Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to review the existing laws regarding the 15-degree angle rule for the bowlers.
The former cricketer who is currently the head coach of Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) High-Performance Centre at Lahore said that the law is discouraging youngsters from taking up off-spin bowling.
As per the ICC law, a bowler is required to have an elbow/arm extension of under 15-degrees while delivering the ball. A bowler is sent for a test if there are concerns over their bowling action and might face a possible suspension if the angle of the elbow is found to be over 15-degrees.
He said that Asian player’s arms have hyper-mobile joints and are more flexible unlike players from England or West Indies.
“I would like to know how the ICC experts reached this conclusion of allowing only 15-degrees latitude to bowlers. Did they do research on Asian players, Caribbean players, others because everyone is different," Saqlain said in an interview.
“Asian players’ bodies are different, they tend to have more flexibility in their arms and some have hypermobile joints. If you look at Caribbean or English players their bodies are different,” he added.
He said that the 15-degrees latitude is too little and discourages the off-spinners.
“I think the ICC should review this law because the 15-degrees latitude is too little. It is discouraging players from the art of off-spin bowling. I personally believe that one can bowl off-breaks, doosra, and topspin even within the law but since it came out I have seen players who used to bowl off-spin now becoming leg-spinners or wrist spinners,” he said.
Saqlain Mushtaq opined that teams are not using off-spinners in the white-ball formats because of the trend to rely on leg-spinners.
“It is an ongoing trend in white-ball formats that teams want to have maximum wrist spinners like India has Chahal and Yadav, Australia has Adam Zampa and Stephenson, England has Adil Rashid etc… And this is discouraging players from taking up the art of off-spin bowling," he said.
The former spinner who has been a spin consultant for teams like England, West Indies, and New Zealand said that teams should have a budget that accommodates a spin bowling coach.
“There is also a need to have permanent spin coaches at domestic level and the junior levels,” he said.
Saqlain Mushtaq also commented on the big role spinners will have in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup that is to be held in UAE and Oman.
“Role of spinners in the subcontinent and UAE is always vital but there is no dew factor because a lot of matches are held under lights. If there is no dew factor they will dominate in dry conditions but to do this they must be class bowlers with a very good set of skills. It is all about bowlers who try to get away with just bowling economically and those who try to take wickets as well.” he concluded.