Empower the umpire to catch chuckers: Umrigar

Published: Sunday, May 16, 2004, 21:17 [IST]
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Mumbai :Three former India captains termed the current process put in vogue by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to deal with bowlers having suspect action as "too time consuming" and wanted the powers to call a bowler for chucking' to be vested back with the umpires.

Joining issues on the raging controversy, the three former India stars - Polly Umrigar, Nari Contractor and Chandu Borde - talked in general terms on what ICC has to do to speed up the process in dealing with such bowlers.

Umrigar, who played with distinction for the country in the 1950s and early 1960s and is a much respected figure in dealing with technical issues concerning the game, said the current two-stage process of the ICC to deal with the problem is very long.

"In such cases (in dealing with bowlers with suspect action) a decision should be taken quickly. I am not very much in favour of the current process. If he chucks, he chucks. There are no two ways about it," the ex-India skipper said.

"The umpire should call when a bowler chucks. He should give the bowler a warning that his action was wrong or tell the team captain that he has to correct the action immediately or he would not be allowed to bowl again in the innings", Umrigar said.

"The umpires know when a bowler chucks. They are all experienced guys. The remedy should be quick and not time consuming," he said.

On the issue of the degree of bent elbow for different types of bowlers which has been decided upon as acceptable by the lawmakers of the game, the former India great was not too convinced how fool proof it is.

"How do you judge these things with naked eyes. It's full of loopholes. It's better to leave it to the judgement of the umpires whether a bowler throws or not. They would know," he added.

Former Test opener Contractor, whose unfortunate and serious skull injury when leading the Indian squad in the side game against Barbados during the 1962 West Indies tour cut short his international career, also supported his former teammate's views on the issue.

"However dumb a cricketer may be, he will not chuck when he's under scrutiny in a non-match situation. There his action is passed by the concerned authorities. He goes back and starts to chuck again when he bowls in matches", Contractor pointed out.

"The current process is too long and not ideal. Instead it would be better if he's called by on-field umpires if they feel his action is not above board. Later that particular delivery can be reviewed through slow-motion TV replays," the former left-handed batsman said.

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