a case against legalising ball tampering...

shared by straight point on Saturday, February 13, 2010

it seems now that shahid afridi did some service to cricket when he bite the ball... though his method was audacious at best but it has certainly opened the pandora box of debates for pros and cons...

fellow blogger and renowned cricket writer samir chopra presents the well considered case for legalising ball tampering... though like him i too do not agree with the morality issue... but legalising ball tampering does has its down side too...

there can be no clear cut measures on how much is too much... and even on that there will be different interpretations by different individuals that will only lead to more chaos with teams feeling hard done by the judgments... against clear cut measures as of now... if you are caught, you are punished which has been accepted by all though certain stuart broad will be an exception but still...

you do not have to go too far but to see the udrs system's fate... no team is happy with it and wherever it has been implemented has created more resentment with the questionable interpretations and judgments from talents like harpers...

the eradication of obvious decisions for which it was conceived can easily be carried out by third umpires... like in the case of raina in one day international recently when third umpire helped in over turning the decision given by simon taufel without the referral system in place... but you bet bureaucrats to come up with more complicated system than actually needed to make their presence felt...

the most compelling arguments given by those who are favoring ball tampering are that since the pitches are becoming roads... the batsmen using mongoose bats without worrying much about lateral movements... boundaries getting shortened where even miss hits clears the rope by good distance... game is decisively getting one dimensional... in favor of batsman... so bowlers need some assistance too to make it even...

but by this account can we legalise shop lifting in a recession time when finding jobs becomes more difficult... can we use unemployment as valid justification for it...?

ok... the example may not be that good but you get the drift...

rather than legalising ball tampering and inviting implementation and procedural headaches associated with it... it is far easier to arm bowlers with some allowances like lifting one bouncer per over rule... doing away with front foot no ball... bit liberal lbw parameters but more importantly giving them pitches which bring some smile back on their faces where they relish the challenge of bowling for five days...

as aakash chopra's latest article suggests... ball tampering is an art... and how a certain player took the bet to do it while talking to an umpire... i sincerely believe that legalising it will only kill this art...

those who can fool on field umpires and more importantly dissecting eyes of dozens of on field cameras placed strategically all over the ground... i have only one thing to say to them...

take a bow guys!!

14 comments:

A Bisht said...

I think legalising will be too much.

As in that case, you are deliberately adding an element which will kill the subtle art of ball swing.

Why it’s an art.

Swing happens when the ball is prepared for it. This preparation means altering the physical state of the ball. It’s making one side of ball relatively shinier than the other half. It can be done either by keeping the shine on one side intact or by deliberately roughing the other side. Relative is the key word here.

But even though, the ball preparation seems very simple, not all teams manage to prepare the ball to the same degree. That’s why not all teams swing the ball to the accuracy of a master. This means that more than the science behind the ball swing, there is also the art element.

Legalizing ball tampering will make the game too bland; it will be akin to introducing "Company made tampered balls" to the field. so that players will be spared from scratching and biting it on field

straight point said...

thanks for the detailed information AB...

tho i must say i found your idea of 'company made tampered balls' very very interesting... and pregnant with lots of possibilities... :)

Vikas said...

It will be too much.Instead the option you suggested SP can be used.

Trideep said...

SP, I am with you. Ball tampering is no doubt an art, but legalizing it is not necessary. Then there are other things which need to be legalized.. like say chucking. However, bowlers should definitely be given more options.

wasim said...

SP

I hope you are not trying to imply that there is no legal way to manage the ball.

Because if we believe in that notion then we are indirectly accusing all teams of illegal ball tampering and are assuming that reverse swing cannot be achieved legally.

The ball can be managed within the legal limits by continously banging one side of the ball on the pitch and keeping the other side in good condition. Even if the ball is readily prepared for reverse swing not every bowler can effectively reverse it as there are too many other factors involved. i.e the wind speed the pace of the bowler,his action and his skill level.

The conditions play an important role in preperation of the ball,if the pitch and the weather are not dry it won't help much as a result a team desperate to win can resort to illegal means.

It is not possible for a team to scuff the ball illegally if the cameramen follow the ball through out the match and the on field umpires keep a close eye on the condition of the ball and keep the possession of the ball when the players are in a huddle.

Illegal methods should be discouraged and teams involving in such activity should be penalized heavily.

straight point said...

thanks vikas...

straight point said...

yes trideep bowlers need some assurance too... i don't know why the authorities are hell bent on making it one dimensional affair... by this account i foresee bowling machines used in future games...

straight point said...

wasim... no way i am implicating that... as i said who ever is doing it illegally will get caught and punished and i am strongly in favor of that (if you remember my post on afridi as well for a point in case)

managing the ball is the combination of art and skill as not every bowler can draw reverse swing... and sometimes you get lucky like sa when the ball that was changed was in perfect condition to reverse while taking nothing away the way steyn bowled...

Unny said...

http://cric-mumbai.blogspot.com/2010/02/day1-indian-bowling-awakes-and-attack.html

Samir Chopra said...

Hi SP, thanks for linking to my post.

I don't think the shop-lifting/recession analogy works because in cricket the laws have been deliberately set so as to make life easier for batsmen. Its not as if a set of circumstances have slowly come together to conspire against bowlers.

As for the "subtle art of ball swing", it's always involved some "tampering". And thats because tampering is quite simply altering the condition of the ball. Shining the ball is altering the condition, as is keeping one side shiny and so on. This is the so-called "subtle art". Despite all this prep, it still takes masters to make it swing, like Younis/Akram etc. (Don't forget, bowlers regularly rub sunscreen into the ball).

As for where to set the line, umpires interpret fine lines all the time (well, before we got impatient with them and came up with UDRS). They can decide when the ball is in too bad a shape. But of course, people might not accept their decisions and accuse them of bias. Like they do now.

Soulberry said...

The greatest danger of legalizing ball tampering is that t is possible that so inclined players may carry hacksaw blades in their pockets when they come onto the field. If their efforts on the ball do not produce the result they so desire, then they may just decide to use the hacksaw blade on the batsman.

If ball tampering can be legal, if sledge hammering a batsman can be not only legal but a component of heritage, how different is hacking a batsman down his thoat downwards with an appropriate blade any illegal?

Just because someone cheats, cheats are caught doing so, but because they can manage to convince people to look at it differently, that doesn't have to become right and legal. No matter how influential a cheat maybe, he shouldn't be able to convince wise and influential people to partake in and support their justification. If he does manage to convince intellectuals and educated people to accept cheating as legal means, then the world is a sorry place or the intellectuals were merely so-called..

have the courage to condemn and weed out the menace...if you cannot do it in a sinple game, can you do it at your home? At work? And so on?

Let us legalize terrorism. Then Osama can walk down the avenues of New York and wherever and carry on with his interrupted shopping or maybe even that Broadway he so wanted to see.

straight point said...

thanks for the link unny and welcome at sp... hope you will keep dropping by... :)

straight point said...

exactly samir... as if there's already not enough on icc's plate... :)

i can already see teams (specially from subcontinent crying discrimination) it will be very difficult to be consistent on this issue as there can not be set parameters...

straight point said...

that's some energy going sb! :)

another possibility is that they won't trust their abilities that much and will be tempted to fall pray to tampering methods at the first opportunity...

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