Adelaide: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has advocated a review of on-field safety measures in cricket, saying it would be a good idea to "strengthen any law" that can protect tail-enders when they face short-pitched bowling.
The run-up to the Test series between India and Australia was marked by a series of concussion-related substitutions, reviving the debate around the use of bouncers by fast bowlers. Chappell rejected the idea of banning the delivery altogether.
"Any talk of completely banning the bouncer should be dismissed as quickly as bowlers removed New Zealand batting bunny Chris Martin," Chappell wrote in 'ESPNcricinfo'. "The time is ripe for a worldwide review into on-field safety, including batsmen, bowlers and umpires, with batting technique a top priority."
Chappell also stressed on improving the batsmen's technique to face the bouncer, pointing out that many batsmen ducked into short balls and many times injuries occurred due to the batsman ducking, even when the ball was between waist and chest height.
"Following the tragic death of Phil Hughes, Cricket Australia conducted a safety review. Incredibly, this process didn't include a look at technique, which is the most important aspect in ensuring fewer batsmen receive blows to the head," Chappell opined.
"In conducting this review it would be appropriate to strengthen any law regarding the protection of tail-enders in facing short-pitched bowling," he wrote.
The former cricketer also noted that banning fast bowlers, previously suggested during the dominance of West Indies team in the 80's, would do nothing but make the game less challenging. It was also useless to complain about lack of a 'perfect substitute' as finding one was unrealistic. Replacing a player was not such a problem in these times as teams were carrying extended squads as a result of COVID-19 regulations Chapell said.