New Delhi, May 10 : Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has come up with new lbw law saying that forget where the ball pitches and whether it strikes the pad outside the line or not; if it's going to hit the stumps, it's out. With cricket on hold, this is the ideal time to conduct the exercise. Using saliva and perspiration are now seen as a health hazard, so bowlers require something to replace the traditional methods of shining the ball.
The new lbw law should simply say: "Any delivery that strikes the pad without first hitting the bat and, in the umpire's opinion, would go on to hit the stumps is out regardless of whether or not a shot is attempted," Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo. There will be screams of horror - particularly from pampered batsmen - but there are numerous positives this change would bring to the game. Most important is fairness. If a bowler is prepared to attack the stumps regularly, the batsman should only be able to protect his wicket with the bat. The pads are there to save the batsman from injury not dismissal, said former captain.
It would also force batsmen to seek an attacking method to combat a wristspinner pitching in the rough outside the right-hander's leg stump. Contrast Sachin Tendulkar's aggressive and successful approach to Shane Warne coming round the wicket in Chennai in 1997-98 with a batsman who kicks away deliveries pitching in the rough and turning in toward the stumps. Which would you rather watch? "The current law encourages "pad play" to balls pitching outside leg while this change would force them to use their bat. The change would reward bowlers who attack the stumps and decrease the need for negative wide deliveries to a packed off-side field," said he.
This change to the lbw law would also simplify umpiring and result in fewer frivolous DRS challenges. Consequently, it would speed up a game that has slowed drastically in recent times. It would also make four-day Tests an even more viable proposition as mind-numbing huge firstinnings totals would be virtually non-existent. With ball-tampering always a hot topic, in the past I've suggested that administrators ask international captains to construct a list (ie the use of natural substances) detailing the things bowlers feel will help them to swing the ball. From this list, the administrators should deem one method to be legal with all others being punishable as illegal, said Chappell. (UNI)