Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has proposed radical changes in the LBW laws, stating that a batsman should be given out leg before as long as the ball is hitting the stumps irrespective of the spot of its landing and impact.
Chappell also said captains should agree on one way of working up the ball which will encourage swing bowling, even as the ICC is considering the use of artificial substances to shine the ball instead of sweat and saliva in post Covid-19 scenario.
“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’,” he wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.
“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.”
The 76-year-old said the change in lbw law would attract expected criticism from the batsmen but it would make the game more fair.
“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.
“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,” said Chappell.
He cited Sachin Tendulkar’s example on how he negotiated Shane Warne’s round the wicket tactic during the 1997-98 Test series in India.
“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,” he said.
Chappell said his proposed change to the lbw law would also cut down “frivolous” DRS challenges.
“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 first-innings totals would be virtually non-existent.”
On the substitute of shining the ball without sweat and saliva, Chappell said international captains should find out a way of working up the ball.
“With ball-tampering always a hot topic, in the past I’ve suggested that administrators ask international captains to construct a list (i.e. 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,” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines