Michael Clarke has rubbished a proposal to ban bouncers being bowled to tailenders, saying it puts cricket too much in favour of batsmen.
It was reported this week the Marylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket Committee — which includes Aussie legends Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne — will look into the possibility of implementing restrictions on short-pitched bowling as concussion becomes a greater concern for the game.
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The Sydney Morning Herald reports the MCC Committee will discuss whether “lower-order batsmen should be given further protection than the Laws currently allow” as it seeks to get ahead on injury prevention.
It’s merely a topic up for discussion at this stage, but former Australian captain Clarke is adamant tailenders should not receive any preferential treatment.
“You learn it (how to play bouncers) from a young age,” Clarke told the Big Sports Breakfast.
“Just make sure our protective gear is as safe as it possible can be. Because if you do miss a bouncer then you’ve got a helmet on, or you’ve got a set of gloves on, or a neck protector, or you’ve got whatever it is. That’s the key.
“It’s part and parcel of our game.
“People that haven’t played the game don’t understand how much easier it is as a batsman if you can just plant yourself on the front foot and line the ball up.
“One of the few advantages a bowler has now, because the pitches are so flat (is bowling bouncers) … it’s already a batter’s game. You then take away any sort of advantage the bowler’s got, if they can only bowl a certain length.
“For a fast bowler, that’s your greatest weapon.”
Bouncers are needed to keep batsmen honest.Source:AAP
Clarke said even when bouncers aren’t taking wickets, they’re instrumental in setting batsmen up by pushing them onto the back foot before looking for an edge because they’re stuck on the crease.
More focus was put on the issue of head knocks in cricket after Phil Hughes’ death in 2014, but Clarke believes as long as protective equipment is improving, there’s no need for drastic rule changes.
“So much stuff happens off the ball in cricket that is so important to the game and bowling bouncers is one of those things,” Clarke said.
“Garbage. I think you should face it from a young age, learn it from a young age.
“Protection equipment has improved … so it’s improving every single day and that’s the important part.
“But changing the game and asking bowlers not to bow bouncers to the tail … who’s the tail? If you don’t bowl bouncers to Nathan Lyon, he’s going to get 100.”
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