Crank’s News: Ravindra Jadeja writes to ICC on revamping T-20

‘Allow only one dot ball per over’

New Delhi: Noblesse oblige, they say.

Living up to this grand phrase that underscores the responsibility that comes with being a great, Ravindra Jadeja has shot off a powerful letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) with valuable suggestions to revive the T-20 format, which of late has become utterly predictable with any team that features him losing well within the distance.

In his letter to the ICC, Jadeja has put forth the common-sense proposal to allow just only one ‘dot ball’ per over so that the primacy of the format, which is to push bowlers into early retirement, is maintained.  ‘The opposition team will have to be credited six runs for every extra ‘dot ball’ bowled over the prescribed limit of one,’ Jadeja said in his letter to the ICC.  ‘Any bowler who is found to be consistently flouting this rule will have to be severely dealt with, which may include a total ban — in appearing in advertisements, that is’, he added.

‘But bowlers are at liberty to deliver no ‘dot balls’ at all, and I myself adhere to this policy when bowling,’ Jadeja clarified in his suggestion paper.

Taking time out from his busy schedule of being idle, Ravindra Jadeja told Crank’s News that it was a historical fact that one-day internationals turned exciting and racy only after the cricket’s governing body decided to restrict bouncers per over to just one.

‘It was a momentous change and brought in a major transformation, especially since a cap on short-pitched deliveries allowed players like Sourav Ganguly Michael Bevan, Sanath Jayasurya to become modern-day greats’, he said and added: ‘a similar restriction on the ‘dot balls’ can help many more batsmen to be recognised as greats in this format.’  Once this rule is implemented, the likes of Thilan Samaraveera and Wasim Jaffer can end up as legends of the T-20 format, he perspicaciously pointed out.

Asserting that the need of the hour for the shortest form of the game was some out of the box thinking, Jadeja said that the ICC could think of splitting the overs. ‘By this I mean, a bowler should be asked to bowl three balls in an over off his natural hand, and three balls using the other,’ he said.

‘When a bowler bowls with his non-natural hand, the chances of it being hit for a six is higher, and this will straightaway increase the interest of the average viewers in the game, because it’s only when a six is hit the cameras will focus on the cheerleaders, who are the sole inviolable tradition of this format,’ Jadeja explained rationally. ‘But, personally speaking, it shouldn’t make any difference to any batsman whether I bowl left or right-handed, any ball can be hit for the maximum’.

Asked about the Hotspot and ball-trajectory tracker system, Jadeja said he was a firm believer in the use of technology to generate all the controversies that the game so desperately needs, especially in the light of the fact the Pakistan players are no longer in full-fledged action anymore.  ‘DRS provides the character that cricket always looks for. In other words, it’s not unlike Sreesanth, but one that is actually likable,’ he added.

Away from his suggestions to the ICC, Jadeja said that he was not surprised by the fact that his team Kochi Tuskers has been kicked out of the IPL. ‘They invented the Bodyline bowling to keep Don Bradman down. They knew that even bodyline wouldn’t work against me. So they have gone to the extreme of expelling my team,’ he wryly said. ‘But just as cricket needs match-winners, it’s imperative that there are match-losers, too. So there is always hope for proven talents like me,’ he concluded with typical optimism.

Elsewhere, the new president of the BCCI N Srinivasan said he welcomed the suggestions of Jadeja, as they were concrete measures to firm up the foundations of cricket.  ‘I will provide full support to all constructive suggestions that help build the game in the country,’ he said and added: ‘At the end of my tenure I will be happy if the headline reads: ‘N Srinivasan helps India Cements its place as the No 1’.

My sole interest is that. There is no conflict in that, he added.

(Disclaimer: There is no truth in the belief that the BCCI is now the Board of Control for Cements in India)