There are two imminent and obvious side-effects that one fears may come out of the Phil Hughes tragedy. The bowler, Sean Abbott, will be scarred, and the future of bouncers in cricket will come under focus.
There is already a limit of two bouncers per over in Tests and ODIs and just one in a T20 over. But when an incident of this magnitude occurs, the question that arises is whether the delivery should be deemed illegal?
Brian Lara spoke of the ‘little prayer’ in the morning on the day he would play the sport with ‘an element of risk’. But all nerves aside, experts of the trade believe the bouncer is here to stay.
“It is a part and parcel of the game. You cannot abolish the bouncer. Cricket is a dangerous sport. A normal delivery too may induce uneven bounce and hit the batsman,” Debashish Mohanty, former India pacer, told HT.
“It is an important delivery. Abbott too was using it just in an attempt to get the batsman out. He had a plan in mind. It was very unfortunate for the ball to have hit Hughes at the wrong place. Not having the bouncer will further reduce the effectiveness of the bowlers.”
“It was not deliberate from Abbot. Bouncers have been used in cricket since the beginning even when there were limits on its usage. It is sad we had to lose a life to the delivery, but the protective gear could perhaps improve,” Abey Kuruvilla, former India fast bowler, told HT.