Well, it’s a common implication that today’s modern day cricket is becoming the ‘batsmen’s game’. Ever since the T20 format was introduced, batsmen seem to have got into a free zone of scoring quick runs, and in the process piling on huge scores. Bowlers on the other hand seem to be at the receiving end of this flurry. Former India spinner, R Ashwin recently suggested an alternative in the form of a ‘Free Ball for Bowlers’ that should favor even the bowlers.
R Ashwin’s Suggestion – ‘Free Ball for Bowlers’
Ever since he controversially ran out Jos Butler at last year’s IPL fixture, R Ashwin has been the centre of discussing surrounding the dismissal or we’d rather say ‘Mankading’ (a mode of dismissal in which the bowler runs out the non-striker if he has left the crease before the ball has been bowled).
Make it a free ball for the bowler. If the batsmen gets out of that ball, the batting team will be docked 5 runs. Free hit adds to the drama for a batter, let’s give a chance to the bowlers too. As of now everyone watches the game hoping that ‘the bowlers will get smacked today’ https://t.co/BxX8IsMgvF
(@ashwinravi99) August 24, 2020
Aswhin feels just as the free hit is a freebie to the batsmen, even the bowlers should have their fair share of it. He suggests an alternative that could be beneficial to the bowlers and the fielding team too. Ashwin tweeted -‘Make it a free ball for the bowler. If the batsmen gets out of that ball, the batting team will be docked 5 runs. Free hit adds to the drama for a batter, let’s give a chance to the bowlers too.’
Controversy Surrounding Name ‘Mankading’
Few former cricketers though have a different take on ‘Mankading’. It is a valid form of dismissing a batsman, however they feel the name isn’t apt to be associated with the dismissal. Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthtik is of the opinion that the word ‘Mankading’ has a negative connotation. While former Chennai Super Kings batsman S Badrinath feels the mode of dismissal should stay but its naming should change.
Experts Call For a Change in Rule
There were some who even called for a modification in the rule. They find the dismissal too harsh on the batsmen and beyond the spirit of the game. Going by the current rule, cricket expert Harsha Bhogle says, “The rule should be simplified as it clearly states that batsman is required to stay inside the crease when the ball has been bowled.”
With due consideration to the bowlers, the rule should rather be tweaked with a rule favoring them. So definitely, a ‘free ball’ is something that one should look forward to as an addition to the modern game.