Better bats and smaller boundaries are reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machine: Ian Chappell

Better bats and smaller boundaries are reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machine: Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell cited that there should be an interest in the mini-battles between the bat and the ball.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has expressed his concerns over the future of the game. In the past, several former players and now experts have always cited that T20 cricket could affect the game. However, Chappell’s fears are somewhere else. He believes there is a lack of balance between the bat and the ball.

The cricketer-turned cricket media personality explained why there must be an ideal balance between the bat and the ball. He also wrote that it is important to educate fans on the true values of the game. The 78-year-old noted that there are too many shots, which despite being mistimed have gone for sixes. 

He explains why this can be extremely frustrating as a bowler. However, he also cited that this issue is not prevalent on larger Australian grounds, where boundaries are much longer. He further noted that using bigger and heavier bats along with small boundaries is reducing bowlers to just bowling machines. 

It is a serious slight on good bowlers: Ian Chappell

“I’m not sure what genius produced the ludicrous mixture of better bats and smaller boundaries. This combination is reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machines. It is a serious slight on good bowlers and needs to be rectified immediately,” Chappell wrote in his column on ESPNcricinfo.

Chappell remains one of the most respected men in the world of cricket. His theory surrounds and summons that if the rules and regulations are forcing a bowler to bowl a delivery outside the off stump, on the wide line, just in order to avoid runs being scored, then it debases the sport. “Cricket needs to entertain, but it must also maintain a strong association with its roots. The administrators need to remember this crucial point when they plan for the game’s future,” Chappell wrote. 

While Chappell agrees it is important for the fans to be entertained watching the sport, he also opines that the entertainment factor should not be just reduced to muscle players trying to hit the ball as long as they can. He points out that the entertainment factor should come from a fair contest between the bat and the ball. He also fears that there could be a day when teams chasing win just too many games. 

Chappell also urges fans to enjoy the tactical battles. Lastly, he says that the balance between sport and entertainment at a point in time is not correct. “In my opinion, the balance in T20 cricket needs to be somewhere in the vicinity of 60:40 sport to entertainment. At the moment it’s unbalanced and too much in favor of pure entertainment,” the former Aussie captain added.