Hyderabad: Saqlain Mushtaq triggered a debate when the Pakistan former off spinner suggested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to review its existing 15-degree arm/elbow extension law for bowlers.
Now, heading the Pakistan Cricket Board’s High Performance Centre in Lahore, the former spinner felt that the law is discouraging youngsters from taking up the art of off-spin bowling.
“I would like to know how the ICC experts reached this conclusion of allowing only 15-degrees latitude to bowlers. Did they do research on Asian players, Caribbean players, others because everyone is different.
“Asian players’ bodies are different, they tend to have more flexibility in their arms and some have hypermobile joints. If you look at Caribbean or English players their bodies are different,” Saqlain said in an interview.
He further said carry angle, meaning flexibility in arms while in standing posture, is different in Asian players. “I think the ICC should review this law because the 15-degrees latitude is too little. It is discouraging players from the art of off-spin bowling.”
“I personally believe that one can bowl off-breaks, doosra and top spin even within the law but since it came out I have seen players who used to bowl off-spin now becoming leg-spinners or wrist spinners,” he said.
However, former Hyderabad off spinner V Ramnarayan, now settled in Chennai did not agree with Saqlain’s views. “I don’t believe in this 15 degree business. It is all about a bowler, whether a spinner or pacer, is bowling genuinely. How can you say whether he is bowling 15 degrees or not? A chucker is a chucker. These ICC’s reviews were invented because of the suspected actions.
“I fully endorse Bishen Bedi, who strongly believed in clean action. When you have legends like Thomson, Prasanna or Bedi, bowling it was poetry in motion. For instance Saqlain was fine as long as he bowled his off spin once his doosra was invented, there was suspicious eyes.’’
Former left-arm spinner SL Venkatapathy Raju, said how can you spot a bowler whether he is bowling in 15 degree or not. “You can’t see through a naked eye whether he is bowling 15 degrees or not. It is all about having a clean action. If the umpire feels that he is bowling within the laws then everything is fine. It is a gentleman’s game to bowl legal deliveries,’’ he said.
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