Former India opener Aakash Chopra has come up with 10 suggestions to make the game of cricket better and to ensure a better balance between the bat and the ball. In the history of cricket, which began in the 1700s and the first international match was played in 1877, rules have been changed multiple times.
While the essence of the game has remained intact, Cricket as we see it now has witnessed quite a turn-around in terms of the laws of the game, now watched over by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
In recent history, debates over rules like soft signal, mankading, Umpires Call, and much more have proved that the game is indeed subject to change, with changing times and evolving technologies.
However, there has been a lot of argument when it comes to the imbalance between the bat and the ball.
Therefore Aakash Chopra has come forth with 10 suggestions that may revolutionize the game of cricket in the future.
Here are Aakash Chopra’s suggestions to make cricket balanced and interesting:
1. Eight runs for a humongous shot over the boundary ropes
Aakash Chopra has suggested that the number of runs for a huge over-the-rope shot should be increased to eight from six. The technology enabling to measure the distance of the six, prompting Chopra to suggest that a 100+ meter six should fetch batsmen eight runs.
"There should be some advantage of hitting such huge sixes. I am not saying 90, I am saying 100 meters. You need a lot of power to hit a 100m six. This might be implemented in some league, international cricket, I don’t know," he said on his YouTube channel.
2. Only one ball per innings per match
Aakash Chopra also wants the rule of one new ball from different ends after an over ends in ODIs to end. He wants a single ball to be used per innings per match which may help the bowlers get reverse swing.
3. Call a short ball over the batsman’s head a wide, not a bouncer
In cases when a bowler has bowled a bouncer and the ball has gone over the head of the batsman, Chopra has suggested that it should be counted as a wide and not a bouncer, allowing the bowler to bowl another legitimate short-pitched delivery.
"If a bouncer has gone over the head and the umpire has given a wide, it should not be counted as a bouncer. It is already an illegitimate delivery and the bouncer should not be wasted in that. In T20 cricket, once a bouncer goes over the head, the batsman can get right forward and play any shot, so the bowler’s hands are tied," he said.
4. End the concept of leg-byes
The former India opener wants the rule of leg-byes to be scrapped as he feels that it gives batsmen undue advantage as it allows them to get runs even if the ball hasn't connected with the bat. Advocating for the bowlers, Chopra highlighted that it is a game of bat and ball and not pads, adding that since the batsman 'got beaten' there is no reason why teams should be allowed to get runs.
5. Umpires should give their decision after the ball is dead
"Umpires should wait for the ball to get dead before giving out. If the umpire gives a batsman out wrongly and the ball goes to the boundary since the umpire had given it out, the ball is considered dead and you don’t get the runs," Chopra said.
6. Extra overs for bowler picking extra wickets
Chopra also said that the bowling captain should be allowed to give extra overs than the stipulated ones in limited-overs matches to the bowler who has taken most wickets. A bowler who takes two wickets in white-ball cricket should get an extra over, Chopra reckons.
"A batsman can play the entire 20 or 50 overs if he is batting well, but the bowler can bowl only four or ten overs. So if he is a successful bowler that day, the captain should have an option to give him an extra over, “he explained.
7. On-field penalty for slow over-rate
In a bid to crack the whip on slow over-rates, Chopra said that instead of fining the captains and teams after the end of the match, they should be penalized during the match on the field.
"Overs after the stipulated time in T20 and ODI should have extra fielder in the circle. There can be nothing better than this, all teams will fall in line," he thinks.
8. Batsman should be out if the LED bails light up
"If the LED stumps light up, it should be out. The zing bails are heavy, they light up but they don’t fall off at times. They light up only when the connection is lost, so please do not penalize the bowler," Chopra said.
9. Soft signal only inside 30-yard circle
"No soft signal outside the 30-yard circle. I can understand it within the circle but beyond that, it is an absolute waste of time. How can an umpire figure out if the foot touched the boundary or not?" he said.
10. Let the 3rd umpire decide
Chopra in his ultimate rulebook suggestion said that on-field umpires must consult the third umpire whenever in doubt. Moreover, he added that the third umpire must be allowed to reverse an incorrect call made by the on-field umpires.