Mangaluru, Apr 20: Former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin has exhorted the Mangalureans not to deliver underarm bowling as it is banned in cricket.
Addressing the cricket lovers during the launch of a cricket tournament recently in the coastal city, the 53-year-old legend recalled the underarm bowling incident of 1981, wherein then Australian captain Greg Chappell had instructed his bowler Trevor Chappell to deliver the last ball underarm along the ground.
“Even when underarm bowling was legal it was considered substandard and against the spirit of cricketing fair play. However, after the 1981 One Day match between Australia and New Zealand, the action is banned,” Mr Azhar recalled while asking those who still continue to play underarm to switch-over to the over-arm bowling.
Azhar’s advice was in response to the comments of Mohiuddin Bava, the MLA of Mangaluru North, who not only raised the issue of underarm bowling but also spent a few minutes to explain the “greatness” of the Mangalurean batsmen, who according to him, are experts in making the fierce balls that roll along the ground sail beyond the boundary line.
“Mangaluru can produce ten Sachin Tendulkars if the young cricketers in this city get necessary facilities and encouragement. Here, underarm bowling is more popular than overarm bowling. Our batsmen boldly face such underarm balls and hit sixes. But, our bowlers should realize that there is no future for underarm bowling,” Bava said.
Wholeheartedly appreciating Bava’s enthusiasm in promoting cricket, Azhar said that if the former was able to exert pressure on the government to sanction an international cricket stadium for his constituency, people will make him a permanent MLA. Azhar also expressed his willingness to campaign for Bava in next elections.