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Domestic umpires have to call bowlers for chucking

cricket Updated: Aug 27, 2009 01:03 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

CHUCKERS BEWARE

BCCI makes it mandatory for umpires to call bowlers with suspect action.

Onfield umpires to be held responsible if a bowler escapes from being called.

List of bowlers with suspect action has been forwarded to state associations.

The list for 2008-09 season had 30 names while last season, there were 20 names.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is making it mandatory for umpires to call bowlers with suspect action in the field of play in domestic cricket from this season.

“The onus will be on the on-field umpires to call no ball when someone bowls with a suspect action,” BCCI’s Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty told The Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

“If the cameras recording the match show a bowler to be chucking and he is not called then, the on-field umpires will be held responsible,” Shetty said.

All board matches, including age-group ones, are recorded nowadays.

Calling a bowler for chucking used to be the tradition but umpires seemed reluctant to do so after the International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced a rule sometime back wherein the umpires reported bowlers with suspect action to the match referee. The match referee informed the ICC after the match.

Till now, the BCCI followed the ICC norm and umpires reported bowlers with suspect action to the match referee after the match.

At the end of the season, the BCCI made a list of these bowlers based on the reports and video evidence and sent them to rehabilitation programmes at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

Shetty confirmed that a two-page action plan has been forwarded to all state associations.

“Each association has been told of the bowlers with suspect actions on its rolls who need to be watched,” he said.

The 104 BCCI umpires across the country have been made aware of the development through a series of seminars held in Bangalore recently, said Stanley Saldanha, the board’s game development manager. “They have been asked to call it as they see it,” he said.

“It is not possible for the umpire to ascertain the degree to which the bowler’s elbow is bending. That will be done later by the scrutinising committee comprising S. Venktatraghavan, AV Jayprakash and Javagal Srinath, through video recordings,” Saldanha added.

Shetty said emphasis would be on junior cricket to nip the problem in the bud. However, asked if the decision will also cover senior matches, Shetty said: “Of course.”

The BCCI’s list of bowlers with suspect action in senior and junior cricket for 2008-09 ran to 30 names.

The list for the previous season had 20 names.

A BCCI umpires’ coach said an umpire who misses bowlers with suspect action in a match would not be posted again.

Associations that field such bowlers could also be penalised, he added.