As cases of concussion are increasing, the debates on whether bouncers should be bowled or not are also going on. Some have viewed that bouncers should be banned in under-18 cricket to limit long-term complications. However, former England captain Michael Vaughan has brushed off any of these suggestions.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodians of the game’s laws, has started a consultation process regarding bouncers. MCC are hearing arguments on if bowlers should continue to be allowed to use bouncers.
The media director of the International Concussion and Head Injury Research Foundation, Michael Turner commented recently that authorities should look to ban short-pitched deliveries against players below the age of 18 to limit long-term complications. But Michael Vaughan has said that it is a ridiculous suggestion.
Youngster should learn to play short ball: Michael Vaughan
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan says it would be potentially more dangerous if youngsters are exposed to a short-pitched delivery straightaway in men’s cricket.
“It is a ridiculous suggestion and yet another example of the world we live in these days where anything risky is deemed too dangerous,” Michael Vaughan wrote in ‘The Telegraph’.
“It would be much more dangerous for young kids to only be exposed to the short ball for the first time when they play men’s cricket at a high level. They just would not be equipped to face it,” he added.
Michael Vaughan said that the young guns should learn to play the short-pitched balls to decrease the risk of concussion. He said that banning bouncers at the junior level will lead to banning at the upper level as well.
“I see kids coached at junior level and watch my son play. There is very little short-pitched bowling. The bowlers do not have the physical strength as kids to bowl bouncers and the pitches are too slow anyway.”
“It is in the nets where young batsmen can be pinned but they have to learn to play the short ball. If we ban it at junior level then we have to ban it at elite level too,” he maintained.
However, Michael Vaughan recommends improving the quality of helmets and other equipment to decrease the danger of concussion.
“Protective equipment is very good these days. We had one tragic incident involving Phil Hughes but it is very rare there is a serious injury caused by a bouncer.
“It does happen, but batsmen do not suffer the same repeated blows to the head as contact sports. The danger is bowling in T20. I reckon one day there will be a serious injury suffered by a bowler having the ball hit back at him,” Michael Vaughan wrote.
There was no rule of concussion substitute until the tragic death of young Australian batsman Phillip Huges after being hit by a Sean Abbott bouncer during a domestic match in November 2014. This incident increased the talk of players safety and concussion rules were introduced in cricket.