IPL 2020: Gavaksar says boundaries in Sharjah are too short

Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar discusses the reluctance of the ground authorities to lengthen the boundaries in grounds such as Sharjah.

Sanju Samson in action against Kings XI Punjab.   -  BCCI/IPL

The Indian Premier League 2020 in the United Arab Emirates had more than 350 sixes inside the first 25 days. Kings XI Punjab batsman Nicholas Pooran is on top of the six-chart with 16 hits under his belt.

Rajasthan Royals’ Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia have smashed 15 each. Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar spared a thought for the bowlers. In his fortnightly column for Sportstar, he discussed the reluctance of the authorities to lengthen the boundaries.

“The format is brutal on the bowlers, there’s no doubt about that, but to divide the 20 overs between four bowlers, each allowed to bowl five overs, is hardly going to make it equal for the bowlers as captains will include one more batsman in their team.

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“Why fix if it ain’t broke, is an old saying and that’s true in this case. What could be done and can be done is to increase the size of the boundaries wherever possible. The longer boundaries in Dubai and Abu Dhabi hasn’t meant less number of sixes but certainly more batsmen have been caught inside the boundary ropes than in Sharjah where the boundaries are much smaller,” he writes.

Gavaskar walked down the memory lane and pointed out how Kapil Dev and Viv Richards would be caught in Sharjah in the past. “Today not only are the players stronger and fitter but the bats have become better. So even somebody not massively built or with a sculpted body can hit the ball out of the same Sharjah stadium where the likes of Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge and Kapil Dev were getting caught on the fence not too long ago.”

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“The reluctance of the ground authorities to increase the boundaries is baffling and unless the ICC Cricket Committee puts its foot down and instructs that the LED boards should be no more than 18 inches away from the fence, the ground authorities are going to have them four to five feet away from it which shorten the boundaries considerably.Some of the sixers in Sharjah would have been caught inside the fence back then so there’s plenty of reason to lengthen the boundaries,” adds the former India captain.

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