A bouncer ban would ruin the game of cricket

JOHN SNOW: Banning bouncers would RUIN cricket because it would give an unfair advantage to the batsmen – you have to draw a line somewhere because it is impossible to stop all accidents in sport

  • The MCC has opened a consultation on whether the bounce can stay in cricket
  • But it has been a fundamental part of fast bowling and is not designed to injure
  • The move comes amid concerns over litigation for serious injury in other sports 

Take away the bouncer and an element of the sport disappears. Cricket becomes a different animal, one that is far less testing as a judgement of character and ability.

The bouncer is an important psychological piece of the game. It is a bowler’s surgical instrument used to extract a mistake from the batsman. You are not trying to knock his head off, what you are trying to do is either entice a false shot or unsettle him into making a mistake. You are testing his mentality and judgement.

I understand the concern of being hit on the head by a cricket ball for kids and everything else but that is taken into account with helmets, chest pads, arm pads and the limited number of bouncers in an over. If you take the two bouncers out of an over, that makes it much easier for the batsman. They know they aren’t going to have to get off the front foot. It becomes a totally different game.

Australia’s David Warner avoids a sharp bouncer on day three of the third Test against India

If the batsman is just going to be allowed to do that, you might as well stick a bowling machine at one end to let go of it.

When you are bowling short, you are trying to stop the batsman having control of the shot. That is usually done through bounce. You are trying to bowl between the hip and shoulder where it is difficult for the batsman to get on top of the ball.

We didn’t have helmets and face guards. Before that, the batsman was standing there unprotected. Some of the injuries then were horrific, with teeth being knocked out and who can forget Mike Gatting’s nose?

Cricket has tried to mitigate the danger of bouncers with ever safer equipment like helmets

When are you going to stop? If you are trying to stop all accidents in sport, whether it be football, rugby or cricket, where do you draw the line? You have to stop playing sport at all because at some point accidents happen.

It is a fair rule as it stands now. In my opinion, the risk of injury is such that it has to be a freak accident. To lose the bouncer would be undesirable.

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