ICC Should Review The 15-Degree Elbow Rule For The Bowlers: Saqlain Mushtaq

Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq calls for the ICC to reconsider the existing 15-degree arm/elbow extension law for the bowlers.

Saqlain Mushtaq, inventor of the Doosra delivery and went on to become one of the most successful spinners. He believes it’s impeding the youngsters from taking on spin-bowling. Mushtaq retired from international cricket in 2003.

ICC’s current regulations have stated the legal limit as 15 degrees of permissible straightening of the elbow joint for all the bowlers.

After the Muttiah Muralitharan controversy in Australia back in 1995, ICC affected the changes regarding the laws of cricket. Umpire Darrell Hair called the Sri Lankan legend for throwing during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne in 1995.

Saqlain Mushtaq questioned the logic behind the ICC allowing only 15 degrees latitude to the bowlers as they did not consider Caribbean and Asian cricketers.

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The 44-year old underlined since Asian bodies are different, they tend to move their joints more flexibly and some have hypermobile joints too. Mushtaq claimed that Caribbean and England players’ bodies are different.

“I would like to know how the ICC experts reached this conclusion of allowing only 15-degrees latitude to bowlers. Did they do research on Asian players, Caribbean players, others because everyone is different. Asian players’ bodies are different, they tend to have more flexibility in their arms and some have hyper mobile joints. If you look at Caribbean or English players their bodies are different,” Mushtaq said as quoted by The Outlook.

Saqlain Mushtaq has advised the ICC to revisit the rule as 15-degrees latitude is too little to encourage players from wanting to take up off-spin.

He pointed out that teams not wish to have more wrist spinners instead of off-break ones as they seem effective.

Mushtaq, who has served as the spin-bowling coach for several international teams, stated most top teams have leg-spinners heading their spin-bowling unit. Thus, it has discouraged players from taking up finger spin.

“I think the ICC should review this law because the 15-degrees latitude is too little. It is discouraging players from the art of off-spin bowling. I personally believe that one can bowl off-breaks, doosra and top spin even within the law but since it came out I have seen players who used to bowl off-spin now becoming leg-spinners or wrist spinners. It is an ongoing trend in white ball formats that teams want to have maximum wrist spinners like India has Chahal and Yadav, Australia has Adam Zampa and Stephenson, England has Adil Rashid etc…And this is discouraging players from taking up the art of off-spin bowling,” he added.


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