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Sight Screen

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Beamer trouble for Brett Lee

Peter Roebuck suggests that sooner than later, Brett Lee could land up in court or worse for his occasional slips-of-the-hand. The key bits:
Australia must think long and hard before including Brett Lee in their 50-over side. So far the selectors and Cricket Australia have been fortunate that none of Lee's beamers have caused permanent damage but these deliveries are extremely dangerous.

The legal viewpoint:
As far as the law is concerned it does not matter. A track record has been established. Lee bowls beamers in one-day cricket. At critical moments he sends down deliveries that endanger the lives of his opponents. It is a fact. Both cricketers and the game itself abhor this delivery because it is potentially lethal and utterly unfair. Indeed, it breaks the unwritten code between batsmen and bowler. Bean-balls are incomparably more dangerous than bouncers because they elude detection by avoiding the usual channels studied by batsmen.

Cricketing law:
Determined to stamp out beamers, the cricketing law-makers have decreed a bowler sending one down in Test cricket is immediately put on a last warning. If he sends down another beamer, he can not bowl again in the innings.
Not so long ago, a nervous West Indian fast bowler sent his first two deliveries of a Test match in Colombo straight over the batsman's head. Although it was clear there had been no malice, the bowler was banned. The laws did not allow room for manoeuvre as the stakes were too high.
Yet Lee has bowled eight beamers and is still running around in the Australian 50-over side. Ricky Ponting has spoken about using him early in the innings. It is an acknowledgement of his responsibilities towards opposing batsmen. Clearly he fears that Lee may again imperil batsmen when he tries to send down a yorker by way of subduing an opponent cutting loose towards the end on the innings.


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