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Ban on bouncers will rob beauty of Tests: Nari Contractor

IANS 27 Nov 2014, 16:53:55 PM IST

Kolkata: The death of Australian batsman Philip Hughes struck by a bouncer may have reignited the debate of safety in cricket, but former India captain Nari Contractor, one of the first to fall to a bouncer, is not in favour of a "knee jerk reaction".

Expressing his grief over Hughes' demise Thursday, Contractor - whose international career was cut short by a similar incident -asserted that change in rule or a ban on bouncers will take away the beauty of Test cricket.

"It is a very tragic and unfortunate incident and the world has lost a young and talented batsman. But then, this is part and parcel of the sport. I am hearing that some people are calling for change in rules and do away with bouncers. If that is done, it will take away the beauty of Test cricket," Contractor told IANS over the phone.

"You cannot give a knee jerk reaction. Have not people fielded at forward short leg after Raman Lamba died?" asked Contractor, referring to the former India batsman who died in 1998 after being struck in the temple by a cricket ball while playing in Bangladesh.

Contractor played 31 Tests for India before his career was cruelly aborted when he was hit on the skull by a short delivery from West Indian Charlie Griffith in the Indian tourists' colony game against Barbados in 1962.

He played first class cricket for nine more years, but never managed to come back to the Indian team.

The 80-year-old also expressed shock over the incident despite the availability of modern protective equipments.

Contractor urged the Indian team, which is in Australia to play a four-match Test series starting Dec 4 to focus on their game.

"Obviously, the incident will play on the minds of the Indians, but my message to them is give your best, irrespective of the incident," added Contractor.

The 25-year-old Hughes, who represented the national team in 26 Tests between 2009 and 2013, fractured his skull and suffered massive bleeding in his brain after being hit by pace bowler Sean Abbot's bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) Tuesday. He died of his injuries Thursday.