The new ball rule since its introduction as a remedy for the bowl changing issues has caused slight but very concerning changes in the game .The new rule means the ball will only get 25 overs old. Many people believe that this rule is successful because it balances the ODI cricket by giving fast bowlers a better chance of getting wickets, this is all true but it also takes many aspects of the game that we love out of the picture.
For example the rule hampers spinners to a large extent. Spinners require the ball to be soft to impart the revolutions required to make the ball spin ,also the ball needs to be tossed up to make sure the batsmen are kept honest in deciding what sort of stroke they are going to play. Now I know that many modern day spinners have been quoted as saying they have no issues with the rule as they will get more bounce off the newer ball and they can still impart enough spin. This seems to me a very ridiculous notion a spinners job is to spin the ball not to get bounce. And if you think it’s easy to spin the new ball compared to the older ball, tell me how many spinners are there in world cricket now, who scares batsmen by just spinning the ball. The rule change has given rise to a crop of part time spinners who just dart the bowl in at the batsmen these bowlers are successful in keeping the run rate in check but are unable to take wickets regularly. A true spinner who likes to flight the ball and give it a good tweak will be put off by the new ball. If the spinner is introduced in the 24th over he’ll be using a ball that is 12 over’s old. In this scenario a good batsmen will have the advantage he’ll know the ball won’t spin and if there’s any flight he could get under the ball and launch it into the stands. With the modern day bats and smaller grounds a good spinners can become a extinct species very quickly.
I do not understand why asian countries went with the rule change Sri lanka,Pakistan ,India and Bangladesh all rely heavily on their spinners .All these countries have a very proud heritage of spin bowling. When Asian teams loss against other opposition outside the sub continent they have always countered by saying their opponents would have suffered if there were spin friendly tracks. And many teams have won outside the sub continent when pitches have been spin friendly. Now we are forced to play essentially one hand behind our backs we cannot make home field advantage count because of the ball never gets old.This forces asian teams to either prepare batting friendly pitches all the time or look for fast bowling resources which makes cricket very boring and monotonous.
It is interesting to see who benefits with the rule change, First up is England the no1 ranked test cricket team who are traditionally woeful against any sort of spinner. These guys have the ambition to match the size of their egos. English batsmen who are brought up on seamer friendly pitches will find it very easy to handle medium pacers than spinners. Since it’s mostly batsmen who win matches in the sub continent English batsmen will be sleeping easily when they tour the sub continent in the future, knowing that they will face very little threat from spinners. In reverse any team visiting England will suffer because the bowl will swing around for the whole 50 overs giving the home team a advantage.
South Africa who has the best fast bowling line up in cricket and mediocre spinners are another team directly benefiting from the 2 new balls. Their bowlers will become potent on any pitch anywhere in the world. They’re batsmen also struggle against spinners in sub continent conditions. Along with the above teams any other team who are dependent on fast bowling benefits with this rule.
I think the rule is unfair and it will be a big problem in the future. For a sport that has recently suffered from low fan support it cannot afford to make the game more one dimensional to make a few teams more competitive away from home. It is the diversity in cricket that makes it intriguing and exciting the ICC should remember this when setting out new policies.