Sanjay Manjrekar against free hit and leg byes: If you thought penalty and a red card in football is the harshest punishment in world sports, remember, cricket has its own rule that punishes a bowler four times for one mistake. If a bowler bowls a no-ball in cricket — even by a centimetre — the individual is to bowl an extra ball, concedes one extra run and also can’t take a wicket off that ball, plus the extra ball. Former India batsman and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar wants the ICC and the MCC to revise the “sadist rules” that punishes a bowler thrice, removing free hit and also leg byes.
In a column for Hindustan Times, Sanjay Manjrekar said it is harsh on the bowlers to be punished for one offence with TV umpires searching for their mistake with eagle-eyed replays.
“Free hit is a thing I want gone, again terribly unfair on the bowlers. Today with the TV umpire monitoring no balls, a bowler has to be a centimetre over and immediately a string of punishments are meted out,” Sanjay Manjrekar said.
Sanjay Manjrekar against free hit and leg byes: “The bowler has to bowl an extra ball, the batter cannot be out to that no ball already bowled and there is also a penalty of one run. To add to that, there is a free hit offered to the batter next ball in which he cannot be out. The penalty is just not commensurate to the ‘wrongful’ act. It’s as if the rule was introduced by a sadist who hated bowlers,” he added.
The other rule that he wants gone is leg byes. Again, the leg bye rule is also against bowlers and favours the batter. If a batter can’t bat a legitimate delivery and it touches the batter’s body, the batter can score a run or 6.
For example, a bowler delivers a perfect and legitimate short ball. The batter deceived by the ball, can’t hit it. Instead, the ball touches a part of the batter and goes over the boundary. The batting team ends up being rewarded with a maximum of 6 runs through leg byes even though the bowler was at no fault.
Sanjay Manjrekar wants that leg byes gone as well. He believes, it’s not right on the bowler, who just delivered a good ball.
Sanjay Manjrekar against free hit and leg byes: “We see a bowler has bowled a great delivery and the batter is deceived, can’t put bat to ball. But the ball brushes to the fine leg boundary. Umpire signals four, in favour of the batting team! Batter rewarded, bowler penalized. How does that make sense from any angle?” Manjrekar questioned.
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