ICC committee to delve deeper into 'throwing'

The International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee yesterday agreed that there should be no changes made to the regulations regarding throwing until they have completed further research into spin bowling. At their meeting in Dubai the committee supported the ICC's planned research into bowling actions and put in place a small group who will look at the issues surrounding illegal deliveries and the way in which they are addressed in the game.

The International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee yesterday agreed that there should be no changes made to the regulations regarding throwing until they have completed further research into spin bowling. At their meeting in Dubai the committee supported the ICC's planned research into bowling actions and put in place a small group who will look at the issues surrounding illegal deliveries and the way in which they are addressed in the game.

"This group will look to review the procedure and the protocols that are in place," said David Richardson, the ICC general cricket manager. "These will include the appropriate levels of tolerance for bowlers but there will be no recommendations made on these issues until the ICC's research programme has been completed and the results properly analysed. This is not likely to be until the last quarter of this year."

The sub-committee will comprise three members of the Cricket Committee, myself, Aravinda de Silva and Tim May, as well as two or three human movement specialists and one or two independent cricket experts. No immediate decisions could be made concerning how much a bowler is legally allowed to bend his arm because, as of yet, there is not enough information available to compare to a reported bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan.

It is accepted that most bowlers bend their elbow slightly at the moment of delivery but most research has been on those with questionable actions. Until a library of information is collected, it is difficult to rule what is acceptable. The library will be assembled during September's ICC Champions Trophy.

The committee made several other recommendations on cricket-related issues which will be considered at a meeting of chief executives from Test countries in London in June. Most will be tested in or applied to one-day cricket in the hope that they will add further spice to these games.

They included making limited-over games 12-a-side. Teams will still be restricted to 11 fielders at any one time, and only 11 would be allowed to bat, but the extra player would add to the options available to a captain.

The batting captain in a one-day game may also be allowed to pick the 15 overs in which he would like the fielding restrictions to apply. Currently these restraints are only in force for the first 15 overs. But the batting side could announce to the fielding side after seven overs that they would now like to use five of their 15-over allotment. At the end of this period they could then decide to carry on with the restrictions or delay the taking of the other 10 overs until later in the game.

The batsmen will not have it all their own way. "Double plays", where the ball remains live after the dismissal of a batsman, allowing the other batsman to be dismissed during the same phase of play, has been recommended. It is hoped that these innovations will be tried out in a domestic one-day competition.

Following a successful trial in South Africa, the umpires in the Champions Trophy in England will be fitted with ear-pieces connected to the stump microphones. This is not so that officials can hear a batsman being sledged by the fielders but to help the umpire hear edges off the bat.

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