Toronto: Australia’s former one-day great Dean Jones, who transformed the way the game was approached in the mid-80s, believes that more innovations should be brought into T20 cricket to make it more interesting.
Jones, who played 164 ODIs and 52 tests for Australia, is in Toronto as a commentator for the GT20.
In an interview to gt20.ca, the league’s official website, 58-year old Jones harped on the idea of awarding eight runs for a sixer travelling over 85 metres, getting another umpire to call no-balls and intentionally dropping catches to not let an explosive batsman come out to bat and take the game away from the opposition.
Jones also batted for retired out to balance the game in both the teams’ favour, wherein the batting team can substitute a struggling batter with a destructive one during the course of a tie.
“Why can’t we say — if you hit a ball more than 85 metres, you have an 8? We’ve had a few 85m hits already in this competition.
“We have wonderful technology, it’s right on the money. I think we need to have an 8,” said Jones who walked down the pitch to fast bowlers, ran frenetically between the wickets and turned outfielding into an attacking occupation during his time, something which was picked up from there on.
Stating that having an extra umpire to call no-ball might sound a “bit controversial”, Jones reasoned: “Because there are too many no-balls that are being missed in every game. Now, the technology you need for a no-ball — the infra-red and all that they do for tennis — costs money. And it’s not instantaneous.
“Let me tell you why that matters. I’m the coach of Islamabad United and I have one of my batsman, say Andre Russell, on strike. If he takes a single, goes to the other end, and then the technology comes back and says that was a no-ball — I don’t want Andre Russell taking that single. He is the biggest hitter in the game. He needs to be on strike. So we need instantaneous calls.”
Asked where will the extra umpire stand, Jones said: “My first logical thought is that he stands behind the non-striker. He can see straight away if it’s a no-ball. The main umpire can’t see a no-ball most of the time because the bowler’s right hip covers their front foot.
“So the umpires are guessing sometimes. But if an umpire stands behind the non-striker, he’ll see everything. Back foot, front foot, everything.”
Jones also said the fielding team should intentionally drop catches to keep a less harmful batsman in the middle depending on the situation of the game.
“As a coach, if you’ve got an opposition player in there and he’s not batting well… let’s call him Player A. He’s got 20 off 23 balls. And the opposition have got Shahid Afridi and Andre Russell to come in. As a coach, you don’t want to see those guys come in for three or four overs.
“Instruct your fieldsmen not to catch the ball. This game is about winning, right? Is intentionally dropping a catch in the spirit of the game? Hmm. It is. Because I don’t have to catch the ball. So if Player A hits it in the air, make sure the ball bounces before you throw it in. Because you want to keep him in. As an opposition coach, I don’t want Andre Russell coming in and making 30 off 11 balls,” he said.
On the batting team’s part, Jones suggested they get the option of retired outs.
“We’ve come to a time — and I’ve nearly done it once — to retire batsmen in T20 cricket. If I’ve got a player like Andre Russell who is sitting in the shed, I don’t need a player who is blocking or struggling to get it off the square,” he added.