Friday, February 17, 2006

A chuck is a chuck is a chuck

I think Peter Roebuck has nailed this one right on the head. There's no doubt in my mind that Shoaib Akhtar chucks, and does so beyond the stipulated 15 degrees of tolerance. The excuse profferred is that he has a condition, that leads to hyper-extension of the elbow, and so on and so forth. I don't dispute that, and nor do I wish Shoaib, or anyone else similarly afflicted, any ill-will.

The point Roebuck makes, with which I completely concur, is that this condition should be completely irrelevant. The Laws of the game stipulate conditions and requirements, and they must be met. Failure to meet them is a contravention of the Laws, plain and simple. This is not an issue that should be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or any such international equivalent. The sport of cricket does not have to uniquely accomodate every human being on the planet.

With any sport, if you are physically unable to comply with the demands, you don't play it. Cricket should be no different. Some may say this is heartless - but it isn't.

Consider the example of an individual with a debilitating rotator cuff injury combined with bursitis (two things I know plenty about). He cannot raise his arm above his chest, and therefore cannot legally throw or bowl a ball of any sort.

Would the ICC make an exception and allow him to bowl underarm, because a natural physical ailment prevents him from complying with the Laws of the game? Hell no - such people are forced to seek careers as umpires or coaches, or simply forget about playing cricket altogether.

There is no question in my mind that the same principles need to be applied unilaterally. Either you comply with the Laws and regulations, or you don't. If you fail to do so, then that's the end of that. No special exemptions because you bring in extra television dollars. It's an insult to the game that we all love.


russellsid said...

Yeah I totally agree, I love Shoaib Akthar no doubt, the amount of aggression and passion he brings to the game. But he chucks, at least sometimes. He does not chuck all the time, But the extra effort ones are illegal. That is my problem. If he chucked the whole time cause of some deformity, there could be an argument. But he does so only when he puts in that extra effort. Its sad but its the truth. He should not be allowed to play till he corrects his action.

Talking of speed I would love to see an Indian bowling at 95 mph, sadly all we produce are swingers and spinners. I cant believe in a country of 1 billion we dont have a single express bowler. I think we havent looked enough. I just love Shane Bond. He is genuine non chucking speed. I mean, He SCARES the AUSSIES....

Fourth Umpire said...

Couldn't agree more about Shane Bond - he's class. And he was quicker before his injury as well, with a perfect action.

As for India producing quick bowlers - it's cliched to say it, but it's in the pitches. I have seen quick bowlers in local leagues - but they get to bowl 2/3 overs at the start of the game, and then they yield to the medium paced swing, or the spinners. Not much chance of moving on to a higher level there. said...

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Sesh said...

I can't agree with U more. If U r disabled, and your disability does n't allow U to play the game, as it is supposed to be played, then 'Sorry Dude!!!, please quit'. Its as simple, as that. It may sound little harsh, but I guess, thats the way, it has to be, to have a fair game.

As far as the quickies for India, I heard VRV Singh, bowls with real pace and heart. He's gonna play for the Board's President XI against England. Lets see how quick this bloke is !!!

russellsid said...

Yeah I've heard too. VRV Singh is pretty quick. Lets see how quick he is. Speaking of quick., did u see DEOMLITION DHONI the other day. He is a bull let loose. Looked like he just wanted the match over so he could get home sooner. I have seen Sachin in his prime (Sharjah Days) but Dhoni is something else. He is better than Klusener was at the World Cup.