Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Last Update on: May 28th, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Former Indian cricketer-turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has called for the removal of rules like ‘free hit’ and ‘leg byes as he feels the rules are unfair for the bowlers in a game that is already heavily skewed in the favor of the batters.

In his column for Hindustan Times, Manjrekar stated that the penalty that a bowler has to endure for overstepping by even a centimeter is extremely unfair as he/she not only has to bowl an extra ball but the batter also gets complete impunity on that ball from getting out.

According to Sanjay Manjrekar, the ‘free hit’ rule was introduced by a ‘sadist’ who hated bowlers.

‘’Free hit is a thing I want gone, again terribly unfair on the bowlers. Today with the TV umpire monitoring no balls, a bowler has to be a centimetre over and immediately a string of punishments are meted out,” Sanjay Manjrekar wrote in his column for Hindustan Times.

”The bowler has to bowl an extra ball, the batter cannot be out to that no ball already bowled and there is also a penalty of one run. To add to that, there is a free hit offered to the batter next ball in which he cannot be out. The penalty is just not commensurate to the ‘wrongful’ act. It’s as if the rule was introduced by a sadist who hated bowlers,” he added.

Manjrekar also called for the removal of the ‘leg byes rule as he feels that it is completely unfair for the batting side to gain an advantage just because a batter was hit on his body and the ball dribbled away to the boundary ropes.

”We see a bowler has bowled a great delivery and the batter is deceived, can’t put bat to ball. But the ball brushes to the fine leg boundary. Umpire signals four, in favour of the batting team! Batter rewarded, bowler penalized. How does that make sense from any angle?” Sanjay Manjrekar asserted.

“Batters today are ’360-degree’ players because they have become more imaginative, but before that it’s because of helmets. Would a batter go down on one knee against a big fast bowler, his face perfectly in line with a ball coming at 90 mph, to play a Dilscoop if he wasn’t wearing a helmet? When we gave batters helmets, we should have felt obligated to give something significant back to the bowlers too. There is just no cricketing logic to this, except it’s been the thing over the years,” he added.


Ashwin counters Sanjay Manjrekar’s views on ‘Free Hit’, suggests a new rule

Sanjay Manjrekar, Ashwin
R Ashwin Mankads Jos Buttler (Image Credit: Twitter)

Manjrekar then took to his official Twitter where he asked for feedback and suggestions from cricket fans on the same.

Ravichandran Ashwin countered the former Indian cricketer’s suggestion to do away with the ‘Free hit’. Ashwin reckoned that ‘Free Hit’ is a great marketing tool, something that has captured the imagination of fans.

Ashwin went one step ahead and suggested a new rule which he termed as ‘Free Ball’.

According to Ashwin, 10 runs should be docked from the bowlers figures and also from the overall total, everytime a non-striker leaves the popping crease early.

He further reiterated that a batsmen is only allowed to leave the crease once the ball has left the bowler’s hand.

”Come on @sanjaymanjrekar, free hit is a great marketing tool and has captured the imagination of all the fans. Let’s add a free ball for the bowlers every time a batter leaves the non strikers end early, a wicket of that ball will reduce 10 runs of the bowlers analysis and total,” wrote Ashwin.

”Remember: “you are supposed to leave  the crease only after the ball leaves the hand” he added.

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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.