Former Australian Skipper Steve Smith Advocates Rule Changes To Address Leg-Side Bouncers In Cricket

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Australian batting maestro Steve Smith has called for rule reforms in response to persistent leg-side bouncers from pacers, asserting that such deliveries limit a batsman's ability to play shots "anywhere in front of the wicket." Smith, currently participating in the opening Test against New Zealand, proposed that bowlers be allowed only one or two leg-side bouncers, after which a warning or a wide should be enforced. He drew parallels with left-arm spinners, suggesting a similar ruling for consistent leg-side deliveries. Smith emphasised that excessive leg-side deliveries restrict a batsman's scoring options and advocated for a change in this aspect of the rules.

The cricketer also acknowledged the challenge posed by accurate bowlers like Neil Wagner, who recently announced his retirement from Test cricket. Smith praised Wagner's ability to consistently bowl deliveries between throat and chest height, describing it as a valuable skill.

"I think there could be some slight rule changes in terms of balls going down the leg side when you set that field.

"You really can't hit the ball anywhere in front of the wicket really, and I feel like it is almost like when a (left-arm) spinner comes over the wicket and they get the warning down the leg side and then they start getting 'wided'," Smith was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

"If you're bowling balls consistently in that area down leg, it should be a similar ruling to the spinner if that makes sense. Basically bowl one or two, then get a warning and then get wides called," he added.

"To have those catchers (fielders) there in position, it can be challenging for sure. The only thing I'd like to see is if you get too much down leg, you can't really score anywhere else, and all the fielders are there. That would be the only change I wouldn't mind seeing," added Smith.

"Ultimately it is a good skill what Neil's been able to do, the way he can get the ball between throat and chest height consistently, not bowl his two (bouncers) for the over and just carry on doing it," Smith said.

"It's a good skill and it can be challenging, particularly for guys that are pullers of the ball."

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