The Heavy Ball

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ICC to act to curb rash of wickets

As many as 15 batsmen being dismissed in a day? The madness has got to stop

Alan Tyers

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A
R Ashwin is pumped up after trapping Nathan Lyon lbw, Australia v India, 1st Test, Melbourne, 3rd day, December 28, 2011
Also, bowlers punching the air after taking a wicket sends a message to kids that it's all right to disrespect the environment © Getty Images
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With 55 wickets falling in three days across the two Boxing Day Tests, the ICC has acted swiftly to counter this "increasingly unacceptable bias" in favour of bowling.

After day three at the MCG saw 15 batsmen dismissed, the ICC released a statement condemning a development it said was "contrary to the spirit of cricket".

"What fans want to see is batsmen smashing the ball around, ideally for six," said the statement. "And if the six is accompanied by Ravi Shastri shouting or somebody name-checking an official ICC corporate partner, then so much the better.

"This recent rash of aggressive bowling and wicket-taking must be eradicated right away. How can corporate partners be expected to invest in a form of cricket where the action may not even last the full five days? It's all very well for the likes of de Lange and Yadav who are taking these wickets, but what about all those wasted day five vol-au-vents in the hospitality tents?

"Wicket-taking bowlers are the biggest threat facing Test cricket today, and the problem must be stamped out."

The ICC plans to make the game more batsman-friendly by allowing only one bouncer per series (a result of continuous lobbying by a Mr S Raina of Uttar Pradesh), while any further short-pitched deliveries must be bowled with a beachball in a "free hit" situation.

In order to curb the unpleasant spectacle of batsmen being dismissed before they have had a chance to hit some sixes, bats will be widened to the same width as the stumps - or the fleshy part of Graeme Smith's thigh on difficult pitches.

"As custodians of the game," continued the ICC statement, "our first duty is to the most important people in the game, i.e. people who don't especially like cricket but might be persuaded to go to a day-night game if it's an entertaining spectacle.

"These casual fans don't want to see so-called legcutters or probing off-stump lines: they want to see big-hitting players they half-recognise from KFC adverts smashing the ball into the cheerleading section.

"And it is our duty to provide for them."

The ICC plans to level the playing field in favour of batsmen by insisting that every international team include at least one post-Warne Australian spinner. "If every team had a Doherty, a Hauritz or a Piggy Smith in it, then we could guarantee that batsmen should at least get to hit some runs," confirmed the ICC.

"Cricket is in crisis, and we need to act before this outbreak of 'wicket-taking' kills the game off entirely."

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Comments: 14 
Posted by trepuR on (December 31, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

Words cannot express how strongly I agree with you.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2011, 20:30 GMT)

Alec I hope you realize the article's a joke! I wouldn't put it beyond ICC to come up with somethin like this though

Posted by   on (December 30, 2011, 0:34 GMT)

I will try my best to remain civilized in this reply, however i completely disagree with the stance that the ICC has taken on this matter. People that go to Test matches do not want to see loads of balls hit for six, its a test match, if you want to see that then go to a Twenty20 match. A test match is supposed to be a battle between bat and ball, and sometimes the ball comes out on top and matches finish a day early but that is part of the game. Furthermore, test match bowlers should be "aggressive" bowlers (especially pace bowlers)have been aggressive throughout the history of test cricket, why change that now? No bowler is becoming too aggressive in test cricket, it is all part of the battle between bat and ball and when the bowler wins that particular battle he should have every right to punch is fist in the air and enjoy the moment. Very poor suggestions by the ICC, disappointing.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 23:41 GMT)

Cricket followers : This article made me smile a little

Posted by ygkd on (December 29, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

What's this about "Piggy" Smith? His name is SPuD!

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 29, 2011, 22:52 GMT)

Damn, and just when our guys are starting to get the most out of those "Creative Collapsing" classes they've been taking !

As usual though, the dumb old bowlers didn't get the memo and they still hang around a while and get a few runs. Oh well, at least we won't have to retrain them when the new laws come into effect.

Cheers and happy New Year from Australia.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 17:19 GMT)

LOL lobbying by Suresh Raina! Good one Alan.

Now that people predict India's defeat on overseas tours easily (Australia, South Africa et al) do not be surprised if all Indian batsmen lobby for the games to be played only in India and obviously in perfect batting conditions.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 16:45 GMT)

post-Warne spinners ;p that part was teasing if you are an Aussie

Posted by SivaSVB95 on (December 29, 2011, 16:00 GMT)

"...or the fleshy part of Graeme Smith's thigh on difficult pitches."-AWESOME

Posted by AlexJenkinson on (December 29, 2011, 14:13 GMT)

Hilarious article, Alan! But can you please stop giving them ideas...

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Alan Tyers
Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.

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Alan Tyers Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.
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