Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has dismissed the calls asking for banning the bouncer from the game.
Discussion around banning the bouncer surfaced after the tragic demise of Australian batsman Phil Hughes in 2014.
After prodigious opener Will Pucovski recently sustained the 9th concussion of his career, the conversation has returned. He was ultimately ruled out of the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Taking a cheesy swipe at New Zealand bowler Chris Martin, Ian Chappell wrote in ESPNcricinfo:
"Any talk of completely banning the bouncer should be dismissed as quickly as bowlers removed New Zealand batting bunny Chris Martin"
The revered expert added that instead of making a knee-jerk decision like this, a worldwide review on safety should be conducted. Ian Chappell also wrote in favor of bolstering rules for the safety of the lower-order batsman. He added:
"The time is ripe for a worldwide review into on-field safety, including batsmen, bowlers and umpires, with batting technique a top priority. In conducting this review it would be appropriate to strengthen any law regarding the protection of tailenders in facing short-pitched bowling."
Ian Chappell also touched upon the recent saga where Yuzvendra Chahal replaced a concussed and injured Ravindra Jadeja in a T20I between India and Australia. Talking about the 'like-for-like' replacement, which was the main point of contention back then, he remarked:
"The heat rose in this argument when Chahal claimed three wickets and the player-of-the-match award in India's narrow victory. Complaining about a player not being a like-for-like replacement seems pointless; it's always going to be difficult to please all parties."
Need to ensure fewer people get hit on the head: Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell also stressed improving the batsmen's technique to face the bouncer. According to him, that's what will prevent major injuries more often while preserving the trueness of the game.
"... Just addressing the concussion-sub issue doesn't get to the heart of the matter - it's the rising number of batsmen hit on the head that then leads to the need for a replacement player. Following the tragic death of Phil Hughes, Cricket Australia conducted a safety review. Incredibly, this process didn't include a look at technique, which is the most important aspect in ensuring fewer batsmen receive blows to the head."
Ian Chappell further wrote:
"Often batsmen duck into a short ball and get hit. Many times a ball only bounces between waist and chest height but still hits a batsman in the head because he has taken his eye off the ball and ducked. Will Pucovski's latest concussion is a case in point."Published 21 Dec 2020, 16:58 IST