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Time to crack the whip on bowlers with suspect action


It’s a travesty that a bowler reported for chucking is sent to the NCA, gets cleared and returns, only to be reported again, writes Makarand Waingankar


No matter what the BCCI does to streamline the process of weeding out the bowlers with suspect actions, it will not succeed without the state associations’ backing. There have been more than a dozen bowlers reported for suspect action and though one of them, Mohnish Parmar, is an off-spinner from Gujarat, he has been picked for the Duleep Trophy final in place of classical offie Ramesh Powar.

Parmar was called for chucking in the last Under-19 World Cup and later has been warned on several occasions by umpires in India. In fact, this season, one of the umpires told the Match Referee that if Parmar bowled the doosra, he would stop him from bowling.

Despite this background, Vengsarkar’s West Zone selection committee has picked Parmar for the Duleep Trophy final. Explaining the inclusion, Vengsarkar said, “Parmar went to NCA last week and got his action cleared. Having received a clearance letter from the NCA, I can’t drop him.”

Not aware of this development, the CAO of the BCCI, Prof. Ratnakar Shetty, after checking with the NCA, said, “Dav Whatmore, the Director of the NCA, cleared the bowler on a condition, that Parmar should not bowl the doosra. But the NCA ought not to have entertained the case when it’s being handled by the Director of Umpires, Srinivas Venkatraghavan.”

Exposing the culprits

As a part of the process of weeding out bowlers with suspect actions, the BCCI decided to record all the Ranji Trophy matches and these recordings have exposed the culprits. The Joint Secretary of the BCCI, M. P. Pandove, has informed the associations of such bowlers about the findings of the BCCI, but apparently Parmar’s association, Gujarat, to get him in the West Zone team sidestepped the process and managed to get the clearance certificate.

Obviously the films of the matches that Parmar played in were not viewed by Whatmore who must have done video analysis independently.

All the reported actions were viewed by Venkatraghavan, and a list of the bowlers has been made. The films of bowlers will be sent to the NCA for reference as bowling in matches will be more authentic than bowling indoors. It’s a systematic process that will afford no one any reason to complain.

Reported again

It’s a travesty that a bowler reported for chucking is sent to the NCA, gets the clearance certificate and returns to first class cricket, only to be reported again by the umpires. There were two other bowlers who were also reported for chucking in the 2006-07 season and sent to the NCA which gave them clearance certificates. This season, they too were reported again.

By obtaining the certificate from the NCA without the knowledge of the BCCI secretariat, the Gujarat Cricket Association seems to have acted with the sole purpose of getting Parmar selected for the Duleep Trophy final.

Would Vengsarkar pick him for the national team if he wreaks havoc in the Duleep Trophy final? It does seem the selection committee prioritised winning more than the spirit of the game.

If the BCCI is really concerned about the increased number of bowlers with suspect action, it should enforce the MCC laws and jettison the farce of the NCA issuing a letter that counts on rule-breakers adhering to rules from then on. It’s time Venkatraghavan cracked the whip.

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