Monday, December 11, 2023

BCB sat on chucking problem for years

Years of inaction by the Bangladesh Cricket Board has led to the widespread presence of chucking in Bangladesh’s domestic cricket, said cricket officials and analysts on Tuesday.
One of the two players recently banned by ICC, Arafat Sunny, was among scores of bowlers who were reported by local umpires in domestic cricket last year, although the BCB failed to take any measures to rectify the situation.
A special committee to review bowling actions has been inactive for a number of years now.
The recent ban of Taskin Ahmed and Sunny in the ICC World Twenty20 put Bangladesh in an awkward situation and prompted the BCB to take a serious look at the matter.
A BCB director preferring anonymity said an event technical committee member had expressed his concern over Sunny’s action even during the recent Asia Cup, though he was not reported by umpires on that occasion.
Sunny was reported by the local umpires in NCL alongside Rangpur Division left-arm spinner Sanjit Saha and Rajshahi Division off-spinner Farhad Hossain.
Despite being reported, the BCB selected Sanjit Saha in the Bangladesh squad for the ICC Under-19 World Cup only to bring embarrassment to the bowler and the team.
Shaha was reported for suspect action in the Under-19 World Cup after just one match and was subsequently banned.
Farhad was reported also in 2008 when the BCB had formed a bowling action review committee to rein in rampant chucking in domestic cricket.
The committee, which came only after left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak was banned from bowling during a tour of South Africa, had identified several bowlers with illegal actions and subsequently banned two pacers from Chittagong Division and a left-arm spinner from Rajshahi Division.
However, the special committee remained inactive for years due to BCB’s lack of interest.
BCB’s cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan on Monday promised to revive the committee soon after taking a lesson from Sunny and Taskin’s ban in the ICC World Twenty20.
Akram made a similar promise in 2014 when the ICC launched a crackdown on illegal bowling with two Bangladeshi bowlers, off-spinner Sohag Gazi and pacer Al-Amin Hossain, among those who were reported.
Neighbouring Pakistan, one of the worst-hit by the crackdown, acted promptly to identify 29 chuckers in their domestic cricket and banned 16 of them.
Sources said umpires reported 31 bowlers for chucking on 67 occasions in the second tier First Division Cricket League in 2014-15, but no action was taken against any bowler.
‘We will soon make a committee that will work with these bowlers,’ said Akram. ‘They will also keep an eye on the bowlers in the forthcoming Dhaka Premier League.’
Cricket coaches said BCB and club organisers should play a more effective role in tackling chucking in domestic cricket.
‘Usually we don’t allow anyone with suspect action in age group cricket,’ said BCB’s development manager Nazmul Abedin. ‘But we cannot monitor so many club cricketers.’
‘Currently nearly 15,000 cricketers are involved in different tiers of Dhaka leagues and there should be an effective monitoring group comprised of technically-sound people.’
While many officials blamed club organisers for taking advantage of illegal bowling, cricket columnist and former coach Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury said they should not be the only ones blamed for the problem.
‘When the BCB does not take any action against illegal bowling, organisers will obviously take advantage,’ he said. ‘They pay the players for their service, so they will definitely look for the bowler who can take more wickets.’
‘The BCB should publish a list of bowlers with suspect action and empower the umpires to take instant action against them,’ he said. ‘I am sure club organisers will then avoid these bowlers.’

-With New Age input

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