West Indies great Curtly Ambrose believes modern-day cricket is no longer an equal contest between bat and ball and that the rules are lopsided and heavily in favour of the batters.
“Cricket is now primarily for the batsman. I am not happy with it. Not because I was a former bowler, but cricket has to be an even contest between bat and ball. At the moment, it’s very one-sided. Eighty percent of it favours the batsman. Now, that, to me, is not good competition. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll consciously say it again: there’s no greater spectacle than that between a great fast bowler and a great batsman. But too many rules and regulations have come into the game, and it cripples the fast-bowling department,” Ambrose told Sportstar.
The legendary pacer, who tormented opposition batters with his pace and bounce, also termed the bouncer rule a ‘waste’ and said that bowlers should be allowed to bowl short-pitched deliveries with more freedom.
“For instance, if you’re a fast bowler and you bowl a short ball and the batsman pulls it away for a six or a four, now you want to be able to come back and let the batsman prove that he can do it again. Nowadays, if you bowl a short ball, it’s one for the over. So as a fast bowler, you have to think, ‘Should I bowl my second one and then the contest is over, or should I wait?’ So, you take that contest away, right away. I reckon the bouncer rule is just a waste. There’s no competition. I’m not saying go overboard, but a bowler should be able to bowl a little bit more.”
The ICC (International Cricket Council) rules allow two bouncers per over in Tests and One-Day Internationals and only one in T20 Internationals. However, to restore some balance between bat and ball, the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has decided to permit two bouncers every over in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy domestic T20 competition from this season.
Ambrose also doesn’t like the idea of batters being rewarded with a free-hit after a bowler has bowled a no-ball and is baffled by the rules governing ‘wide’ balls.
“Sometimes the person may miss the ball an inch on the left side, and we’re calling it wide. Now, I mean, whenever I do commentary, I usually really complain about it. How could you miss a delivery on the leg side by an inch and call it wide? Then on the offside, you could go very wide just inside that white line, which you will call the wide. All those simple things, to me, are what make it difficult for bowlers. A bowler oversteps the front crease, and it is a no-ball, and you get a free hit. How could that be right? Everything has gotten worse for the bowlers,” he said.
- ENG vs PAK LIVE Score, World Cup 2023: England wins the toss and opts to bat vs Pakistan
- Australia vs Bangladesh Live Score, World Cup 2023: Hridoy smashes maiden WC fifty; BAN 239/4 (40)
- Asian half marathon C’ship: Indian men’s team wins gold, women’s team clinches bronze
- ENG vs PAK qualification scenarios: How can Pakistan reach World Cup semifinal; England Champions Trophy chances explained
- Manchester United’s Evans out for ‘next few weeks’ with injury