Gul decries batsman’s advantage

Umar Farooq May 04, 2010

LAHORE: Twenty20’s most successful bowler Umar Gul has endorsed the idea of allowing at least two bouncers per over in the shorter format of the game while various former greats expressed mixed reactions over the idea.

“Bowlers in Twenty20 cricket are being punished heavily because of the dominance of batsman,” Umar Gul told The Express Tribune. “And the idea of allowing at least two bouncers could help the bowlers revive their respect in the eyes of the batsmen.” Gul, with 43 wickets under his belt, also bowled the best figures of the game - 5 wickets for 6 runs conceded against New Zealand in the 2009 World Twenty20.

The format has so far, proved to be cruel for fast bowlers as any loose balls, half volleys, balls pitched outside as well as good length balls, full tosses and even Yorkers have been punished with impunity, usually ending up outside the ropes. Even good deliveries the outside off stump get edged, usually running to third man or the fence because there are usually no slips in place.

To top that off, the batsmen play with extra attacking intent so tipping the scale in the bowler’s favour would most likely come with allowing two bouncers in one over. Pakistan former captain Zaheer Abbas, however, disagreed with allowing more bouncers yet conceded that bowlers have it tough in this format.

“I agree fast bowlers are losing respect but Twenty20 is all about batting with the spark of fours and sixes and if the idea is implemented the interest in the particular format might go down because people himself wants runs,” said Abbas who is widely known as the Asian Bradman. Shoaib Akhar also favours two bouncers instead of one. “Fast bowlers are being punished. They have nothing to keep their dominance in the Twenty20 cricket but I see bouncers as a way to help them regain their lost respect.”