|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Why put a batsman at a disadvantage for a bowler's rudimentary mistake of colliding with the stumps?
January 20, 2013
Steven Finn is developing into one of the finest fast bowlers in the world but every time his knee buckles and he collides with the stumps in his delivery stride, I throw up my hands in despair at the failure to introduce a simple change to the Law that would address the issue for all time.
The MCC indicated that the Laws would be reviewed after the 2012 Headingley Test, when South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, was reprieved after edging to first slip, because Finn had dislodged the bails at the non-striker's end with his knee and umpire Steve Davis had called dead ball.
Davis cited Law 23.4(b)(vi), stating that Smith had been distracted. It later transpired that both South Africa batsmen had previously complained to the umpires that Finn's habit of knocking into the stumps was off-putting.
Finn's tendency was regarded seriously enough in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September to be formally raised at the pre-tournament briefing for coaches and captains. They were informed that any bowler breaking the stumps would first receive a warning and on every further occasion the delivery would be ruled as a dead ball.
As it happened, when England played New Zealand, the umpires forgot about the warning. Finn collided with the stumps in each of his last three overs. As a dead ball was ruled, no runs could be accrued from the deliveries in question. New Zealand missed out on a leg-side wide, a single, and then, on the final occasion, James Franklin drilled the ball through mid-off for four only for the boundary to be removed from the records.
Smith deserved to be reprieved; New Zealand deserved those runs. The dead-ball ruling protects the batsmen from dismissal but does not reward them with runs. The Law needs to be changed. The solution is staring everybody in the face. The ruling should not be a dead ball, it should be a no-ball. That way the batsman always gets whatever benefits accrue and an extra delivery as well. If batsmen stumble into the stumps in the process of playing a shot, they are given out hit-wicket. For bowlers to suffer a no-ball would be the least they deserve.
Meanwhile, Finn needs to stop kicking the stumps and kick the habit instead.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Ask Steven: Also, most keeping dismissals on debut, seven-for at HQ, and youngest ODI centurions
Diary: Our correspondent walks and buses the streets of the English capital, and then heads for the coast
My Favourite Cricket Story: Brett Lee remembers how Australia nearly lost the Old Trafford Test in the 2005 Ashes
Ed Smith: Success, failure, innovation - they are all about our willingness to take risks and how we judge them
Beige Brigade: The boys discuss the throbbing excitement of the World Cup, spot slow Bodyline in England, and attack the TV coverage's technology
Ishant Sharma has often been the butt of jokes, and sometimes deservedly so. Today, however, the joke was on England
They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity
Only 15 times in Test history has a player achieved the double of 300 runs and 20 wickets in a Test series. Going on current form, Bhuvneshwar could well be the 16th
In India's win at Lord's, Ishant Sharma took the best bowling figures by an Indian in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia. Here are five other best bowling efforts by Indians in the fourth innings of Tests outside Asia
India's wretched run away from home began at Lord's in 2011. A young team full of self-belief may have brought it to an end with their victory at the same venue three years later
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?
Alastair Cook did not bat like a leading man but the crowd applauded him for simply not failing
If England are going to win nothing, history suggests it might be worth their while to win nothing with kids
Why not you? Read and learn how!