IsDons articles and blog

Batting rule changes

Category: Cricket. Published: 21 Sep 2009

Every rule change in the game of cricket is designed to favour batsmen. The best games are the ones where there is a balance between bat and ball so I think the following rule changes should be introduced to even up the contest. These comments apply to all forms of cricket, but most will apply more often in limited over matches.

When the batsman runs down the pitch or backs away the umpire should make some allowance. The bowler should be allowed to bowl shorter or down the leg-side if this happens without being in danger of being called for a wide. Why should the batsman be allowed to change position? The bowler can't suddenly change from over to around the wicket, or bowl from a metre in front of the crease.

Similarly, the reverse sweep should be outlawed -- if a right-arm bowler suddenly switched to left-arm the umpire would call no ball, so why should a batsman be allowed to change after the bowler has let go of the ball? This is not a proper cricket shot -- it is a premeditated action on the part of batsman and is designed to bring the game into disrepute. The number of times it results in the batsman's dismissal should be enough to convince any reasonable person not to play the shot -- but it hasn't so the rule makers should stop it.

Why is the non-striking batsman allowed to leave the crease before the bowler lets go of the ball? Who came up with this ridiculous idea?

I'm also thinking that maybe it's time to change the rule regarding boundaries, requiring the ball to touch the rope for a boundary to count, rather than the current rule of four runs being awarded if the fielder touches the rope. In the old days, when the fence was used as the boundary, the ball had to actually reach the boundary. With the now-common use of boundary ropes and fielders diving and sliding to stop the ball, the game has to be stopped to view replay after replay to see if part of the fielder's clothing has brushed the rope while some part of his body is touching the ball. I don't think cricket was ever meant to be this precise. It's usually obvious if the ball has touched the rope so change the rule and save some time. I'm also concerned about the boundary rope moving when the fielder slides into it -- is the rope put back in the same spot, to the millimetre? If not, why is it so necessary to be so specific when ruling on boundaries?

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