The debate reignited this week after Australian batsman Phil Hughes was struck in the head by a short-pitched delivery during a first-class domestic match. The player is currently in an induced coma in a Sydney hospital.
Sir Andy, wishing the player recovers fully, dismissed talks the delivery is too dangerous to be bowled.
“Is there any thought of banning people from fielding at short-leg? It’s not more dangerous than walking on the highway or walking on the streets and not more dangerous than driving on a highway. How long has cricket been playing, and how many people have been injured critically from cricket?” he asked.
“There are some things one would have to look at because there is no difference between cricket, and baseball is something that is just as dangerous. A bouncer is not something that is bowled to injure people, it’s a wicket-taking delivery.”
The former pacer, who bagged 202 wickets in 47 Tests and 87 wickets in 56 One Day Internationals (ODI), went on to add that they run the risk of the game becoming too conventional should they start placing restrictions of deliveries.
“You might as well ban cricket, because then cricket becomes a predictable game, which it is already — a batsman game. It will be even more predictable for batsmen because you would know exactly what a bowler can bowl and what he can’t bowl,” Sir Andy said.
“We have West Indians who have been hit and hit seriously where they need an operation and they went back and play. Are we forgetting Phil Simmons? Same thing happened to Phil Simmons and (he) had to have emergency brain surgery. Phil and Jimmy Adams are West Indians who have been injured,” he added.
New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum also weighed in on the debate, stating Wednesday, said that the dangers of short-pitched bowling are simply part of cricket.