‘Every youngster is now bowling the doosra in Pakistan’

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SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja on Sunday demanded cricket’s law makers save the controversial “doosra” delivery, saying it provides a new dimension to the batsmen-dominated game.

The “doosra”, a delivery which turns the other way than the normal off-break, has come under greater scrutiny as bowlers straighten their bowling arm beyond 15 degrees, the permitted point under the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules.

The ICC has launched a crackdown recently with as many as three bowlers suspended, including top ranked one-day bowler Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan, for illegal bowling actions.

New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and Sri Lanka’s Sachitra Senanayake are the other two while Zimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya and Bangladesh duo, Sohag Gazi and Al-Amin Hossain were also reported for suspect actions in the last three months.

Ajmal is undergoing remedial work on his action under former great Saqlain Mushtaq, regarded as the inventor of the “doosra”.

Raja said the delivery is an art which should be saved.

“Save the doosra because it is an exciting delivery,” Raja told AFP.

“My stance is that the rules of the game have become so lop-sided and 70-30 in favour of the batsmen so bowlers need new deliveries,” said Raja.

“The doosra is not physically threatening. It tests the skills of the batsmen so even if it needed some relaxation, like 18-20 degrees, it should be allowed.“

Raja said reverse swing also came into being because bowlers needed help on dry batting pitches.

“The birth of reverse swing came as bowlers were struggling on dead tracks in the sub-continent and initially it was also treated as something controversial but now it has been adopted by every team,” said Raja.

“Similarly in the wake of shorter boundaries and field restrictions spinners needed something to counter that and hence the birth of the doosra which has given aggression to off-spin,” said Raja.

Raja said off-spin was confined to stopping runs.

“Leg-spinners were supposed to pick up wickets and off-spinners were confined to stopping the flow of runs but with the doosra the art of off-spin was revived and I strongly feel it should be saved,” said Raja.

Raja said the rule makers should have to think out of the box.

“Look the crib is that suddenly you go from 15 to 40-plus degrees and we don’t know how they are conducting these biomechanical tests,” said Raja.

“My question is why they were allowed to bowl for so long and because of that every youngster is now bowling the doosra in Pakistan,” said Raja, who believed it will be tough for Ajmal to improve his action.

“I will be surprised if he improves that much, it’s improbable.

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