Ian Chappell's take on changing ball-tampering and lbw laws
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell believes both ball-tampering and lbw laws need to be reconstructed. In his recent article for ESPNcricinfo, the 76-year-old suggested some changes that could be implemented in future. Meanwhile, there have been speculations that ICC is planning to legalise ball-tampering for negating the use of saliva and body sweat on the ball. Here is what Chappell wrote.
Chappell believes bowlers should have the right to shine the ball for producing swing, if using saliva is deemed dangerous. "With cricket on hold, this is the ideal time to conduct the exercise. Using saliva and perspiration are now seen as a health hazard, so bowlers require something to replace the traditional methods of shining the ball," Chappell added.
"With ball-tampering always a hot topic, I've suggested administrators ask international captains to construct a list of natural substances detailing the things bowlers feel will help them to swing the ball. The administrators should deem one method legal with all others being punishable," wrote Chappell.
Chappell also vouched for introducing new set of rules for lbw. According to him, any delivery that strikes the pad first and goes on to hit the stumps should be given out, regardless of whether the batsman plays the shot or not. He also added that the pitch of the ball should not be considered while making the decision.
The former Australian skipper feels bringing the rule into effect will emanate a fair contest between the bat and ball. "If a bowler is prepared to attack the stumps regularly, the batsman should only be able to protect his wicket with the bat," he stated. He added, "The pads are there to save the batsman from injury not dismissal."
Previously, Australia put an end to usage of saliva and body sweat amid the ongoing pandemic. The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) released a set of guidelines in consultation with medical experts, sporting bodies and federal and state governments, which restrict the use of saliva.
Chappell reiterated the move will also make the umpiring less complex, thereby reducing the shortcomings of DRS. "This change to the lbw law would also simplify umpiring and result in fewer frivolous DRS challenges. It would speed up a game that has slowed drastically. It would also make four-day Tests an more viable proposition as huge first-innings totals would be virtually non-existent," he concluded.
As per the incumbent rule, if the ball pitches outside the leg stump and still goes on to hit the wicket (as seen in the hawk-eye), the batsman can't be given out. DRS comes into play to decode the pitch of the ball mainly.