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How will Cricket evolve after Hughes?


Phil_Hughes_Australia_CricketI imagined the day that Sanga retires would be the worst day in cricket’s history. It was before I saw that “RIP Phil Hughes” tweet in my timeline. November 27th will always be the saddest day in cricket’s long history. Phil Hughes doesn’t deserve it, Sean Abbot doesn’t deserve it and especially our beautiful sport doesn’t.

The last time I saw a similar reaction from fans around the world was when Paul Walker died in a car crash. Not unlike Paul Walker, Hughes also died while doing something he is passionate about. Irony is the capital B word.

Philip Hughes playing for South Australia against his old team New South Wales was hit by a Sean Abbot bouncer and taken off the field to the hospital, where he was in induced coma for 2 days before leaving us forever. The whole cricketing family was hoping/expecting Hughes to do a Schumacher and make a miraculous recovery. But Cricket not unlike life doesn’t follow our expectations. We were robbed of a cheerful and talented player.

My sister, who has little to no knowledge in cricket asked me about this whole Phil Hughes incident. She didn’t understand the word “Bouncer”(Her lack of cricket knowledge would’ve been more painful if I wasn’t dealing with Hughes’ death). Ignoring her ignorance I told her it’s the type of delivery where bowler would target the head or shoulder of the batsman. She was shocked and the first response was “So the bowler was at fault! Why would anyone bowl like that?” (He wasn’t at fault).

However for an outsider the concept of bouncer seems malicious and cruel. Since the news broke out I saw lot of tweets calling for the ban against bouncers. Maybe Raina’s nephew is behind some of those tweets. But we can’t deny the fact that there is some juice behind these claims. Even my father who grew up watching Viv Richards thinks bouncer should be banned.

Are we going to dismiss theses claims just as the heat of the moment?

BH (Before Hughes) cricket wasn’t looked as a dangerous sport. The whole perception we had towards cricket has changed with that incident. This is not the first incident where the batsman was seriously hurt by a bouncer. Rillie Roussow was cut in the eye lid by a Malinga bouncer, Stuart Broad’s nose injury. Piers Morgan facing Brett Lee might’ve been funny back then but looking back he could’ve seriously got himself injured.

We can only imagine the bowlers will be kind of reluctant to bowl bouncers. They don’t want to be in the unenviable position of Sean Abbott.

In a way banning the bouncers seems only logical. It’s logical to ban the guns than providing people with bulletproof vests. The whole concept of bouncers is based on scaring the batsmen to make them do something they wouldn’t do otherwise. Bouncers are practically an accident waiting to happen.

Cricketers aren’t gladiators and we aren’t living in ancient Rome. We don’t want blood in the grounds to enjoy our beautiful sport. Cricket is just another sport and it’s definitely not worth enough if we are to lose another person to the sport. AH (After Hughes) Parents will be reluctant to send their kids for practices.

Will our cricket be any less if we ban the bouncers. If you ask me, Yes.

Great bowlers and batsmen are made because of their ability to bowl bouncers and play them. Would Ricky Ponting be the same if not for his pull shots and hook shots. When I read all those articles and watch those YouTube clips of Sir Viv Richards the thing that stands out is his ability to attack short pitched deliveries. Would he have the same aura about him if he hadn’t had that audacious hook shot in his locker. Intimidating bowling style of Jeff Thomson, Brett Lee and Holder most definitely improved our sport.

When Steyn made Clarke dance to his tunes with his bouncers in that famous match and when Clarke withstood everything that was thrown at him to score one of the best test centuries in the recent past, would that be the same if we hadn’t had bouncers in that match.

When all of us are calling for equality between bat and ball banning bouncers will only help the batsmen to extend their stronghold. Cricket will be undoubtedly poorer without bouncers. It’s not practical too, are we going to ban 140+ K deliveries next?

After all we don’t want to live in a world where Suresh Raina is the best cricketer.

We could mandate fully secure helmet for all cricket players. Players shouldn’t be allowed to use helmets like Hughes’ one. Masuri the helmet manufacturers announced that Phil Hughes was wearing an outdated version of helmet and had he used the latest model he would be still playing.

Cricket won’t be the same after this incident, I’m looking forward to see how our beautiful sport is going to survive this incident and evolve.

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SANGAholic. Full time fan of Cricket and Arsenal while occasionally studying Civil Engineering. Wat...

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