Some Suggestions

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR ALL FORMS OF THE GAME.

The 2015 World Cup was a sensational success, evidenced by sold out stadiums in both host countries – Australia and New Zealand.

Despite all the dire predictions, one-day international cricket is alive and well and needed the World Cup to be a huge success.

Here are some thoughts for discussion.

ONE-DAY INTERNATIONALS

Firstly, bowlers should be able to bowl unlimited overs, not restricted to 10.

We should do away with all field restrictions; the better attacking captains will be able to show their imagination and flair. The captain will control the game with clever field placements, the negative, defensive captains with little understanding of the game will be exposed, as they will just revert to putting everyone on the fence, yawn, boring and the batsmen will dissect that field and manage to get two runs a ball minimum. I also think this will make the bowlers take more responsibility in the fields they want and this change will make the players think more.

inevitably what will happen is that enterprising, attacking captains will mostly succeed.

Cricket followers want to see a real contest between bat and ball. It’s a fallacy that they come along to the cricket just to see fours and sixes; they want a fair contest, a battle, and if anything, favoring the bowler.

It would be fascinating to see how great bowlers like McGrath, Akram, Ambrose etc would perform in today’s cricket. I bet if these guys were bowling then there wouldn’t be as much talk about the size of the cricket bats.

somesuggestionsmcgrath

‘My old buddy Glenn McGrath….bigger bats wouldn’t have worried ‘Pidge’.’

Too many bowlers in today’s game give up too quickly. Some seem to take for granted that they are going to get whacked in short form cricket – come on bowlers, be better. FYI, the yorker delivered properly is still the best delivery at the end of a ODI or 20/20 game. Get better at it.

With the aid of technology, cricket bats have improved beyond belief and that’s a good thing, more of it I say. However, apart from a variety of colors, the ball hasn’t changed since Bradman was as boy.

I don’t care how big they make the bats. Go out there with a railway sleeper if you can lift it, but isn’t it time we did something with the ball to help the bowler?

Why not look at a two-piece ball? That would make the cherry hoop around, and make things interesting for batsmen and bowlers alike, or a prouder seam to make the ball talk in all conditions. Remember what happens when we tape one side of a tennis ball.

Surely we could replicate that by it being weighted on one side like a lawn bowl, which would make the damn thing talk.

If you’re going to play international cricket matches in countries like New Zealand, where the biggest capacity grounds are build for rectangular sports like rugby and soccer, some venues are going to be very small.

Nothing you can do about that. But why mess with the boundaries on the bigger grounds?

Sure, bring them in a smidge for safety reasons, but not 15 meters. Leave grounds the way they are or make them as big as they possibly can, do not bring them in so far. This has to stop.

If a ground is smaller, let the grass grow longer on the outfield. Let’s have a contest and let’s make it fair. We don’t want to see forward defensive prods racing off like tracer bullets to the boundary on short-clipped, manicured grass.

There has been considerable debate about the participation of the associated nations in the 2015 World Cup, with many in both cricket hierarchy and media suggesting that they should be excluded from future tournaments.

I’m of the view that the more nations the better, so, about a month out from the World Cup, let’s have a competition between all the associated nations?

Those four teams that get through to the semi-final stage of that tournament would automatically qualify to play in the World Cup. Remember cricket is a global game. We need to also make sure that every country’s A side travel and play against the associate nations otherwise they are never exposed to top cricket.

TEST MATCHES

The number of overs to be bowled in day in a Test match has always been an issue. Let’s fix it, once and for all.

To start with, let’s play Test matches over four days, not five.

A big call? Maybe – but not if ninety-six overs are bowled in each days play.

This could be achieved by extending the playing hours from 11am to 6pm, to 10am to 6pm and making lunch and tea breaks 30 minutes.

The sessions would then be extended to 2 hours and 20 minutes. With the constant access to drinks and treatment during these play days, the extra time wouldn’t be a problem, as teams would always bowl their overs in time and TV stations can schedule everything.

There should be no interference at all with the pitch during a day’s play. There’s so much sweeping and grooming going on these days, it’s like we’re in a barbershop. Leave it be. The groundsmen can touch it each morning and that’s it, nothing through the day.

‘Any maintenance of the pitch during a day’s play must stop.’

I would also change the format of Test cricket so it operates similarly to the old Sheffield Shield, but played over a four-year cycle, so every team plays each other a number of times home and away.

Now this might sound complicated, but if, say, a Test match victory earns 10 points, and 3 first innings points were only applied if a game loses more than 100 overs, at the end of the cycle, there would be a winner.

The winner to receive prize-money of, say, $10-million, which can be divided among the players, or donated to charity. Whatever the team decides. The ICC has the money.

T20s

There’s no doubt about their popularity, but they should only be played domestically, except for a T20 World Cup every two years.

This then would not affect the IPL, Big Bash or any other 20/20 comp and is sort of like an Olympics.

The good players will adapt very quickly to international competition, and most of them step out in the domestic T20s in any case.

AUSTRALIA A

There should be more games for Australia A, against the associated countries.

It’s been great watching Afghanistan and Scotland in the World Cup. If we are serious about promoting cricket in markets world-wide, we should be generous in sending Australia A teams to these places.

DUCKWORTH LEWIS

The Duckworth Lewis system needs to be revisited. The system is just not fair and accurate any longer, particularly in T20 matches.

DRS

The Decision Review System (DRS) should be made compulsory from the ICC and used by every cricket nation. The ICC should fund this, so it’s the same system every game played, it will take time for the players to accept it, but over time if everyone is playing by the same rules then it will be accepted, as it stands now, everyone should say no until all nations agree… not fair otherwise.

However, there should be changes in the way the system is being operated.

It’s hard to believe the number of decisions that are decided by a cat’s whisker. A millimeter here or there and, suddenly, if you get it wrong, you loose a review. That’s ludicrous. If it’s a close one, and the decision stays ‘umpire’s call’, you should not be penalised by losing a review.

I also challenge what it actually meant when they say that the ball is ‘pitching in line’.

As the rule reads now, if a ball isn’t more than half way pitching in the in line area, it’s deemed to be not pitching in line.

Did I miss something? How can it be ‘half’ pitching in line?

I think if a ball is touching the ‘corridor’ in any way when it pitches, it is in line.

And while I’m on the ‘corridor’, it should be lined up from the outside extremity of the stump, rather than the center. Those additional few millimeters will make all the difference to an umpire’s decision.

No doubt many of these changes will raise the hackles of cricket bureaucrats, but I am sure if they were adopted, cricket would be better for them.

Lastly, let’s make the stumps a bit taller and wider, continue with the flashing stumps, but make the grooves smaller as we don’t want to see the ball hitting the stumps and the bails (now heavier) not removed !!!

Interested in all your feedback.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this.

Keep spinning,

SKW