Chuckers need to be banned
Former India skipper Bishan Singh Bedi on Saturday said that cricket could be made chucking-free by banning the guilty bowlers, who were acting as role models for the youngsters.
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“I think every team has at least 2-3 chuckers. It makes me sick to see somebody bowling a dart ball at 90 kmphs per hour and running around the ground in celebration,” Bedi said during a cricketing discussion after delivering the second Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture here on Saturday.
The outspoken member of the famed Indian spin quartet was obviously referring to the likes of Sri Lanka’s world record setting off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan.
“(Upcoming) Spinners have some role models. If you get rid of these, you’ll get a clean action,” he said.
“Why can’t we have bowlers like Anil Kumble or Shane Warne? I’ve never seen better than S Venkatraghavan or Erapalli Prasanna,” he added.
Bedi said he was concerned that while India had banned 132 spinners for chucking in domestic cricket, he had heard about no such steps from countries like Australia, and South Africa.
“We need to take collective responsibility to eradicate the ills of the game,” he added.
Commenting on the Indian spin-attack, Bedi said he felt that flamboyant opening batsman Virender Sehwag, was the best off-spinner in the national squad.
“I think Sehwag is probably the best off-spinner in the Indian team. He has a clean action and also spins the ball,” said Bedi putting an indirect question mark over the delivery action of frontline off spinner Harbhajan Singh.
The left arm spin great, who took 266 wickets in 67 Test matches, said slow bowling could still be India’s trump card provided the tweakers were used in a penetrative manner.
“Spin to my mind is still our main strength provided it is bowled properly and used properly. Spinners should be used for taking wickets and not for giving respite to (fast) bowlers,” he said.
Bedi said he was against the trend of spinners being discouraged from flighting the ball to buy wickets.
“Slower ballers are trying to bowl fast regularly while quicker bowlers are bowling slower balls regularly. In both cases they are not doing their job. Bowlers are taking the T20 mentality in Test matches also,” he said.
“During a Test match in Kanpur against South Africa, I think it was Amit Mishra or Piyush Chawla. India were in a winning position and no way South Africa could have won the match when one of these tossed the ball which was hit for a boundary by A B devilliers. One could hear a voice from behind the wickets saying “don’t buy”. If you can’t buy your wickets (how) are you really going to enjoy the game,” he said.
Asked to explain the ‘doosra’, Bedi, in a veiled dig at Muralitharan, said it was an illegitimate delivery coming from a man with a flawed action.
“What would you call another man in a woman’s life. Are they accepted? Cricket is a very social game. ‘Doosra’ is not acceptable. It is an illegitimate delivery coming up from a man with a wrong action,” he said.
Talking about Sardesai, named as the renaissance man of Indian cricket by former selection panel chief Vijay Merchant, Bedi said he was surprised that with all the knowledge and keenness he possessed, he was never chosen as a national selector.