Monday, June 4, 2007

Cricket - A game with it own share of loopholes and altered regulations & rules.

Well, logic is the motherhood of all happenings around us, there is no better way to explain this line that to learn mathematics. Even, science has flourished till this day looking for logic in all its proposed phenomenon. We breathe, we walk, we talk, we entertain...for all these relational modes, we have Logic which can be further decomposed into RULES. So, no points for guessing that every activity comprises of rules. We make rules to get a unique way out of every instance. But what if rules don't cover all the corners and somebody is lucky enough to see that ray of light, and discovers an exception. Now, I must say that we make rules, we find exception and we build upon that and we introduce new ones without affecting proposed flow.

Ahh!, too thoughtful, lets boil down to the fact that every activity matures with rules, and we are here to discuss the game of Cricket. I don't have any idea with what rules, the first game of cricket was played. But am sure, this game has seen many new introductions n their modifications till this day when they are proposing a new tweak in Power play. I may not be covering all (to say the least, no anti-doping case, as i want to stop somewhere), but i know my friends here will leave no stone unturned to dig out the missing ones and mentioning them (*comment).

1. Lets start with one of, if not The Darkest moment in Australian cricket history, when in 1981 World Series, the notorious Greg Chappell (the then Aussie skipper) who instructs younger brother Trevor to bowl underarm rolling along the pitch thereby exposing the mistake of missing out the underarm rule in Australian book of Benson & Hedges World Series rules.

2. Even before this, we had England's Mike Brearley who exposed the loophole of lack of field restrictions in 1979. In one game, as West Indies needed 3 runs to win off the last ball, EVERY available fielder (including wicket keeper) was put on the fence. Thanks to this unsporting incident the lawmakers went on to introduce fielding restrictions rule, where a maximum of 5 players should be outside the inner circle on the field.

3. But perhaps the most cynical stretching of laws took place with a lesser coverage, when Somerset captain Brian Rose declared after one over in Benson & Hedges zonal one-day tournament. Realizing the need to qualify for the quarter-finals, Somerset planned to assure their place under the rules of the competition, in order to avoid losing by a heavy margin against Worcester who apart from a conclusive victory also needed to overtake them by virtue of a superior strike-rate. By declaring their innings after one over, Somerset ensured that even if they loose, they would not be overtaken on strike-rate. It didn't work though as there was such an outcry that Somerset were thrown out of the competition anyway, for bringing the game into disrepute. Declarations in one-day innings were outlawed thereafter. One bemusing irony in this whole incident was that the statutory 10 minute break between both the innings (that lasted for 6 & 10 balls respectively) comprised more than 30% time of the whole match.

4. England also had their foot in 1932-33 Ashes, popularly known as Bodyline series when this foulest tactics was first used in Cricket history to stop the run scoring machine Sir Donald Bradman. Short pitched aiming deliberately at the batsman. Ultimately England prevailed, but this obsession of their to win back the Ashes made them pay for not playing the game in right tradition & spirit. In one corollary of the law introduced to prevent this, the bowling side is prohibited to put more than 2 fieldsmen on the leg side behind square.

5. Have you ever wondered why the LBW rule states that the batsman cannot be given out if the ball has pitched outside leg stump? It was all because of the great Australian leg spinner Clarrie Grimmett, who would pitch the ball outside leg stump for it to spin back and hit the stumps or the leg in front of it.

6. In one 1999 World Cup match, Late Bob Woolmer coaching South Africa sent Hansie Cronje & Allan Donald on the field with ear plugs to remain in touch with the coach in the dressing room. After an hour into the game, they were instructed against its usage by the match referee. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has now put a stop to such sort of communications between the captain and the coach.

7. West Indies in 2001, became part of controversy when they denied South Africans win in a Test Match. West Indies had collapsed spectacularly and unexpectedly and proteas were already sensing a victory with 20 minutes still to go to get better of last 3 wickets left. Just then Dinanath Ramnarine, complained of muscle strain and South Africa's race against time was taken care of. Contrary to that, in 1967, Yorkshire indulged in delaying tactics when bowling against Warwickshire who were chasing a small target. But when West Indies did the same against England, the need of a rule became obvious stating that a minimum number of overs must be bowled after the start of the final hour.

Image source: cricinfo, answers, theage
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nitesh said...

gr8 khurana
nice one

Saurabh said...

Mr. khurana you can add 1 more that of 92 WC final. in which SA lost requiring 21 on 1 ball in a rain affected led to a vey complex D/L system

Gravity said...

Well introduction of neutral umpires after contiguous complaints was another important decision in world cricket

Saurabh said...

sorry actually it was semis