Shoaib Akhtar has slammed the new bowling rule that allows batsmen a free hit after a no-ball and has asked the ICC to reconsider it. The rule, brought in during the ICC's annual conference at Lord's, comes into effect in October following the Twenty20 World Championship was termed "harsh on bowlers" by Akhtar.
"One-day cricket heavily favours the batsman and the new rule is very harsh on bowlers," Akhtar told AFP. "With this change there will be no margin of error for the bowler. If a bowler has come back from injury he would definitely lose his rhythm and bowl no-balls."
Akhtar, who himself has recently returned to the Pakistan fold after a long layoff due to injury, described the law as "nonsense" and pointed at how difficult conditions are for the bowlers as things stand. "Bowlers have to toil hard in one-day cricket because most of the rules favour batsmen. Pitches are tailor-made for batsmen so everything is against bowlers."
James Franklin, the Kiwi pacer, however, believes that the new rule will make bowlers think and concede less no-balls, an act that would work in their favour. The new rules comes into effect from October 1.