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Thursday, January 12, 2017

More actions required from ICC

ICC addressed the declining on-field behavior in December 2016. This was very much required and the tough stance will bring back some level of decency to the gentlemen's game.

There are other areas ICC should take up in 2017, which have been waiting for quite a while.These around few specific areas:
  1. Follow-on rule -  Since VVS Laxman's epic 281 versus Australia at Eden Gardens, Kolkata 2001, the number of times a team has enforced follow-on despite having a lead of more than 200 has reduced drastically. Maybe the lead of runs should be reduced to 150 ( as is applicable to a four-day match). This will keep the legacy of follow-ons  ( remember Kapil Dev's four sixes off Eddie Hemmings to avoid the follow-on)to continue without putting undue pressure on the bowlers ( having to bowl for consecutive innings).
  2. DRS uniformity -Now that India has conducted a complete series with DRS system, it is time the competing nations or ICC take responsibility of DRS  system rather than leave it to the broadcasting companies. This will mean that the features available are same for all countries and tests.
  3. LBW for ball pitching outside the leg stump.- An off-spinner pitches the ball outside off but is able to get a LBW in his favor if the ball is deemed to hit the stumps. With DRS in place, it is easy for the umpires to make the judgement. Hence, it is time to allow balls pitched outside leg to be given out as well.This will rule out batsmen kicking out balls pitching outside the leg and eliminate negativity.
With these changes, test cricket can move further and get the much-needed attention over the other formats. The key question is whether ICC is ready to bite the bullet? Time will tell.
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