View Poll Results: Slow down outfields to counter powerful bats?

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Thread: Slow down outfields?

  1. #1
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Slow down outfields?

    On the final day of the Lord's Test between England and New Zealand, some MCC reps were testing the speed of the Lord's outfield with whatever those things they use in golf to test the speed of greens and fairways are called. This interested me.

    Ian Botham, perhaps not surprisingly, was sceptical - and it must be said one of the suggestions, trying to standardise the speed of outfields, is a horrible idea.

    But the other - slowing outfields down - is IMO a very fine idea. People talk about how bats have become better, and Michael Atherton (who has sat on some I$C$C committee which has recently discussed how the balance between bat and ball needs to be addressed) talked earlier about how there has been thought to try and undo the improvements in bat technology.

    My question is (and he and David Gower touched on this) - why would you want to deliberately try and undo progress? Why not aim for countering progress in other areas? I've long said people should try and manufacture cricket-balls that swing more.

    But this outfield thing strikes me as a fine idea, as I say. To lessen the effect of more powerful bats, which certainly does IMO need to be done, why not just slow the outfields down? Leave the grass longer?

    Ian Botham of course brought up the "people want to see fours and sixes". Well, some of the simplistic fools who barely qualify as cricket fans do, maybe. But the increasing disquiet over the bat-friendliness of the game from genuine fans at the current time suggests maybe this view is becoming antiquated.

    Would you be in favour of slowing down outfields?
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  2. #2
    Global Moderator Somerset's Avatar
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    Personally I find that a really sluggish outfield is almost as bad as a lightening quick outfield. In saying that, if it could be manipulated in some way that it still gives value for good shots then its worth a crack I guess.

  3. #3
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    I am for balls that offer 90 degree swing to mediocre trundlers just to counter bats that allow any old slogger a 40+ test average.
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  4. #4
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somerset View Post
    Personally I find that a really sluggish outfield is almost as bad as a lightening quick outfield. In saying that, if it could be manipulated in some way that it still gives value for good shots then its worth a crack I guess.
    I think the point is that right now there are too many lightning outfields, and that we need to slow them down to make things more "equal". Not leave every blade of grass so long that it hits the grass and stops.


  5. #5
    SJS
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    Increasing the size of the boundary or fixing a minimum of , say, 90 meters to the fence would be even better.

    I also feel it might be good to remove this point-of-contact-should-be-in-line-with-stumps business and allow balls pitching outside the off stump and coming in (as long as the umpire is certain beyond doubt that they would hit the stumps) to be declared out irrespective of where the point of contact is.

    The no ball rule should revert back to the rear foot.

  6. #6
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    Increasing the size of the boundary or fixing a minimum of , say, 90 meters to the fence would be even better.
    I agree completely and there's already a directive in place (or being mooted - can't remember which) to enforce this.

    However, some grounds are small. And the boundary is already out as far as it can go. For these grounds, a slow outfield is imperative.

  7. #7
    International Captain weldone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    Increasing the size of the boundary or fixing a minimum of , say, 90 meters to the fence would be even better.
    AWTA...This is needed very much...Test cricket viewers won't mind one or two not-so-decent shots going to the boundary between two slips or between two fielders...But mi****s going for sixes will hurt test cricket (and cricket, in general) badly if proper action isn't taken immediately...
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  8. #8
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    But the other - slowing outfields down - is IMO a very fine idea.
    Terrible idea. You want batsmen to get full value for good shots.

    Slow outfields (and Ive played on hundreds of them) promote the aerial route and discourage quality orthodox cricket.

    Fast outfields encourage good cricket. Dragging the boundaries out is ok but slowing the outfield is bad.
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  9. #9
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Indeed you do want batsmen to get value for good shots. But the point is that currently with the power in bats many batsmen get value for shots that aren't good ones - balls that have simply been blocked or nudged, or swung without hitting anywhere near the middle of the bat.

    Taking the aerial route brings huge risks and if batsmen started doing that regularly, chances are they'd score much less. So if it did start happening, I'm fairly confident it'd stop again very quickly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Terrible idea. You want batsmen to get full value for good shots.

    Slow outfields (and Ive played on hundreds of them) promote the aerial route and discourage quality orthodox cricket.

    Fast outfields encourage good cricket. Dragging the boundaries out is ok but slowing the outfield is bad.
    Completely agreed.
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  11. #11
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    You're just encouraging power players even further then, as their importance is emphasised over orthodox batsmen. So no.
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  12. #12
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    That's a fair point, actually.

  13. #13
    International Coach GotSpin's Avatar
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    Slow outfields is probably the most frustrating thing ever for a batsmen. Highly against it. I'd rather green tops but value for your shots than the other way around.

    [havnt read any other replies so excuse me if im being repetitive]
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  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoT_SpIn View Post
    Slow outfields is probably the most frustrating thing ever for a batsmen.
    Quick outfields are the most frustrating thing for a bowler.

    Really not important TBH.

  15. #15
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Quick outfields are the most frustrating thing for a bowler.
    Not really

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