By The Spotter
“Pull up to the bumper” is the title of a 1981 hit song by Grace Jones and though the lithe songstress obviously wasn’t belting out this line in reference to the dangers of short-pitched bowling in cricket, she may as well have been.
After the devastating passing of Phil Hughes, would it not be the right thing for cricketing powers-that-be to right now consider how they could limit the frequency and height of the bouncer in test cricket? Really, it’s a bit of a band aid solution to be speaking first of reinforced helmets as the answer to protecting the brain- rather it’s all a bit brainless to be going first down that track I’d have thought.
It seems that the majority (barring a sudden sea change) would still want cricket to not go too soft and to keep the gladiatorial aspect alive; thereby maintaining a balanced joust between bowler and batsman.
Here is what I propose in that respect:
i) If a delivery passes above shoulder blade height of a player in his normal standing position, that delivery shall be called a no ball; a run and a following free-hit are then credited to the batting side. Should this event occur the second time in a single innings by the same perpetrator, that bowler has then forfeited his/her right to bowl again in said innings.
ii) If a ball is delivered by the same bowler less than five times in a separate innings between the chest area and top of the shoulder blade region of a batsman, then those deliveries are deemed to be legal and without penalty. If however this number exceeds more than twice consecutively or a fifth time in total, the bowler in question will also forfeit their right to bowl again in said innings. Any delivery under the chest area to be wholly considered as legal and without penalty.
In both cases i) and ii)- if an infraction is deemed to have occurred, the perpetrator may remain on the field but cannot bowl- somewhat like five fouls in basketball and then you’re out of there (in a manner of speaking; for the rest of an innings anyway).