Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday slammed the MCC’s recommendation that single-make balls be used in Test cricket, saying that it would be “unfortunate” if the suggestion, which will take away the challenge of playing in overseas conditions, is considered seriously.
The World Cricket Committee of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), called the custodian of the game’s laws, has proposed the use of a standard ball in the inaugural World Test Championship, which takes place after the World Cup in July.
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“Now we are hearing that they (MCC) are taking about standardising the ball, you might as well standardize the pitches, you might as well standardise the bat, you might as well standardise everything...What’s the big deal in playing cricket... (there is this) whole idea of going overseas and winning... because you are playing in different conditions,” said Gavaskar.
“That (MCC) World Committee is like Cricket Club of India or the National Cricket Club in Kolkata or Madras Cricket Club in Chennai. It is pretty similar to that, the MCC is saying our committee should (be) listened to (more than the) ICC Committee. And unfortunately a lot of people take them seriously,” he added.
At the moment, SG ball is used in India, Dukes in England and the West Indies, and Kookaburra in other countries including Australia and South Africa.
Players have expressed their ball preference in recent times, including India skipper Virat Kohli and premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. They gave their vote to the red Dukes.
A shot clock to prevent time wasting and free hit for a no ball are among the other steps proposed by the MCC to spice up the longest format.
Gavaskar said playing in home and overseas conditions form the essence of Test cricket.
“I personally feel, the whole idea of cricket is the different conditions that you get. You get different conditions from ‘gully’ to ‘gully’ (street to street), leave aside country to country or city to city.
“One gully there might be something, which is just across, you can’t hit the straight ball, there might be a policeman there, there might a fish vendor coming there (while the play is on), which might not happen in next gully, so you cannot standardize.
“The whole idea of cricket and why players are recognised as being good or great is when they do well in overseas, unfamiliar conditions,” Gavaskar added.
The batting great also ridiculed queries on his prediction for India’s chances at the Word Cup, which starts May 30 in England.
“I would be very happy to answer the question, (but) unfortunately I haven’t been able to check Virat Kohli’s palm...I cannot answer the question (but) I am hoping that India wins the World Cup,” he said.