Free hit law nonsense, says Akhtar

Friday, July 13, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan’s fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has described as nonsense the free hit experimental law to be enforced in One-day Internationals from October 1 this year.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) last month agreed to penalise bowlers for sending down a no-ball by allowing the batsman to take a free hit off the next ball without being dismissed in one-dayers.

The law will be tested on an experimental basis and is already allowed in a different form in Twenty20 cricket.

“I don’t support this law because already life is tough for the bowlers. It is nonsense. Why make it more difficult us,”
Shoaib told reporters in the Pakistan camp on Thursday.

He said they already had to bowl on flat pitches and had the rules loaded against them.
“Why put more pressure on them (bowlers) with such laws that give the full advantage to the batsmen,”
he added.

He said the free hit law was fine for Twenty20 cricket, which was not really that serious, but not meant for one-dayers which are a more competitive brand of cricket.

Shoaib also said he was keen to make an impact in September’s Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa if selected because he was making a comeback after a long time.

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