A letter to the ICC

Dear ICC,

I’ve a few points that I would like to make which I feel is for the betterment of cricket. But then you are a supreme body of cricket while the actual power lies in the hands of BCCI, so I do not know whether writing this letter to you would be of any use. But still, being a cricket lover, I’ve to make an attempt and will mark a CC to BCCI too. Following are some rules you may want to change, some are straightforward – a matter of common sense, some are a tad radical, and of course all of them are open to debate.

Fielding Restrictions – What use are they? Remove them! If it is a Sachin batting he will anyway pierce the field. If it is a Yusuf Pathan batting n-number of fielders on the boundary are not going to stop him. And if it is a Zaheer you want to see hit sixes, you should stop watching cricket and go see a mental specialist.

Edges that go for runs – Ravi Shastri, or any commentator, would say that is a mental victory for the bowler. “Bollocks” is what a bowler of English descent would say. It is frustration that the bowler feels, not a moral victory. If the runs are unintentional do not award them. I do not want to see a top-edged six. A top-edge should mean victory for bowler – he beat the batsman, a top-edge or a Chinese cut, or a French cut (the shot-name changes based on the commentator) should not mean runs for batsman. And I am not talking about the deliberate edges, the upper cut, or the late cut – in my opinion they are beautiful to watch for the split-second decision the batsman makes while playing them.

Byes, Legbyes – In a similar vein byes and legbyes should be removed. There is a reason the batsman is called a batsman – he is a man with a bat. If the ball is hitting his legs, or his helmet the batting team should not be awarded any runs.

LBW Rule – Why the intricacies? If the ball has pitched outside leg-stump, so what?! If the ball is hitting the stumps, the batsman is out, else not!

10 over per bowler – If the opening batsman can play for all 50 overs (which implies he was able to face nearly 150 balls i.e. ~25 overs), why should a bowler be restricted to just 10 overs? Allow the bowler to bowl till he falls over tired from the exertion. It can be 12 overs, it can be 15, and if Shakib-al-Hasan wants, let him bowl 25 overs after opening the bowling. You are not stopping a batsman, why stop a bowler at 10 overs?

Bouncers – And why do you hate bowlers so much? Let them bowl more bouncers, I feel at least three an over should be allowed. If a batsman cannot play a bouncing ball, he should not play cricket.

Flat Pitches – And another very important rule – if in a match, both team are able to score more than 330 (you can decide the exact figure, but I hope it is not 400 or so!) then that ground should be handed a suspension of a year or till the time the pitch is relaid – and not by the National Highway contractor. And FYI, the match where SA chased some 430 odd runs against Australia should not be called the best ODI ever. It was a match about who had the better bowling machines, not about cricket.

Associate Countries – And stop treating associate countries with disdain. Every World Cup the associate countries are emerging victorious against cricket powerhouses even without ample practice. Nurture the associate countries, give them a proper chance to play regularly against powerful opposition (I read somewhere that Canada & Kenya have played just 2 & 6 matches against proper oppositions since the 2007 World Cup) and I am sure the 2023 World Cup could be won by Ireland or Afghanistan. Wasn’t Sri Lanka an associate team in early 80s, and didn’t they win the World Cup in ’96? Hope you learn a lesson from FIFA.

CC : BCCI

Regards,
Kunal
(On behalf of many more cricket lovers)

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14 Responses to “A letter to the ICC”


  1. 1 D. N. Rohith March 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Outside legstump isn’t considered for lbw for a reason. LBW is introduced to make sure that batsmen dont resort to cheap tactics of blocking the wickets with their legs. But that doesn’t mean we should go to the other extreme where bowler can resort to cheap tactics of bowling onto the legs from the legside. The batsmen has to stand on his legs which need to be on one side of the wicket and pitching on that side is prohibited for lbw.

    Why cant we use the same logic you used for edged runs to bottom edged bowled dismissals, lucky nicks to keeper?

    Any game with fewer rules will be more interesting and exciting. While I agree with your suggestions for removing fielding and bowling restrictions, I simply couldn’t understand why you took the complete opposite stand when it comes to batting. You are not planning a revenge on batting community on behalf of bowling community, are you? 😛

    Just removing fielding/bowling restrictions would do wonders to the cricket. 🙂

    • 2 Kunal March 7, 2011 at 11:42 am

      Rohith,
      Regarding the LBW rule – I would love to see the bowlers resort to bowling onto the legs from the legside. At least the batsmen would stop playing those ball with the pad. I remember a test match – India vs England around 4-5 years back. I got bored of seeing Giles bowl the negative line, and Indian batsmen padding away till end of day. It was not a good ad for cricket that day. Anyway I’m always open to discussion.

      And yeah you are right about some dismissals – they are pure luck, like the ones where the runner is run out because a straight drive crashes into stumps after touching the bowler’s hand. Hmm, so would need to re-think that point; since luck is involved both ways.

      And yeah, I am planning a revenge on the batting community on behalf of the bowling community – the game right now is biased towards the batsmen 🙂

  2. 3 Amit Kumar Gupta March 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Sorry, but except the 10 over per bowler rule you have mentioned, all others defy cricket logic and are just emotional outbursts. I won’t get into details of each of them, but the most outrageous one is to remove LBW rule…someone above me has just given a beautiful explanation for that, so i will spare the details. You don’t want teams to get out for 100 all out in most of the matches.

    I think the associate teams don’t get anything by getting thrashed continuously. And for One classic England-Ireland Game in this WC11, we have seen too many one sided and boring contests for 3-4 days in succession. Yes, ICC should do more about these teams playing more ODIs against major test playing nations, but i don’t think unless they are improving (someone like Ireland), they should be given a chance to play in ODI Wcs. They need to be kept away or if, they want to play…come up with a better solution for the format of WC. If wc15 format stays, we got to see more of close contests and competitive matches…..think of this wc11 format, we may not be able to see India vs Pakistan, that’s a shame in itself. period

    • 4 Kunal March 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Amit,
      Wherever cricket is concerned, of course it is going to be emotional 🙂

      I never said to remove the LBW rule – I am merely saying it is time to modify the rules. Yesterday in India-Ireland match, there was a ball by Zaheer that was hitting the stumps but was overturned on DRS as the ball had pitched marginally outside the leg-stump.

      As for the Associate teams, they deserve a chance. SL was at one time an associate team! And yeah the WC format really needs to be changed. With 14 teams the only option is to have 2 groups of 7 teams. It would be any day better to have 12 teams or 15 teams – that way we can have other options too – 2Gx6T/3Gx4T/4Gx3T/3Gx5T/5Gx3T ..

      • 5 Amit March 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm

        Kunal,

        That’s the whole point. How will you distinguish between a ball which is pitched marginally outside leg stump or marginally inside leg stump? how can you give out in both conditions…there are many cricket intricacies (how much it is going to swing, turn etc) involved in this, it is not as simple as you are highlighting it. I think rules are fine as of now.

        But ICC has messed up by introducing this 2.5 rule and then modifying it again (i just read it this morning!). But i think this is only for this tournament as they don’t have Hot spot and Snicko to back up UDRS, so they have implemented 2.5 m rule.

        SL was an associate for good 4 wcs till they become champion in 96. I am not against developing cricket in any of the nations. SL in any case had strong cricket loving public and infrastructure to build cricket. There will always be an odd upset as it has happened in all the wcs so far. But to make it more interesting and commercially viable, associates have to go. My logic is pretty simple, if a WC is not throwing me matches of potential competitiveness…and instead i have to watch boring matches involving the associates…it is a big fail for me. That’s why 92 WC format was the best and will be followed in wc15 as well. ICC are pretty stubborn in it, that is a different thing that they have a huge commercial angle to it 😉

        • 6 Kunal March 10, 2011 at 11:12 am

          We can discuss endlessly regarding the LBW rule and the DRS, suffice to say – there are changes needed. Who decides those changes? Get all the reputed players who have playing career of over a decade, who know the intricacies of the game, and let them decide which rule is stupid, and which is not.

          And no matter what ICC thinks, and what is the commercial value, I would still root for the Associate Countries. 🙂

        • 7 Neil March 10, 2011 at 11:16 am

          @Kunal I agree on your point involving reputed players who have playing career of over a decade because its easy to make guesses from TV rooms.

        • 8 Kunal March 11, 2011 at 11:58 am

          Neil, being an armchair expert is too damn easy 🙂 Which is what I am doing 😛

  3. 9 Neil March 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Yesterday Star Cricket was showing worldcup upsets.
    one of them was Sri Lanka Beat India in 1979 world up. 😀
    SL was an Associate country then , now considered biggest threat to any team.I agree on your point

    I think 10 over per bowler is enough , a bats man has only one chance to get out so he is allowed to play full 50 I guess.And bowling 10 overs in one day must be very tiring , at least half of the sides should be able to bowl , else it won’t be cricket 😀

    • 10 Kunal March 7, 2011 at 11:58 am

      I agree to the point that Associate teams deserve more chances.

      And this is an interesting point you put up – a batsman gets only one mistake. Whereas a bowler can make mistakes and still bowl, but then aren’t their job-descriptions very different? 🙂
      Going by that logic, there should be some way to ensure that even in a batting team at least five batsmen should bat 😛

  4. 11 Neil March 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Anyway there may not be strong reason why the above rules should not be changed according to this post.Similarly there is not strong reason to defend if somebody says pawns should be allowed to be moved 2 steps at a time in chess as they are more armed in wars now a days 😀 . So I believe not every rules can be analysed logically for a game , that is the beauty of the game until nobody exploits the rule

  5. 13 Sangfroid March 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Frivolous rants. Mostly! 😀


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