Steve Smith Advocates for Leg-Side Bouncer Reform in Cricket

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Steve Smith

Australian cricket maestro Steve Smith has called for urgent intervention from cricketing authorities regarding the persistent issue of fast bowlers targeting the leg side with bouncers, which severely limits a batsman’s scoring options “anywhere in front of the wicket.” During the opening Test against New Zealand in Wellington, Smith emphasized the need for stricter regulations, proposing that bowlers should be permitted only one or two such deliveries, after which penalties such as warnings or wides should be enforced.

There could be some adjustments to the rules concerning deliveries directed down the leg side when specific field placements are set. It becomes quite challenging for a batsman to find scoring opportunities when balls consistently veer towards the leg side. Similar to the warning issued to spinners for wayward deliveries down the leg side, a similar protocol could be implemented for fast bowlers,” Smith articulated, as reported by Sydney Morning Herald.

Smith highlighted the difficulty faced by batsmen when the ball strays too far down the leg side, making it virtually impossible to execute any effective strokes. He suggested a rule change to prevent batsmen from being cornered by fielders stationed in catching positions.

Having fielders positioned there can pose significant challenges. If the ball drifts too much down leg, it limits scoring options, especially with all the fielders clustered in that area. That’s the only alteration I wouldn’t mind seeing,” Smith remarked.

The seasoned batsman, familiar with the tactic employed by pace bowlers to impede run flow or induce frustration-induced hooks, commended the accuracy of New Zealand’s retiring Test bowler Neil Wagner.

Neil’s ability to consistently bowl deliveries between throat and chest height, without exceeding the prescribed limit, is a commendable skill. His precision in executing this tactic, without resorting to excessive bouncers per over, presents a significant challenge, particularly for batsmen inclined to play pull shots,” Smith acknowledged.

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