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Keep The Game Simple

Jul 3, 2010 3:18:25 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Cricket has largely had a set of rules that remained unchanged for a very long period of time. With the game reaching commercial viability things began to change. I might add that the changes were not merely due to the commercial viability but also to level off challenges from some nations who had a distinct advantage.

I believe that cricket must go global. In that I mean the game should be played at the highest level by more nations in order to achieve longevity. Technology being applied is good and innovation whilst being positive, the rules of the game should be kept simple. Say, for someone who doesn’t know the game intimately, the present rules would appear confusing. Power plays, field restrictions, third umpires, etc etc. Compare this with the most popular game of soccer. The rules are easy to follow and the time factor is spectator friendly. It is less costlier in terms of equipment and can be played almost anywhere.

In Singapore there is a concept of indoor soccer called “cage” if i am not mistaken, which allows parents to bring their children to be occupied. That is how popular soccer is and cricket needs to compete with this sport.

I recall sometime during the early ’80s when experimental rules were introduced. The two bouncer rule and that of using less stiches on the seams of the ball are some that come to mind. Both were introduced so that the West Indian fast bowlers could be countered by the English batsmen. Presently the International Cricket Council reacts to experiments done by cricketing nations instead of being the lead organ of change. The ICC has the best men at their call and should be ringing in the innovation and changes. The ICC should do well to try out these changes at domestic cricket level prior to thrusting them into the international arena. Take the example of the super sub theory. It helped the side winning the toss and naturally did not last long.

Sri Lanka should be proud to host the 20/20 World Cup in the year 2012. Good effort. Whilst I approve of the high performance centres that are being promoted, infrastructure in the rural hinterland too should be of quality to encourage youth who cannot venture into the capital to play cricket. Good wickets and nets instead of concrete strips, which decay in time, should be considered. They should be maintained and taken care of. The high performance centres will help those who reach a certain level but the net should be thrown wider with better infrastructure to catch those who want to play cricket. These should be sustainable and done by people who want to be accountable. It would also be an idea to extend a scholarship scheme for those lads who cannot afford equipment etc. as it is a costly game.