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Amidst Ebbs and Flows, Cricket Needs to be Little more Practical But When?

Cricket and its beauty but lack of practicality

How often they say it! Or how often they are seeking some practicality from the game of Cricket for a long time. The game is fun, provides one excitement, most of the times, or a few particular choice-based format does, that you want to be engaged with, but there were, there are and I am sure there will be, in many upcoming years, rules and regulations that will make one think, is the game really practical or needs to be taken seriously?!

There have been moves from the governing body and the ICC to have a look at some of the rules that are kind of born to create controversies, and fair to say, they have made some changes in it, but still there are a few left which even with the ebbs and flows of the game, make it impractical.

Impartiality over chasing teams in rain-hit affairs, specially T20s

Rarely one would find me disturbing my sleep cycle for a cricket game, unless it’s a Test match, or India or CSK are playing the 20-over games. But the other day, I was working, and my attention gets on that ongoing SA20 game between Johannesburg Super Kings (JSK) and MI Cape Towns (MICT).

The most interesting part of the game was Kieron Pollard’s, one of the most veteran players of the format to be part of multiple leagues across the world for over a decade, tactical moves to slow the game down, which was never going to be make the opponent captain, Faf du Plessis happy or rather was making him annoying, as one could hear from the stumps mic.

Cricket in Rain
©-Adam Mountford/ Twitter

It reached to a position where most of the fans came to social media and started to bash out Pollard, which I found quite unfair. When Cape Towns started their batting, they were planning for their 20-overs, and in a reason, decided to start sensibly specially after losing an early wicket. The rain came and the game was reduced to eight overs, which made them going from auto-rickshaw to express train.

On the flip of the coin, Super Kings took full advantage of it, given they were full aware of the target and the number of overs from the start, which made them plan to go with an aggressive route from the first ball of their innings. And then there was a little drizzle, and in an aim to bring a result, they had to bat for at least five overs. Pollard decided to move the game like a tortoise, with useless field placements, and various imaginary plannings, while the bowlers too were suddenly losing their run ups.

I thought what Pollard did wasn’t right, but he wasn’t wrong either. There must be a change in that rule. The chasing team always gets an extra cushion in the DRS during a rain-affected meetings, and to stop it, what they could do, is to have a rule that the chasing team could only have the same number of the wickets, that the team batting first has used during the first innings or perhaps a certain number of wickets that could be decided by the umpires and the match referee. Only that way, one could think of bringing some sort of equality.

You don’t want to make some calculations easy for someone, and almost unbearable, that too during a situation they weren’t aware of from the beginning.

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If batters can change their stance, bowlers could change their hand without informing

It was interesting when I first saw the switch-hit shot, it blew my mind, and it was purely Kevin Petersen, perhaps, who discovered the shot and kind of made advertisement all over the world.

And it was him and Harsha Bhogle who got themselves in an almost heated argument who discuss whether the switch hit is actually legitimate in the game. In my views, it’s legal and should be kept but in prospect of keeping the equal, the motto of this piece, the bowlers should be given an extra yard of deciding which hand they want to use while delivering, without actually telling the batter.

Cricket and its innovative switch-hot shot
©-Mufaddal Vohra/Twitter

Long from the past, the bowlers are taken as someone who always do the donkey job. They run around under the sun, no matter how tough the conditions are, and how placid the wicket becomes, they give their all, and for those who play Test cricket, they have to do it so often, and then also have to pull themselves up for the next Test match. You ask someone youngster about his cricketing aim, and I can guarantee most of the answers would be standing in the middle and hitting those long sixes or milking those glorified boundaries. Hardly one would tell you about the beauty of setting a batter and taking his wicket.

It won’t be easy enough for someone to bowl with both hands, or change it in his delivery stride with the momentum, and probably one won’t find it in the Test matches so regularly, but you never know how effective it could be in the shorter formats. It’s one of those blue moon talents, but at least, they will be stance to make it equal.

Cricket and More rules, and more controversies, and more impracticality

There are more rules, more controversial rules, and the number would probably blow your mind. 

The one that would, one day, destroy the world, oops the cricketing world and perhaps divide them in few groups, could be the one where the batter or the team doesn’t get a run if they take a single or the ball goes to the boundary when the opponent side appeals and goes for the review against a LBW shout! As most of the people before me have already imagined or predicted the situation before me, that the team would require 2 off 1, and then there would be some shout, loud one actually, the ball would touch the rope, and the opponent knowing the whole situation would opt for the review, and may start celebrating straightway.

It was horrible of a rule to decide the winner of the 2019 ODI World Cup, and it would be nightmare to think one result going down in a huge tournament in the most baseless fashion! It’s better to make decisions early, rather than waiting for some accident and change it like the traffic rules.

Cricket's rules you wanna avoid

Even after enjoying the game since 2008, and keeping a close eye for the last 14 years, I am yet to understand the different corridors of the DRS rules. And I am sure for someone to understand the game, they got to be the most smartest person. It changes in every four to five years.

Another aspect in the game that’s more impractical but needs to bring more, and that should be applied by the appointed standing umpires would be showing some speed in the game. There can’t be uncountable unofficial drinks break, after every single over. The wicket-keeper doesn’t take much, the two umpires themselves don’t take much, and there is always scope of having those refreshments while there is a wicket, so to bring more scope for his part, the game becomes slow, and somehow people lose interest.

Another thing is the umpires should keep the game flowing in many circumstances, whether there is poor light, or little drizzle in the air, specially when the batters were smashing the balls or don’t have much difficulty in it. The poor spectators always have to become the scapegoat.

There is excitement, there is the ebbs and flows of moments in various parts of the game, and there is the pressure and anticipation that makes one felt love for it. But nonetheless, I know the game will keep on staying away from being practical, no matter how hard they try.

Author: Subhradeep

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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