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Is modern day cricket harsh on bowlers?


Is modern day cricket harsh on bowlers? : Australia are playing a match today. They win the toss and bat first. I see David Warner coming out to bat with a ridiculous piece of wood in his hand. It almost twice or thrice the size of bats that we used to play with in gully cricket.

 Warner is on song today. He smashes smashes and smashes. The ball hits the roof and crashes. The crowd are doing all the catching. The helpless fielders are just watching. Warner is crashing the ball through leg side. The bowler ain”t got no place to hide. The umpires call it lunch but Warner already has had a run feast in the morning session. Now Warner has brought up his 150 but there is still half an hour to go before tea.

This is not just the case with Warner but many many other batsmen all over the world.The size of bats has increased like anything over the few years. A report commissioned by MCC in 2014 stated that the edges have broadened by 300 per cent. No wonder why mistimed shots carry all the way!!

Another factor that is responsible for unreasonably high scores in contemporary cricket is the pitches! The concrete pitches give bowlers absolutely no help, leaving the margins for errors to be minimal. They are almost like graveyards for the bowlers. Also the small size of ground amidst of all this do no good to the bowler either.

This is not just the end for bowler”s misery. ICC further rubbed salt on the wound when they introduced the rule of only 4 fielders outside the circle in ODI cricket. The scoring rates inflated dramatically! Economy rates of 6 or 7 in ODI cricket that were pretty unacceptable 10 years ago started looking decent if not good. The general scenario of ODI cricket became to pile 300+ runs on the board and then other team chases it down.

In economics class we were taught that stability in an economy is achieved only by reducing the gap between rich and poor. Same rule applies to cricket. In order for a match to be a fair contest the widening gap between bat and ball has to reduce.

Ricky Ponting said that he would raise this issue at MCC world cricket committee meeting and has asked for restrictions on size of bats. But nothing significant has been implemented yet. It remains to be seen what ICC or MCC do about the size of bats but till then bowlers have no option but to suffer the perils!

– by Atharva Apte

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