SA coach hails ICC decision on bouncer

Published: Monday, May 28, 2001, 21:17 [IST]
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Johannesburg: South African national cricket coach Graham Ford has welcomed the decision of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow only one bouncer per over in One-day games. This was one of the proposals to the ICC that was accepted by its Cricket Committee- Playing (CP-U) meeting in London. But Ford also said he was "surprised" that the rule had been passed, even though South Africa has been implementing it for the past three seasons. "First of all let me say that I am very surprised this rule has been passed because the no-bouncer rule suited more countries than does this new rule," Ford told the daily 'SportsDay'. "But it's a good rule. This will give the bowlers more of a chance in a game that has long been weighed in favour of batsmen," he added. Ford said the new rule would benefit countries with good new ball players, such as Australia and South Africa, and possibly Pakistan and England. He said South Africa had already seen significant changes in the way cricket is played since it first started a drive to give bowlers more options in One-day games. "For one thing, the pinch-hitters at the top of the order disappeared quite quickly from the game. "The idea of just thrusting on to the front foot and hitting long and straight became problematic because of the threat of the bouncer and what you have seen is very much less of it," Ford said. "Apart from anything else, we also have the conditions and the pitches to take advantage of the rule, whereas other areas might not," Ford said, adding that teams on the subcontinent would not benefit significantly. "They play on slow low pitches that don't suit fast bowlers anyway," he said. Ford said team selections when playing on the subcontinent had always been influenced by the fact that there was no "outright advantage to be derived by the fast bowlers."

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