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Require something to replace traditional methods of shining ball: Ian Chappell

by Saurabh Sharma May 11, 2020 • 22:37 PM

Melbourne, May 11:  As saliva and sweat are now considered health risks due to the coronavirus crisis, former Australia captain Ian Chappell has opined that some form of ball-tampering could be allowed in cricket in order to help the bowlers.

In his column on Cricinfo website, Chappell said fans want to see genuine contest between bat and ball and with all cricket stopped now due to the virus, this is the ideal time to experiment.

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"With ball-tampering always a hot topic, in the past I've suggested that administrators ask international captains to construct a list (i.e. the use of natural substances) detailing the things bowlers feel will help them to swing the ball. From this list, the administrators should deem one method to be legal with all others being punishable as illegal," he said.

"With cricket on hold, this is the ideal time to conduct the exercise. Using saliva and perspiration are now seen as a health hazard, so bowlers require something to replace the traditional methods of shining the ball," added Chappell.

Players have often been accused of tampering the ball with jelly and other substances to shine the ball. They also try and scuff it with bottle tops, trouser zippers.

The 2018 Cape Town Test between Australia and South Africa saw the ugly side of ball tampering when Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were suspended for trying to alter the ball with sandpaper.

Chappell added administrators should make a change to the leg-before-wicket (LBW) rule in favour of the bowlers.

"The new lbw law should simply say: 'Any delivery that strikes the pad without first hitting the bat and, in the umpire's opinion, would go on to hit the stumps is out regardless of whether or not a shot is attempted.'

"Forget where the ball pitches and whether it strikes the pad outside the line or not; if it's going to hit the stumps, it's out," the former batsman said.

"The priority for cricket administrators should be to maintain an even balance between bat and ball. These law changes would help redress any imbalance and make the game, particularly Test cricket, a far more entertaining spectacle," he added.