Gautam Gambhir criticized the ICC, asserting that the introduction of two new balls in white-ball cricket has severely undermined the effectiveness of finger spinners, making their inclusion in the playing XI difficult.

The ICC’s rule allowing teams to switch to a second new ball during ODIs has drawn criticism from Gautam Gambhir, the former World Cup winner and current KKR coach. In a conversation with Ravichandran Ashwin on the show ‘Kutti Talks with Ashwin,’ Gambhir expressed his concern about how this rule has diminished the role of finger-spinners in white-ball cricket. He believes that this change has significantly impacted the skill and relevance of finger spinners in ODI matches, rendering them less valuable in team selections.

“The worst thing that has happened in white-ball cricket is the introduction of two new balls. The reason why I say that is because you have taken away the entire skill of a finger spinner from a game, whether it be a left-arm spinner or an off-spinner,” said Gambhir.

“You have got two new balls, and five fielders inside. How do you expect a finger spinner to get anything out of the surface, and be included in the playing 11? That’s the worst thing that’s happened in white-ball cricket,” he added.

Gambhir also pointed out that the provision allowing teams to switch to a second new ball during innings has disadvantaged finger-spinners like R Ashwin and Nathan Lyon, leading to their limited white-ball opportunities. He criticized the ICC for overlooking the importance of nurturing spin bowlers in modern cricket and called for a reevaluation of the rule.

“I’ve said it everywhere. This rule has taken away two of the best finger spinners in the world, who should have played more white-ball cricket, you (Ashwin) and Nathan Lyon. The reason why you guys didn’t play was because there was nothing for you, against all these odds on a flat track with power hitters on a shirt boundary, and with DRS as well,” he said.

READ ALSO | BCCI Eyes Gautam Gambhir to Take Over as India’s Head Coach After Rahul Dravid | Reports

The former cricketer further emphasized the need for the ICC to support and promote spin bowling to ensure its longevity and relevance in the sport.

“The job of the ICC is to promote every kind of bowler who wants to become a off-spinner or a finger-spinner. Tell me how many youngsters want to take up the art of bowling spin now? No-one, because they know that they have no future in white-ball cricket. If it would be my way, I would get rid of this rule of introducing two new balls in white cricket. I think it is the worst thing that has happened in cricket. I think the ICC has messed up. Hopefully they can change it going forward and have just one ball used for the entire 50 overs of an ODI match,” Gambhir concluded.



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Last Updated on May 20, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter