhaps you should go to Peshawar and meet a 12 year Pathan looks older than a 19 year old guy from South India. How come it is so difficult for you to accept the fact that he was a 16 year old boy then? Look at his photos of 1996 and compare them now.

  • Gun88Gun88 on November 20, 2009, 22:59 GMT

    mr. bhogle calls murali as the greatest practitioners of the game, the bowler and the commentator both should be checked off the game!

  • RajChellappan on November 20, 2009, 22:12 GMT

    Good Article. But a point for technical consideration/academic interest. While it is correct that bowling has to be a straight arm affair, technically, even a ball delivered with bent arm is legal, as long as there is no straightening of the arm.

    Let's consider how the ball is thrown. The act of throwing involves straightening of a bent arm and that's where the momentum comes from, which is unfair when it comes to bowling.

    Try bowling with a bent arm without straightening - there is no advantage and hence it cannot be called illegal bowling action.

  • Chiligonzales on November 20, 2009, 19:48 GMT

    This articles a joke! the timing is awful particularly considering Sri Lanka are in India now with Murali playing. Harsha courts controversy and his TV commentary can often be offputiing. Very dissapointed that he is now writing for Cricinfo, which I had thought was beyon him.

    Also I have never associated Shahid Afridi with a suspect action prior to these comments and his age has nothing to do with the article. He must be playing well - he's creating waves

  • mk49_van on November 20, 2009, 19:42 GMT

    Nipping chucking in the bud is a great idea, because doing it 700 wickets later is not easy. I better not say who, or I will be accused of being a racist.

  • wbh6 on November 20, 2009, 17:36 GMT

    Agree in principle that umpires should be able to call a bowler for throwing on the field. However, it's also the case that it is rather a complex issue - as someone mentioned below, the vast majority of bowlers actually do, by a strict definition, throw, including great players like McGrath and Pollock. Thus, the 15-degree law. "I know it when I see it" cannot cut it anymore, and Mr Hair and co. were right to be criticized, particularly as it is the square-leg umpire's duty to check the bowler's action. Throwing should be weeded out at lower levels, with greater scrutiny paid to bowlers at first-class level and upwards.

    I think the 15-degree law is absolutely necessary (or one like it), but it should be applied consistently, and a fair and robust process should be in place. Going by the naked eye is simply not enough any more. For the record, I never actually thought that Murali was a chucker (I am a New Zealander, if that makes a difference).

  • cricktah on November 20, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    I completely agree with Harsha that the current process of dealing with chuckers at the international level is flawed and unfair.

    Imagine a situation where a world cup final goes down to the last ball and the bowler chucks to stop the batsman from scoring the required number of runs for victory. The umpires cannot no-ball the bowler. So the bowling team wins the world cup and the bowler in question is reported after the fact (after the world cup is won and lost!) The same bowler will undergo "remedial action" and take a test in lab conditions where for obvious reasons, he will bowl with a clean action and get cleared. He will then be back again to repeat the process.

    This process is designed for bowlers who chuck every ball or every time they bowl a certain type of delivery. But it fails miserably when bowlers chuck selectively (either deliberately or under the stress of effort during a game).

  • cricktah on November 20, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    The BCCI draws flack for a lot of things it does but in this instance deserves to be commended. It has taken the first step towards cleaning up the menace of chucking.

    What this initiative will do is reduce the number of chuckers (if not root out) at the domestic level, thereby reducing the chances that bowlers with suspect actions will make it to the Indian national team. It would be great if other boards follow suit.

    I do not think chucking is the exclusive preserve of the finger-spinner, but yes it is more common among this group, especially since the advent of the doosra. As long as the initiative continues to focus on all types of bowlers, it will do good for Indian cricket.

  • ww113 on November 20, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    It is time to call a spade a spade.

  • A.P.B. on November 20, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    Great article! Its funny, before I even read it I already knew that Darrell Hair and his supposed racism would get a mention in these comments! It was many years ago ... get over it people! Chucking is such an interesting debate. It is great to see that the authorities are starting to look at it again as you see some very dodgy actions in world cricket. I play at a medium level standard of cricket here in Australia, its not the worst standard but you definitely wouldn't call it high standard. The fact is, guys with suspect actions in my club and league are very quickly recognised and are not given a chance to bowl in games. Therefore I find it unbelievable that players with suspect actions manage to get into 1st class sides. The answer lies in grass roots cricket, actions should be sorted out then and those players should NEVER get to 1st class cricket unless those actions are remedied.

  • Gapsted on November 20, 2009, 14:15 GMT

    And yet the leading wicket taker in the game has been throwing the ball since day 1 and the ICC continues to let it go on and his record will probably stand as relevant. The greatest wicket taker in the game throws the ball and has taken most of his wickets vs. B-Grade teams like Bangladesh. Records like his dishonor every cricketer who has ever played tests fairly.

    A problem like American baseball and the steroid abuse. Do they follow the rules and take out these players -- losing money from smaller crowds and reduced TV dollars ... or do they continue to turn a blind eye? Looks like sports administrations everywhere are cut from the same cloth!

    Come to think of it, why don't cricket teams start picking baseball pitchers to stand beside the umpire and fire the ball down ... they bend their arms you say? ... hey, that's not a rule any more, hadn't you heard?

  • geedubnz on November 20, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    does the first class edict extend into the current india-sri lanka test series? both sides have off spinners that should be worried if that's the case!

  • Anu-srilanka on November 20, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    This is a good article Harsha, a good one.I agreed with u. But i have doubts about Lidder29's chuckers."Because they are not bowlers, world record or not." Who are your chuckers? . Is it Murali? .One thing mate, he was continously examined and proved he was not a chucker.Just don't trying to be a Mark Richardson.

  • Philip_Gnana on November 20, 2009, 12:42 GMT

    Why only spinners? The fast bowlers have got away with this more often than not. Because the spinner is bowling at a slower pace it is more noticeable to the naked eye. Who ever thougth that Paul McGrath or Shaun Pollock would be extending over the 10% limitation? Which actually resulted in the limit for fast bowlers being extended to 15%. All bowlers need to be scrutinised not just the spinners and those with a suspect action. Abnormalities in the arm or their action may hyper-high light the issue when others may get away with it. What you see is not what it is. You need to get technology involved as that is what we as viewers see. We need fairness and fairplay to go hand in hand. Umpires need to forget about the old times and need to seek the help of technology. Technology has progressed in leaps and bounds. Let's use it to our advantage. Batsmen should not be allowed to get away with those close nicks and bat pad decisions. Bring on more technology. Philip Gnana, New Malden Surrey

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on November 20, 2009, 12:33 GMT

    Age is indeed a matter of concern for the sports system in the sub continent. Afridi was aged 17 for a long time. At club and district level when you see a 25 year old batsman belting a 17 year old bowler in an Under 19 match you wonder about the future of the game.

  • mg_Rajkumar on November 20, 2009, 12:05 GMT

    I don't see this will end. I have seen Shaid Afridi sliding few balls but umpires didn't took any action.

  • aapple on November 20, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    I' m with you 100% Rooboy. I also find it interesting that Mr. Bhogle comes out with this opinion piece at the same time that Murali is playing in India. Smacks of mental disintegration to me

  • WJStryder on November 20, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    @Rooboy - well said sir! Im a saffre and i see exactly the same thing!

  • ShortMemory on November 20, 2009, 11:16 GMT

    @Rooboy If you want a break, you get it :)- If only the aussie umpires called Brett Lee along with murali or only if it is not premeditated, there would not be any catcalls from subcontinent ! Lots of these posters are saying that square leg umpire is the one who calls bowlers for chucking (don't remember any law stating that) but murali was often called by the umpire at the bowlers end !

  • RohanMorais on November 20, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    That's a wonderful step initiated by the Indian cricketing authorities. It's high time bowler's with suspect actions were hauled up at grassroot levels, so that they know where they stand in terms of their future with cricket. Either they take remedial action or give up before its too late.

  • Someguy on November 20, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    Pugnate, if I recall correctly, Hair called Murali for chucking and testing proved him right. They actually rewrote the rules to increase the angle so that he could keep bowling. I guess that's just whitey trying to keep the coloured man down, right. I get so sick of hearing the accusations of racism every time it is a white person and a coloured person. He called a chucked and was right. As for the Pakistan ball tampering, there were 2 umpires that made the call. The sub continent only ruined the career of the white man. Now that is racist!

  • mayurbaruah on November 20, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    Infact I'm too waiting to see a news report that says an Under-19 cricketer was banned for three years for being found over-age !! Disgrace some would say...too strict some mgt wonder but hey..Cricket needs cricketers not slingers and that's where the crackdown has to be strict...Pretty good reason Harsha...spot on points...by the way Ranji Trophy is the supremo / cradle of Domestic Cricket in India...here is where it all lies.

  • Lidder29 on November 20, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    Hey Harsha Great article, can't wait to hear you commentate in Aus again. I totally agree with Rooboy. The ICC has created this whole ridiculous situation by not having the guts to sort the problem in the first place, they instead changed the ruling to suit the chuckers. Listen to the greats, Boycott, Benaud etc why are chuckers not mentioned in their great bowlers? Because they are not bowlers, world record or not. It is great to see Indian cricket trying to stamp it out but until the ICC actually shows some spine on the subject we are doomed to watch these bowling wannbes with arms more bent than politicians continue to throw away merrily, we may as well start using baseball pitchers

  • Narkovian on November 20, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    Whatever the history of a lax attitude to chuckers, its certainly about time someone tried to stop them. It seems nearly every Test/ODI team has at least one these days. Nearly always spinners. It has got to the point that I get so mad whilst watching TV that I want to chuck a brick at the Telly ! If most people can bowl with straight arms then so can everyone else. The law was made for a reason. Commentators seem to be too polite ( or scared) to say anything. Modern life eh ? Anything goes..... Sid Buller would turn in his grave.

  • Siddharth_Pandit on November 20, 2009, 9:14 GMT

    Good Article Harsha.

    @vpyati - this is done by leg umpires so don't stress your brain thinking it's going to be called by the main umpire. @Rooboy - Umpires gets banned in a match against Pakistan, you involve all of subcontinent for that and blame India for hair's ouster. You shouldn't be the one talking hypocrisy and double standards !!

  • postsituationist on November 20, 2009, 8:47 GMT

    vpyati on (November 20 2009, 03:57 AM GMT) At the time of ball delivery, isn't the umpire looking at the bowler's feet to check the no-ball?

    No. It is the square-leg umpire who callsl for chucking.

    Harsha, bang on on both points. Modern cricket can do with some simplicity, especially when it comes to chuckers.

  • postsituationist on November 20, 2009, 8:02 GMT

    vpyati on (November 20 2009, 03:57 AM GMT):

    It is the square-leg umpire who calls no-ball for chucking.

    Harsha, bang on on both points. Modern cricket can do with some simplicity, especially when it comes to chucking,

  • Rooboy on November 20, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    Give me a break. I'm not saying that no-balling chuckers by the on field umpire, at any grade of cricket, is a bad idea, but it's because of the sub continent that the calling of chuckers on the field was stopped. Everyone knows why it was done. Australian umpires used to call chuckers on the field, and for that they were rewarded by having their careers and reputations destroyed as soon as they had the temerity to stand up to a team from the subcontinent. And now bogle says india should be commended for re-introducing what was previously the norm?! Why is it a 'good idea' when indian umpires are allowed to call chuckers at first class level, but 'racism' when Australian umpires call chuckers at international level?! So sick of the hypocrisy and double standards ...

  • Keith_B on November 20, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    Great! I hope that it spreads to other countries soon.

  • AMRUTH on November 20, 2009, 5:32 GMT

    Nice article on the issue of chucking and glad that India has taken the initiative. Cricket (atleast Test Cricket) is a Gentlemen's game and we should keep it that way for it's survival. To answer vpyati - we have 2 on field umpires & 1 off field umpire so that should answer his doubt... I doubt. In the first place why allow bowlers with suspect action to represent their country and then spoil it. Prevention is better than cure is the right and the only mantra. Not 3 cheers but 11 cheers to India, Harsha and all Cricket lovers...I believe...

  • tfjones1978 on November 20, 2009, 5:30 GMT

    I have heard that some umpires around the world are concerned about calling players for "chucking".

    My recommendation is that umpire calls it how he believes it is and Umpire panel review the umpire based upon whether he got all match calls including no balls & chucking correct, including ones that he/she missed (yes we should start having female umpires in mens & male umpires in womens at domestic & international level).

    I believe that at the fall of each wicket the 3rd umpire should AUTOMATICALLY check the following: (1) Bowler overstepped. (2) Bowling action correct. (3) Correct number of players inside field (20 & 50 overs). (4) Was a nick, Catch carried, LBW without nick, etc (regardless of players comments).

    In the end I would rather an umpire get it wrong by trying then be too scared to make a call and by accident get it right.

  • Sekhar_S on November 20, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    Fudging of ages by under-19 players? That's news for me.Does it really happen? Has it happened in the past? Before the U-19 world cup ges underway in New Zealand in early 2010,the BCCI must conduct a DNA test for those named in the squad to ascertain their actual ages.The administrators are doing a commendable job to keep the game clean and this will go a long way to ensure the sport remains the winner.

  • vpyati on November 20, 2009, 3:57 GMT

    At the time of ball delivery, isn't the umpire looking at the bowler's feet to check the no-ball? How can he be totally sure that the bowler is chucking? I think we should use technology in match situations to ascertain whether or not a bowler is chucking. The bowler need not be called during the match, but if found guilty there can be certain penalty in the next match.

  • Pugnate on November 20, 2009, 3:43 GMT

    I do agree with all of your comments, and am glad you are writing for Cricinfo now. I just wanted to say that while this system works very well in a first class system -- and it tackles a problem which should be corrected at first class level -- it is open to abuse at international level. It unfortunately gives umpires too much power, and at the international level, it is obvious when this system can be used by biased officials to ruin an international cricketer's career. One could argue that the bias is only in our minds, and that all of the officials that would use the system to call noballs during international matches, would do so out of an honest belief, and not due to a form of prejudice.

    (continued…)

  • Pugnate on November 20, 2009, 3:42 GMT

    (continued from previous post...)

    One could also argue that the reason that the vast majority of those who have been suspected of having illegal actions have been from the subcontinent rather than anywhere else, is because most of the sub-continental cricketers genuinely do have problems with their actions, and not because the white umpire is after them.

    Though I suppose umpires like Darryl Hair, who have been revealed as people with axes to ground really do hurt the reputation of the more honest umpires.

    But, I digress. The point I am trying to make is that there is too much sentiment and sensitivity involved at the international level, and the Indian cricket board is right to try and tackle the problem at a local level. Inviting those with suspect actions to remedial clinics is also a fine gesture, and hopefully the rest of the subcontinent can follow suit.

  • Joshstix on November 20, 2009, 3:34 GMT

    Wow. The concept of people pretending to be younger to stay qualified for under 19 cricket is not something I thought would be a problem. I guess this is why my Indian friends are always shocked that Australia doesn't tend to do a lot in the under 19 world cups etc. I never understood their interest as it means practically nothing in Australia.

    On the other hand chuckers being called for the infringement can only improve the game. Lets hope the international umpires find the gumption to be able to do the same.

  • Homer2007 on November 20, 2009, 3:19 GMT

    On the age issue, I know for a fact that at the Pune District level, they are no longer considering birth certificates but are going by what is known as bone age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_age).

    Funnily enough, one of my acquaintances, who is 18, has a bone age of 14! And this was a conclusion drawn by doctors not remotely connected with Pune District Cricket!!

    factor in better nutrition and early puberty and maybe, just maybe, we are damning an entire generation for no fault of theirs?

    Allowing for the hypothesis that birth certificates are fudged, what other mechanisms are available to pinpoint, with some accuracy, the age of the player under consideration?

    Cheers,

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Homer2007 on November 20, 2009, 3:19 GMT

    On the age issue, I know for a fact that at the Pune District level, they are no longer considering birth certificates but are going by what is known as bone age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_age).

    Funnily enough, one of my acquaintances, who is 18, has a bone age of 14! And this was a conclusion drawn by doctors not remotely connected with Pune District Cricket!!

    factor in better nutrition and early puberty and maybe, just maybe, we are damning an entire generation for no fault of theirs?

    Allowing for the hypothesis that birth certificates are fudged, what other mechanisms are available to pinpoint, with some accuracy, the age of the player under consideration?

    Cheers,

  • Joshstix on November 20, 2009, 3:34 GMT

    Wow. The concept of people pretending to be younger to stay qualified for under 19 cricket is not something I thought would be a problem. I guess this is why my Indian friends are always shocked that Australia doesn't tend to do a lot in the under 19 world cups etc. I never understood their interest as it means practically nothing in Australia.

    On the other hand chuckers being called for the infringement can only improve the game. Lets hope the international umpires find the gumption to be able to do the same.

  • Pugnate on November 20, 2009, 3:42 GMT

    (continued from previous post...)

    One could also argue that the reason that the vast majority of those who have been suspected of having illegal actions have been from the subcontinent rather than anywhere else, is because most of the sub-continental cricketers genuinely do have problems with their actions, and not because the white umpire is after them.

    Though I suppose umpires like Darryl Hair, who have been revealed as people with axes to ground really do hurt the reputation of the more honest umpires.

    But, I digress. The point I am trying to make is that there is too much sentiment and sensitivity involved at the international level, and the Indian cricket board is right to try and tackle the problem at a local level. Inviting those with suspect actions to remedial clinics is also a fine gesture, and hopefully the rest of the subcontinent can follow suit.

  • Pugnate on November 20, 2009, 3:43 GMT

    I do agree with all of your comments, and am glad you are writing for Cricinfo now. I just wanted to say that while this system works very well in a first class system -- and it tackles a problem which should be corrected at first class level -- it is open to abuse at international level. It unfortunately gives umpires too much power, and at the international level, it is obvious when this system can be used by biased officials to ruin an international cricketer's career. One could argue that the bias is only in our minds, and that all of the officials that would use the system to call noballs during international matches, would do so out of an honest belief, and not due to a form of prejudice.

    (continued…)

  • vpyati on November 20, 2009, 3:57 GMT

    At the time of ball delivery, isn't the umpire looking at the bowler's feet to check the no-ball? How can he be totally sure that the bowler is chucking? I think we should use technology in match situations to ascertain whether or not a bowler is chucking. The bowler need not be called during the match, but if found guilty there can be certain penalty in the next match.

  • Sekhar_S on November 20, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    Fudging of ages by under-19 players? That's news for me.Does it really happen? Has it happened in the past? Before the U-19 world cup ges underway in New Zealand in early 2010,the BCCI must conduct a DNA test for those named in the squad to ascertain their actual ages.The administrators are doing a commendable job to keep the game clean and this will go a long way to ensure the sport remains the winner.

  • tfjones1978 on November 20, 2009, 5:30 GMT

    I have heard that some umpires around the world are concerned about calling players for "chucking".

    My recommendation is that umpire calls it how he believes it is and Umpire panel review the umpire based upon whether he got all match calls including no balls & chucking correct, including ones that he/she missed (yes we should start having female umpires in mens & male umpires in womens at domestic & international level).

    I believe that at the fall of each wicket the 3rd umpire should AUTOMATICALLY check the following: (1) Bowler overstepped. (2) Bowling action correct. (3) Correct number of players inside field (20 & 50 overs). (4) Was a nick, Catch carried, LBW without nick, etc (regardless of players comments).

    In the end I would rather an umpire get it wrong by trying then be too scared to make a call and by accident get it right.

  • AMRUTH on November 20, 2009, 5:32 GMT

    Nice article on the issue of chucking and glad that India has taken the initiative. Cricket (atleast Test Cricket) is a Gentlemen's game and we should keep it that way for it's survival. To answer vpyati - we have 2 on field umpires & 1 off field umpire so that should answer his doubt... I doubt. In the first place why allow bowlers with suspect action to represent their country and then spoil it. Prevention is better than cure is the right and the only mantra. Not 3 cheers but 11 cheers to India, Harsha and all Cricket lovers...I believe...

  • Keith_B on November 20, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    Great! I hope that it spreads to other countries soon.

  • Rooboy on November 20, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    Give me a break. I'm not saying that no-balling chuckers by the on field umpire, at any grade of cricket, is a bad idea, but it's because of the sub continent that the calling of chuckers on the field was stopped. Everyone knows why it was done. Australian umpires used to call chuckers on the field, and for that they were rewarded by having their careers and reputations destroyed as soon as they had the temerity to stand up to a team from the subcontinent. And now bogle says india should be commended for re-introducing what was previously the norm?! Why is it a 'good idea' when indian umpires are allowed to call chuckers at first class level, but 'racism' when Australian umpires call chuckers at international level?! So sick of the hypocrisy and double standards ...