Sydney: Australian cricketer Aaron Bird, who was the last player in the country to be banned for throwing, has backed new proposed laws to keep in check the menace of illegal bowling actions. Bird believes rules are rules and everyone needs to live by them. The former New South Wales bowler said he thinks the technology on the horizon for in game testing of bowling actions is a great thing, but until then umpires need to stick to their guns.
Bird added if umpires they believe someone has a suspect action they need to go through the right process. Cricket Australia (CA) this week revealed plans to toughen its procedures for reporting doubtful actions in domestic competitions. At present, it takes three separate mentions in a season for a report to be made and for the testing process to kick in, although umpires can cut to the reporting stage at their discretion. Bird said he thinks it`s a good idea to tighten the reporting system but the CA should be looking to nip this in the bud before it gets to the game stage, adding if someone is coming over for the BBL and there`s been a few questions marks about his action, maybe they need to get him tested before the competition starts.
Bird`s action was the topic of merciless sledging during his career of six first-class games and 25 one-day games for NSW. Three years after he was forced into retirement, having returned from suspension only to be reported again, Bird feels for bowlers whose actions are questioned in public, but also expresses frustration about the lack of global action to tackle the problem.