Purnima the latest in the list of Chuckers

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Monday, December 11, 2000, 22:00 [IST]
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Bangalore: Suspect action or illegal bowling action, normally referred to as 'Chucking' in the cricketing world, is a very touchy subject and one, normally, hesitates to make statements in this regard. However, one must state that the recent incidents where a few players' actions were brought into light, although sad, was a refreshing step in the otherwise hopeless women's cricket scene.

All these years, women's cricket was not taken seriously and issues like this were overlooked. However, with some of the boards of the top cricketing nations merging, things now are falling into perspective.

The ongoing 2000 women's World Cup brought to light quite a few suspect actions. Australian Simon Taufel and New Zealand's Brent Bowden two international umpires, who stood in India's match against England reported to the World Cup Technical Committee about Margrate's (India) suspect action, while McDonald of New Zealand and Salomons of Netherlands were reported by New Zealand's international umpire Steve Dunne and his colleague Peter Williams.

The recent addition to the chucking list is India's Purnima Rau. The umpires, Peter Williams and Peter Parker, were of the opinion that the spin bowler Purnima Rau may contravene Law 24.2 and 24.3. The report stated, "The umpires are of the opinion that the bowling arm was bent but found it difficult to establish from our positions on the field whether there was any straightening prior to the ball being released."

While, it definitely is sad and unfortunate for the players one must admit that a suspect bowling action simply cannot and should not be overlooked.

Although the players might feel victimised, for they have been playing for years around the world while none have cast a doubt, it must be said that the board officials, to a great extent, are to be blamed for this unfortunate day. Neither the respective boards nor the International Women's Cricket Council (IWCC) have formulated any specifics for the umpires to go by. This being the case, the umpires' stand thus far had been one of leniency, until they sat up and took notice during the ongoing World Cup.

With qualified international umpires, including National Grid's Steve Dunne, standing duty at the 2000 women's World Cup and given the fact that most of the countries have common boards the issue of 'Chucking', for once, failed to escape scrutiny.

One hopes, that at least now, the respective boards will formulate regulations enabling umpires to be stricter with the issue of chucking, so that such embarrassments can be avoided in the future.

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