Waugh calls for extraordinary rule change
Australian great Mark Waugh has sensationally called for leg-byes to be scrapped from all forms of cricket.
The World Cup-winning batsman made the call for the rule change during the Melbourne Stars' victory over the Sydney Thunder on Thursday.
Waugh's shock call occurred after Thunder batsman Alex Ross scampered home for two runs after being struck in the pads from a ball shaping down the leg side.
"You know what, I've got a rule change in all cricket: No leg-byes, especially in T20s," Waugh said in commentary for Fox Cricket.
"That should not be two runs.
"Why do you get runs? You missed the ball."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan challenged Waugh's call: "It's just a part of the game," he said.
"And I'm changing it," Waugh responded. "I know it is. It doesn't mean it's right though."
"I'm not too sure," Vaughan objected. "So you reckon every time it hits the pad?"
"Why should you get a run? I know it's a part of the game. But can we change it for the better? All cricket," Waugh replied.
Shortly after the Thunder benefited from four more leg byes as Ross was again hit on the pads.
"There you, there's more runs off the pad," Waugh said.
"The idea of batting is to hit the ball. Whoever made this rule up was a pretty ordinary batsman I'd say back in the heyday, back in the early 1900s," the former elegant batsman quipped.
It was at that point that Vaughan played to Waugh's ego: "If you go across the last few years there's been so many changes in the game: T20 arrived, 100 balls is going to start in the UK, talk of five day Tests going to four, but I think the most revealing is Mark Waugh's."
"So you've had a think about it Vaughany?" Waugh inquired.
"You should be on the MCC cricket committee. You have to be on there. With that kind of thought process. He's got to be on. You'll get a couple of trips to London every year. You'll sit in that nice room at the MCC at Lords," Vaughan replied.
"Actually I think my twin brother's on that, Steve," younger brother Waugh commented.
"Seriously, it's something to think about, at least in one day cricket."
Leg-byes came into the limelight during the Boxing Day Test when Steve Smith complained to umpire Nigel Llong after being denied runs.
Smith copped two short balls into the body and set off for runs, but was told to go back because Llong ruled the deliveries as dead balls. A furious Smith believed that he had attempted to take preventative measures and should have been allowed the runs.
Asked by Fox Cricket commentator Mark Howard whether byes should also be included, Waugh said they were different.
"No, no byes is different. I'll keep byes in. Then you don't have to worry about whether the batsman has evaded the ball, played a shot at it? Leg byes nothing," Waugh said.
At that point a relentless Waugh asked Vaughan whether the idea had merit.
Vaughan bluntly said, "No".
"Why? Because of tradition, because that's the way it's been?" Waugh queried.
"Well, because there's times where the bowler's bowled badly, it's down the leg side, it clips the pad, why shouldn't you get runs for that?" Vaughan said.
"Because as a batsman you have a bat. The idea is to hit the ball with the bat. If you don't hit it, sorry, you don't get a run," Waugh replied, thereby ending the debate.