Posted in Cricket

Don’t Super-sub me!

Even if the super-sub position commands any kind of eminence, I don’t think I want to be playing in a team where I am brought in as one. Actually, It would be worse to be the person for whom I am super-subbed for..

While I am waiting for the rain clouds to pass through as I sit in my hotel suite office desk browsing through the latest in sports from Zimbabwe & New York, something in me wanted to thank Matthew Spurlock for inspiring me to write this.

Change is not easy and it will always be faced with resistance. In that light, my opinions on the new ICC rules could very well be termed as words arisen as a result of reluctance to change. But come on, the game of Cricket has seen its share of changes over the past few decades and nothing has baffled me as much as the Super-sub rule. The Powerplay rule that was also introduced along with the super-sub rule during the 10 month trial period is definitely more meaningful and I can bet it would have many supporters.

For those who are wondering what the heck I am ranting about here – ICC has introduced a new rule in One Day International games wherein teams can use a player as super-sub (he can actually bat or bowl along with fielding). For example, the Indian team can name 12 players..including let’s say, Laxman (11) and Kumble (Super-sub). Depending on the course of the first innings (irrespective of who is batting or bowling), the team can decide to bring in Kumble. If India is batting first, Laxman can bat and when India is bowling second, Kumble can come into bowl. This will essentially serve the purpose of having Kumble as a super-sub but if India has to bowl first then if Kumble comes into the field to bowl as a super-sub for Laxman, then he has to bat too. This will not work for India as they would have lost a batsman (unless of course Kumble defies all logic and bats brilliantly). So the bottom line is that since the teams have to announce their 12 even before the toss, this rule to me does nothing but add confusion. I am not a purist of the game or anything but I find this rule a little muddled and nutty.

Here…reproducing something funny I read somewhere in the net.


The ICC has confirmed that it will “tweak” the new rules designed to spark up one-day cricket after the concept was trialled during the just-completed England-Australia three-match series.

“On balance, we think it was an improvement but there is still some work to be done,” ICC chairman Waqar Botham_Chappell was quoted as saying.

The most major change will involve the new concept of the “super-sub” – a 12th man who can replace one of the team members to add extra bowling, batting or fielding expertise at a vital moment.
“We think this was a terrific innovation but our exit polls suggest fans had trouble knowing which player on the ground was a ‘super-sub’. With that in mind, we’ll ask ‘super-subs’ to wear a different uniform to their teammates,” Botham-Chappell said.

“We’re thinking of having the ‘super-sub’ take the field wearing lycra, with short shorts and a cape. He might wear a mask too, and gloves with matching boots, in his team’s colours.

“It would also make the ‘super-sub’ easier to spot if he moved in a different way to the other 10 players fielding, or the other batsman, or whatever. Ideally, before chasing a ball to fine leg, the ‘super-sub’ might prop, stick a hand in the air and yell in a deep, Heroic voice; ‘Have no fear, I’ll get it!’ and then kind of zoom as he chases down the ball.

“I guess at the end of the day, we would just like the ‘super-sub’ to be a little more, well, super.”
Botham-Chappell said the other change that might be modified would be the ‘powerplay’ concept.

While ‘power plays’ where the fielding team can alter fielding formats for five over periods will be retained, a fourth ‘powerplay’ will be added, where a team member can challenge the captain for team leadership.

“There have been times in one-day matches where a vice-captain or a senior team member might have a major disagreement with some crap captaincy by the skipper, but short of muttering to the slips cordon, there’s not much those people can do,” he explained.

“Under the new ‘powerplay 4’, any team member can make a ‘powerplay’ on the skipper, calling for a team vote on who should captain the team for the rest of the game.

“We think this will lead to a great deal of interest for spectators, especially in Pakistan, where the team captaincy might change four or five times in an innings.”


At least I am not alone. There are people out there who are as buffaloed as I am with the rule.


Besides fantasizing about being a Peter Gibbons at least for a couple of days at my work, I think I have a long way to go to realize some of the other fantasies. But like any ambitious man out there, I will get there! Note: All views expressed in this blog are mine alone and have got nothing to do with my company Cogent IBS, Inc., its employees or any of its affiliates.

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