Bad Light Stops Play


“Bad light has stopped the play, Pakistan failed to manage par score at the end of 48th over, a well-deserved effort from experienced Shoaib Malik and lower order went in vain, Pakistan lost the match by 5 runs.” This statement from the commentator was folding up the match, but it was very desperate for the Pakistani fans.As it was controversial ending to the 2nd ODI, Zimbabwe players managed to waste the time at the finishing part of the game. Although it was a worst ending to a best game of cricket on the day. But it also resembled the failure of ICC which has failed to cope the issues like this. These little problems are really causing encumbrances to the dignity of the game.

Cricket is recognized as game of gentlemen since its accretion in 19th century. But as other aspects of life the game of gentlemen has also gone through many controversies. Controversies and cricket have their own history itself. The very first controversy in cricket is considered as “Sydney Riot of 1879”. This was basically a civil disorder, which was occurred in an international match at “Moore Park (now Sydney Cricket Ground). This occurred during a match between English Team and New South Wales Team, when New South Wales batsman “Billy Murdoch” was given out by a Victorian umpire “George Coulthard”. After the dismissal of “Billy Murdoch” spectators rushed to the pitch, they assaulted the English players along with Victorian George Coulthard; as touring side was winning the game so it was not acceptable for home spectators. It was also all alleged that few gamblers were also present in the New South Wales dressing room, who had bet massively on the home side. This also encouraged the riot. Another reason for the emergence of riot was intercolonial rivalry. Many theories were associated for the riot, but the reality is that this riot has flecked the beauty of the cricket.

Many controversies happen in history of the game like big six issue 1912, bodyline tactics 1932 Ashes Series, Adelaide Leaks, Combat 1979, Ball tempering, Oval Test 2006, and Fake IPL Player etc. But the reality is that as the time is proceeding, ICC used to change the laws of cricket on the recommendations of MCC (as MCC is the farmer and copy right holder of Laws of Cricket) and other committees. MCC and ICC has recently changed few laws, most important of them are:
1: Umpires authority to call off match due to bad light.
2: Movement of fielder the ball is delivered.

Both of these laws needed a lot of debate before the implementation.Anyhow they were implemented. Now I am mainly focusing on bad light trauma. As when the game is proceeding towards its end and there is no flood light or it’s a red ball game. If the game is going away from a particular team, players of that team use many unfair tactics to waste the time; they call for physio, they call for towel, they call for fresh gloves or new blade, they ask for the water and mainly they complain for the light. As it was observed during last test match of 2013 Ashes series between Australia & England at the Oval had a controversial ending due to bad light. Pakistan &Srilanka at Sharja Cricket Ground in January 2014 had a bad light effected ending of the series. Recently 2nd ODI of Zimbabwe and Pakistan series also had a bad light effected story.

These controversies will carry on until ICC doesn’t have the strong legislation about the bad light factor. There should be a proper frame of reference regarding the light. How much luminous of light is required to pursue the game in different conditions and different formats of the game? It really needs the fruitful debate on the different levels before the further implementation. There should be a proper on spot penalize sentence to the players, who are involved in the wastage of the time deliberately which ultimately effects the overall result of the whole day’s game. ICC & MCC should have a working group which can have a deep research towards the bad effect of bad light effect on the game. And they shouldpropose a solution which is acceptable to the all the stake holders of the game. So that we may have lesser controversies in high intensity competitions, it will enhance the overall viewership of the game all over the globe. As ICC has done a magniloquent job towards ball tempering. But it has been only because of positive and on-spot use of technology. Bad light fiasco also needs a sort of handling for the betterment of the game.