My first post on chucking from January 2003:
I went for my driving license in January 1980.
Never realised then how much I would write about chucking in the ensuing ten years: 145 posts and counting (plus countless comments).
One of the recurring themes during that decade, or decayed, is players calling out chuckers, only for the players to backtrack, protest they were taken out of context, then belatedly apologise anyway, before blithely announcing: "we're all good now."
Rarely have I posted about a cricketer or commentator who has stuck to his guns and, despite the usual rumpus about racism, optical illusions and "everyone does it!", continued to call out chuckers.
Not once during those ten years have I posted about a bowler who admitted to a fair cop:
FOR a young man whose career was ruined by doubts about his bowling action, Aaron Bird takes a surprisingly hard line on chucking.
“Rules are rules,” he says, “and everyone needs to live by them.”
Bird is also bullish about the potential of in-game testing:
He thinks the technology on the horizon for in-game testing of bowling actions is a great thing, but until then, “umpires need to stick to their guns. If they believe someone has a suspect action they need to go through the right process”.
He goes further to suggest international bowlers should be checked before they are allowed to play in the Bubble:
“Cricket Australia should be looking to nip this in the bud before it gets to the game stage, so if someone is coming over for the BBL and there's been a few questions marks about his action, maybe they need to get him tested before the competition starts,”
Pat Howard recently suggested Australia use overseas tours to rotate players:
Australia may seek to rest players more often on overseas tours rather than depriving home crowds of the national side's most high profile cricketers during the summer. Momentum is growing for the concept of using foreign assignments to give Australia's most heavily employed cricketers a break rather than home limited-overs games during January.
The corollary of Pat's proposal is that other countries may use Australian tours to rest their own players.
Not that Australia using overseas tours to trial players is entirely foreign. Adam Gilchrist's first ODI was in Faridabad in 1996 when he was being phased in and Ian Healy was being phased out. No doubt there were punters and pundits back then who screamed that they had paid to see Ian Healy, not some jug-eared debutante.
Seamlessly stitching together chucking and rotating: introduce in-match testing at Australian cricket grounds and you will guarantee international players are rested for Australian tours and the Bubble.
Is there even the remotest chance Murali, Botha, Ajmal and Hurlem Samuels would want to "bowl" in Australia if they knew an alarm was going to blare every time their arm flexed more than 15°?
This week's Blackest Day in the History of Sport and Everything in which the famed Australian notion of fair play was "shoulder-charged into oblivion" and we "killed a national icon with our own hands" - talk about your performance enhancing right there - highlighted two blights in the sporting firmament: drugs and match fixing. The ACC left out chucking, which I consider to be every bit as malignant.