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New One-day Laws Given First Trial

Australia captain Mark Taylor and vice-captain Steve Waugh gave a cautious stamp of approval to several experimental changes to the laws of limited-overs cricket which were tried out in a domestic one-day match today.
Waugh, in particular, made the most of the revolutionary laws to help New South Wales compile a record total of 319 for seven from their 50 overs against South Australia in a state representative match at North Sydney Oval.
Waugh said the new laws encouraged batsman to play aggressively, but Taylor said he was concerned the new rules would force spin bowlers out of the abbreviated version of the game.

[ Do the organisers care for such trivial hindrances ? You cannot make an omellette without breaking som eggs, isn't it ? ]

The law changes, which include new fielding restrictions and the use of player substitutions, are being tested in the Australian one-day state series as a way of increasing spectator interest in domestic limited-overs cricket.

[ Increase spectator interest ? How about pom pom girls and multi- coloured balls, and sightscreens which show psychedelic hypnotic patterns on and off? And how about nude umpires ? ( ofcourse that would mean early retirements for David Sheppard and Steve Bucknor, although Dickie Bird might consider a comeback !) ]

The new fielding rules force teams to keep all but three of their players within a 30-metre radius of the wicket between the 16th and 30th overs, in the hope of encouraging players to hit over the top.

[ As if the first 15 overs were not enough to encourage senseless pinch hitting. Might as well disallow catches taken beyond 30 metre radius to encourage batting to degenerate into baseball style whacking. ]

The substitution laws allow teams to select a 12-man squad and swap players around at any stage of the match. In effect, the rule means teams can replace a bowler with pitch hitter when the side is batting, or replace a batsman with a specialist bowler when the team is in the field.

[ Why stop at 12 men then? Surely any captain would love to have 11 specailist batsmen while batting, and 10 good bowlers while fielding. ]

``I guess the new rules suit the batters more than the bowlers,'' Waugh said. ``But it was a good day's cricket, there was certainly a lot of runs scored.''

[ That's an understatement, if ever I saw one!] [ If someone like Steve Waugh defines a good day's cricket just by the amount of runs being scored, the bowlers might as well forget about cricket and take up darts. If all a good game needs is both teams scoring 400 each, then they should perphaps award 20 and 10 runs instead of the measly six and four awarded at present. ]
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I wonder if whacking a ball repeatedly over the head of 11 bemused men who have to run 60 yards and fetch it from the ropes repeatedly would remain of any interest to any of us.
Not only would it encourage batsmen whose entire repertoire of strokes consists of the ugly hoick to long on and long off, but it would mean the eventual removal of batting as we know it today.
As far as bowling is concerned, spinners can hang their boots, and fast bowlers will eventually be ordered to pitch it inside a painted square on the pitch so that the lousy talentless batsmen (no, batters, as they'll be called) can easily hit it.
If all they want is a silly circus, they should devise a separate game, like the six-a-side or double wicket tournaments, and leave the real thing alone. There is no need to kill a well-loved game just to earn more money and dumb it down so that the less gifted and the 'intellectually challenged' can understand it.
Would football fans want a match to be reduced to 50 penalty shoots each side, so that silly chaps who cannot understand the offside rule don't need to bother, or to suit those of us who look up from our beer cans only when a goal is scored, and feel bored watching men in shorts running around ?
Would tennis fans want a scheme where the server wins the game if he hits an ace, and the reciever wins it if he doesn't let it be an ace. Why bother with all the silly love-scoring?
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Gentlemen, at this rate, the days of the game as we know and love it seem numbered.
At the turn of the last century, did anyone forsee
-an Empire consisting of 10 small islands (including England)
-a United Kingdom, without being 'United' or being a 'Kingdom'
-a pound called euro dollar
-a game called cricket played by 12 men in pink pyjamas
The sun has long set on the British Empire, now it seems it is about to set on an institution which outlived the very Empire that created it by a good half century. Cricket has met it's Waterloo in Australia, it is time someone burned the MCC rule book and created the new ASHES ...
God Save Cricket.
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Sumit Sahai
Cambridge