SHARJAH: The sad demise of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes has given rise to another debate on the efficacy of the bowling bouncers.
An effective weapon of fast bowlers, bouncers have been used both as a stock and shock delivery over the ages. But Hughes' untimely death has given rise to more debate around whether the ball should be done away with completely.
Former Pakistan fast bowlers Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar back the use of bouncers. They say banning the bouncers will not help matters.
"Bouncers should not be banned. That is not the solution to this issue. Phil Hughes' death is an unfortunate incident, but banning the bouncer will not help matters," Akhtar was quoted as saying by an Indian newspaper Mid-Day.
Pakistan's current coach Waqar Younis also agreed with Akhtar.
"How many restrictions do you want to put on the game? Already [the danger] has come down a lot if you go back [and compare today] with the 1960s, 1970s and even Bodyline.
"The people who make the laws have thought hard about this. I don't think you can do much about it. The incident has just happened, it's unfortunate, and people have started thinking about it," opined Waqar.
During their time both Waqar and Akhtar had injured a number of batsmen with their express bowling.
"When I bowled, batsmen got hit worse than this (Hughes), maybe Phil Hughes got hit on a sensitive part. I remember Brian Lara got hit when I bowled to him at around the same area during the Champions Trophy. There have been other cricketers too like Gary Kirsten who got hit on his face when I bowled to him in 2003," recalled Akhtar.
Waqar went a step ahead and commented about how the bouncer can help get wickets. It has been used as an effective weapon by fast bowlers over the years.
"Who says bouncers don't get you wickets? Not many fall that way, but it's a tactic. Once you bowl a couple, the batsman starts thinking about the length. It's a weapon for a fast bowler to pick up wickets. It's not just there to intimidate and hurt," added Waqar.