a difference of opinion

A:     I feel for Saeed Ajmal. He has worked so hard these past few weeks, and his bowling action is still illegal. Pakistan will miss him in the world cup, the whole world will, I’m sure.

S:     If the world misses him so much, why don’t they just let him play? Or Sunil Narine for that matter?

A:     Because Sadiq, it’s against the rules. Cricketing laws only allow a 15-degree bend in the elbow; these talented fellows bowl over that limit. Simple. As much as I hate to see them go, rules are rules. You’re such a stickler for law, I was sure you’d understand.

S:     I am a stickler for law, yes, but I also believe in evolution of outdated laws. These players have been playing for so long, are integral members of their teams and are massive crowd-pullers. So, what if the elbow bends a couple more degrees than usual? Nobody seemed to mind for quite a few years.

A:     If only you had ever played cricket, you wouldn’t be this ignorant. It gives an unfair advantage to the bowlers; we can’t throw the game out of balance like that.

S:     Unfair advantage? Michael Hussey took Saeed Ajmal to the cleaners in that T20 semi-final; you know the one I’m talking about. What happened to his ‘unfair advantage’ then? And please, think twice before ever calling me ignorant. I have read up on this precious ‘balance’ you talk about. At one point bowlers had to throw under-arm, you could bowl unlimited bouncers and spin bowling was banned. But all these rules changed with time. Nobody stops the batsmen from wielding thicker bats, and now we have two powerplays. I say the balance is already tiled in the favour of batsmen, Ajmal and Narine are just equalising it.

A:     Yes, the laws have changed over time but there have to be some red lines we cannot cross. If we allow all sorts of actions to bowl, what is to separate cricket from baseball? There is a thing called the purity of the game.

S:     Tell that to the cheerleaders.