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Ball-tampering a ‘cry for help’ in unbalanced sport: Steyn

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 27: Dale Steyn of the Proteas during the South African national cricket team training session at St Stithians College on September 27, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)


Mumbai: South African paceman Dale Steyn believes this year’s Australian ball-tampering scandal could be viewed as a “cry for help” because the balance between bat and ball in cricket has become so skewed in favour of the batsmen. Steyn did not condone the actions of the Cape Town trio but said the incident exposed the need for cricket to change to prevent the loss of the art of reverse swing bowling.
“It’s obviously not on, but if you think about it, it’s almost like a cry for help. We need to do something,” Steyn said. “There’s so much in favour of batsmen these days. Fields are small, two new balls, powerplays, bats have got bigger than they used to be, the list can go on. You bowl a no-ball and it’s a free hit. But I have never seen a rule change that favours the bowler.”
Steyn felt the desperation to get the ball to swing was forcing cricketers to flirt with regulations. “It’s a big plea and it would be a sad day to see reverse swing disappear,” Steyn said. “I grew up watching Akram, I grew up watching Waqar and all these geniuses run in and reverse swing the ball. And you just don’t see it today.”