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Fracas to spur rule rethink?

cricket Updated: Aug 18, 2010 00:18 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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In February 1981, Trevor Chappell's under-arm ball to New Zealand's Brian McKechnie in the Benson and Hedges World Series Final created a stir and resulted in an amendment in the rules of the game, banning under-arm bowling from international cricket.

Monday's no-ball incident that deprived Virender Sehwag of a century against Sri Lanka could well force the governors of the game to take notice and amend the rules again, allowing runs scored off a no-ball to be awarded to the batsman even when the scores are levelled.

Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who has always advocated the spirit of the game, certainly backed the concept.

"If the batsman scores the runs, he should get the runs, whether it's a no-ball or not," Sangakkara said after receiving the flak for Suraj Randiv's huge no-ball. "If he scores runs it should count as runs."

The incident, though, has brought some life into the cricket contests between India and Sri Lanka, which have started becoming dull due to an overdose of cricket between the two teams.

Before the start of the tri-series, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had said both teams enjoy playing each other since it is "free of controversies". Though one wondered what Dhoni would feel after watching replays of Randiv's misdemeanour, Sehwag did not feel there was any controversy in it.

"This is not a controversy. They have done it because no team wants anybody to score hundreds against them, but they did that," Sehwag said. "They are happy and we are happy. We won the game, we got the bonus point. I don't think there will be a change in the spirit of the series. It's part of the game."

India manager Ranjib Biswal felt since the player and the Sri Lanka Cricket had "apologised", the matter should be put to an end.

"If you go by the rules, it's very much lawful. There is no violation of cricket rules," Biswal said on Wednesday. "But when it comes to spirit of cricket and gamesmanship, one feels slighted about these things. Since they have expressed their regret and apologised for their action, we should put an end to this episode."

Will the issue die down so soon? Or will the International Cricket Council take it
forward?