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Scrub out ball-tampering law: Woolmer

He said bowlers should be free to alter the condition of ball so that it became 'less of batsman's game'.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2006 19:58 IST

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has pressed for the abolition of the ball-tampering law, saying it has become obsolete in modern-day cricket and umpires who have never played the game tend to apply the clause.

Woolmer said bowlers should be given some freedom to alter the condition of the ball so that it became "less of a batsman's game".

"The whole irony and tragedy of this particular story is law 42.3. But law 42.3 is an ass. It was brought in because of ball-tampering with razor blades and bottle tops and everything else in the past, but that's been shoved out of the game now. I'd scrub out the law completely," said Woolmer, whose team was involved in Sunday's sensational forfeiture of a Test match against England.

Woolmer, while defending his team, said bowlers should be given some freedom to change the condition of the ball.

"I'd allow bowlers to use anything that naturally appears on the cricket field. They could rub the ball on the ground, pick the seam, scratch it with their nails - anything that allows the ball to move off the seam to make it less of a batsman's game," he was quoted as saying by the 'Guardian'.

He said many umpires had not been players themselves and so they would not understand the needs of this.

"It should be looked at seriously by the MCC's laws committee. Every single bowler I know from the time I played in 1968 to 1984 was guilty, at least under the current law, of some sort of ball-changing.

"If you haven't played the game, like a lot of the umpires haven't, they don't know these things. The more laws you make to try to stop it being done, the more the players go the other way."

First Published: Aug 23, 2006 19:31 IST