ICC should reconsider 15 degree elbow rule : Saqlain Mushtaq
''The law is discouraging youngsters from taking up the art of off-spin bowling"Author : Sheetal Mahajan
Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq wants the International Cricket Council to review its existing 15-degree arm/elbow extension law for bowlers.
Saqlain, who is presently head coach at the Pakistan Cricket Board's High-Performance Centre in Lahore, said the law is discouraging youngsters from taking up the art of off-spin bowling.
ICC’s current regulations have stated the legal limit as 15 degrees of permissible straightening of the elbow joint for all the bowlers. After the Muttiah Muralitharan controversy in Australia back in 1995, ICC affected the changes regarding the laws of cricket. Umpire Darrell Hair called the Sri Lankan legend for throwing during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne in 1995. Mushtaq wanted to know about the logic behind ICC 15 degree latitude as they did not consider the Caribbean and Asian cricketers.
"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, who ended an illustrious career with 208 Test and 288 ODI wickets and made the Doosra ball famous, believed that an off-spinner can also be successful in white-ball formats if he has a good set of skills and it is not necessary to be able to bowl the doosra to be effective.
Saqlain, 44, who has worked as a spin consultant/coach with different teams including England, West Indies, New Zealand urged countries to have budgets to have regular permanent spin coaches with their teams.
"There is also a need to have permanent spin coaches at domestic level and the junior levels."
Saqlain had no doubt that spinners would have a vital role to play in the upcoming World T20 Cup in UAE and Oman provided the conditions remained dry.