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Thread: An interesting article

  1. #1
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend honestbharani's Avatar
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    An interesting article

    http://content-ind.cricinfo.com/wisd...ry/244941.html



    Throwing good laws after bad

    Kevin Mitchell




    Harbhajan Singh: might have become a truck driver without Sourav Ganguly's support Getty Images



    Tommy Andrews, who batted efficiently and bowled a few googlies for Australia in the 1920s, made people sit up and listen when he said once: "If they stop throwing, cricket in Australia will die."

    It is the nicest thing anyone has said about what is almost universally regarded as the biggest crime in the game. Chucking is also our secret vice, the temptation to which most bowlers succumb and then lie about. It is cricket's lurking sore, which no amount of scratching can remove. There are few agnostics left when it comes to chucking.


    Well, to stir the pot further, let me say I have never understood what all the fuss is about. And every time another poor soul is dragged to the stocks, my initial reaction is to start a petition on the victim's behalf. `Let him free!' And, invariably, I am drowned in a hail of indignation.

    Quite why chucking excites moralists is beyond me. It might be because cricket can be awfully ****, with people poring over sub-sections of laws looking for nuances of interpretation about this transgression or that. But I am always drawn back to the simplest question: what is it about chucking that is so sinful?


    To that end I turn to the letters page of this magazine, unfailingly a repository of certitude. The April edition was a particularly fine one, with John Dennett, of Whitchurch in Hampshire, reaching heights of dudgeon possibly not witnessed in these islands since Churchill got mad at Hitler.


    Responding to the previous edition's letter of the month (Bruce Charlton's reasoned dissection of 'The legal throw'), Mr Dennett wrote in simple and heartfelt disgust: "Bowlers who throw are cheats and should be barred from bowling." He castigated TWC for its perceived tacit approval.


    Tim Vogel, writing from Wellington in New Zealand, was similarly apoplectic. Chucking should be outlawed, he argued, because "a thrown delivery gains the bowler an unfair advantage". Only Steve Baldock, of Handcross, West Sussex, could see merit in differentiating between the illegal 'strong throw' and the legal 'weak throw'.

    I prefer to dwell on what might have happened to a host of wonderful entertainers had they been outed by the vigilantes. And do not imagine the knives are not still out for Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh, Shoaib Akhtar and Shabbir Ahmed (who is out until December and might never resurrect his career).


    The persecution, springing from an unhinged lust for punishment, turns my stomach. It is as if the entire cricket community sees it as a duty to protect precious batsmen from those awful interloping protagonists trying to get them out. Partly this is a legacy of hundreds of years of slavering over cover drives and delicate leg glides by writers hooked on the undeniable beauty of batting.


    But you cannot win a game by merely scoring runs. At the highest level you have to dismiss your opponents twice. Once, on uncovered pitches, this was much more of a delicious lottery than it is now. Then, as the conditions and the Laws and heavier bats combined to make batting ever easier, bowlers were driven, as they always have been, to search for the next mystery delivery.


    If the batting addicts had their way, they would have banned the googly. The lbw law, too, is a nonsense. Why should a batsman be able to protect his wicket with his pads outside his leg stump? Why must the ball hit the pads wicket-to-wicket? Nonsense, the lot of it. The lbw law is one reason for the rise of the doosra, the most exquisite addition to bowling's arsenal in our time, a beautiful twisting of the wrist and arm propelling it towards the sucker at the other end like an insoluble crossword clue. Yet Harbhajan might be driving a truck in America now, as he once threatened, rather than tormenting England's batsmen with it, had Sourav Ganguly, that inspired irritant, not been such a tireless advocate for his spinner when he was captain.


    And now Chris Broad, in his role as cricket's latter-day Inquisitor-in-Chief, is on Harbhajan's case again. Murali, of course, is used to it. So, too, is Shoaib. But let me, briefly, put the case for the defence and then you can go back to your writing desk, dip your pen in some more vitriol and, working on your ulcer, pen another letter of horrified disbelief to the editor.


    There is nothing wrong with chucking because there is no logic in describing one action as more 'legitimate' than another. How can a straight arm be morally better than a bent one? What is wrong with getting more turn with a bent arm? How much turn, or extra pace and bounce, is - in the words of Mr Vogel - "an unfair advantage"? Why is it unfair, and why should there not be an advantage?


    The responding chorus, which I can just about hear, is that it is illegal, it defies the Laws, the precious Laws. Those damn regulations have been changing ever since they were first written and will continue to be for as long as the game is played. My hope is that, one fine day, we will come to celebrate the flexed arm, the whirring wrist. We will learn to love the chuck and Tommy Andrews will be celebrated as one of the game's visionaries.


    Kevin Mitchell is chief sports writer of The Observer.
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  2. #2
    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    I thought it was a very good article. I imagine a lot of people will disagree with it though.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Decent article, but I don't agree with it. The requirement for arms to be straight is one of the most defining aspects of cricket, and if the rules are relaxed too much you'll just have people running up and straight out pegging the ball at the batsmen.
    Quote Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber View Post
    Only a bunch of convicts having been beaten 3-0 and gone 9 tests without a win and won just 1 in 11 against England could go into the home series saying they will win. England will win in Australia again this winter as they are a better side which they have shown this summer. 3-0 doesn't lie girls.

  4. #4
    International Regular Beleg's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with chucking because there is no logic in describing one action as more 'legitimate' than another.
    Wrong. The logic is inducted by the laws of cricket. As long as chucking stays illegal, a distiniction between the two types of actions will always be made.


    The responding chorus, which I can just about hear, is that it is illegal, it defies the Laws, the precious Laws.
    Glad he understands that.


  5. #5
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    I read this article a few days ago. My first reaction was "this is load of crap". But that was a knee-jerk, unreasoned reaction. I've thought of a few points against his argument: first, throwing gives an unfair advantage to the bowlers. Pretty much anyone will be throwing at over 90 miles an hour, and a fair few over (possibly well over) 100mph. That's just unplayable. But a better reason I thought of is this: this is what cricket is. Bowling, not throwing. It's a basic feature of the game. For at least a hundred years now it's been bowling, not throwing. You might as well say that you should be allowed to use your hands in football. Will that improve the game? Maybe. But is it football? Nope. Throwing is not part of cricket, at least not as an accepted principle. You want to chuck, play baseball. And I wonder what baseball would be like if pitchers were allowed to run up, eh?

    That bat is becoming too dominant over ball is another issue. It's not something to be resolved by legalising chucking.

  6. #6
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isolator
    That bat is becoming too dominant over ball is another issue. It's not something to be resolved by legalising chucking.
    Well said.

    I agree about the LBW stuff to an extent, but that's more a desperate thought of mine to even the game between bat and ball. Chucking isn't the solution. I like the new limits personally, but if we allow bowlers to 'chuck' in the strongest sense of the word, we lose the major difference between our game and many others. Bowling is so different compared to other 'bat' sports. Why chane it? Because bats are thicker and pitches are flatter?
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  7. #7
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isolator
    But a better reason I thought of is this: this is what cricket is. Bowling, not throwing.
    But Players like Akhtar, Murali etc are not throwing, they are actually trying to bowl and while doing so they tend to bend their arms un-intentionally. Throwing is what baseball players do, in cricket the fielders do mostly. I am sure you can differentiate between bowling and pitching (or 'javeline throw' as bedi sir may put it )

    These guys are not throwing it, they are just trying to bowl, its the laws and the degrees defined by those laws tell us that they are throwing it.

    That IMO is the point of the the article, a well thought/argued point and one doesn't have to agree with.

  8. #8
    U19 12th Man
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    A well written article but i feel that its quite idealistic in its notions. If chucking is ok, then heck why not ball tampering (the reverse swing you get is prodigous and its a true skill) or for that matter why not match fixing (who cares if some matches are thrown, i mean really now ) . IMO the sanctity of the game is ruined by chuckers whereas you have majority of bowlers bending their backs and working hard on their skill, while the few lazy or for that matter shady ruin it for everyone.

    IMHO ICC is messing up by not enforcing the chucking rules more stringently, its like any Tom, **** and Harry with a certificate from Doctor is given leeway, I still can't believe that Shabbir Ahmed or Johan Botha were banned. There might be some genuine cases which can definitely be considered but i feel nowadays its like every other bowler is being pulled up and the chucking rule is getting bent little by little to a point where we might end up seeing baseball pitchers bowling for teams. Personally I feel that off the three muskteers of controversies Ball Tampering, Match Fixing and Chucking, Chucking is the worst problem as the other two are extraneous to the game and this one is more inherent and has to addressed/enforced as strictly as possible. Unfortunately if it means some big names have to go so be it.

  9. #9
    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    ^There are many people, me included, who think ball tampering should be allowed.

    I think he started off well saying that we shouldn't view people with suspect actions as Nazis, but it got stupid when he said we should legalise chucking.

    I agree fully with the chucking laws, but does that mean i hate Murali or Shoaib? No, i appreciate Murali's talents and have nothing against Shoaib, cricket is just a game, variety is what makes it intresting, we need the chucking laws to make these bowlers the exception.

  10. #10
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kvemuri
    IMO the sanctity of the game is ruined by chuckers whereas you have majority of bowlers bending their backs and working hard on their skill, while the few lazy or for that matter shady ruin it for everyone.
    Are you suggesting that players like Akhtar, Murali, Lee, Bhajji etc are any less of hard working than say a Harmison, Srinath, pathan, Waqar, Saqlain etc ?

  11. #11
    U19 12th Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz
    Are you suggesting that players like Akhtar, Murali, Lee, Bhajji etc are any less of hard working than say a Harmison, Srinath, pathan, Waqar, Saqlain etc ?
    Hmm...let me choose my words on this one, if I am a chucker and can get away with or bend some of the existing rules, then I will not exert myself on the pure art of "bowling" per se cause I know i can get away with it. Meaning getting away completely from chucking, in the case of Bhajji and Akhtar there were more than once that I felt that (this is when both are getting carted all over the place) their arm/wrist/hand motion, whatever you take into consideration, which till that point of time was smooth suddenly takes a jerkyish or unsmooth action, that makes me feel that if they have been able to bowl for a certain time correctly how is it all of a sudden when they are being smashed apart that their bowling action becomes so awkward. Are these guys really working hard on their bowling skill or is this a load of BS where they know they can get away by bending the rules and they are using that to the full extent? As far as Murali is concerned I haven't tivoed his action yet to go through frame by frame so can't say much about him.

    Was Lee ever under scrutiny? unless I am wrong he has never been now has he? If there were no arm bending rules that ICC currently has do you think that the likes of Bhajji, Akhtar and even Murali etc be playing cricket unless they truly corrected their action?

  12. #12
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Yeah it'd be interesting if ball tampering returning.
    Quote Originally Posted by kvemuri
    Was Lee ever under scrutiny? unless I am wrong he has never been now has he?
    Yes, in his effort ball he has a kink in his elbow and people questioned whether he was chucking. I'm pretty sure there was an investigation, though it was a fairly mild one.

    I always find it weird when Australian fans cry about chucking and then never mention Lee. Its fairly obvious that his action is far from perfect, despite it looking 'nice'.
    Last edited by Jono; 22-04-2006 at 08:25 PM.

  13. #13
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kvemuri
    Meaning getting away completely from chucking, in the case of Bhajji and Akhtar there were more than once that I felt that (this is when both are getting carted all over the place) their arm/wrist/hand motion, whatever you take into consideration, which till that point of time was smooth suddenly takes a jerkyish or unsmooth action, that makes me feel that if they have been able to bowl for a certain time correctly how is it all of a sudden when they are being smashed apart that their bowling action becomes so awkward. Are these guys really working hard on their bowling skill or is this a load of BS where they know they can get away by bending the rules and they are using that to the full extent? As far as Murali is concerned I haven't tivoed his action yet to go through frame by frame so can't say much about him.
    I know what you are saying now and I dont know about bhajji, but I remember in WC game against India, Akhtar's one particular bowl was a blatant chuck. It was just obvious. But I am not talking about those cases, If that happens by all means they should be reported and action should be taken against them. But that chucking has nothing to do with their bending of arms, this extra jerk is clearly noticable and you know that it was intentional. And any bowler can do this

    I was talking in general, when they are bowling, the bending in their arms is not intentional and as long as it is un-intentional, should it be called illegal ?

    Was Lee ever under scrutiny? unless I am wrong he has never been now has he? If there were no arm bending rules that ICC currently has do you think that the likes of Bhajji, Akhtar and even Murali etc be playing cricket unless they truly corrected their action?
    Lee was indeed reported early in his career but was soon cleared, I dont remember why was he reported. As for correcting action, I dont know how Murali's and Akhtar's action can be corrected, if there is a physical limitation. Whereas there are guys like Shabir Ahmad, who clearly bend their arms to gain an unfair advantage. Shabir's action is something very common among the Mohalla cricketers in India, they blatantly use that action to gain the extra movement ( not pace, but movement). And I have a feeling that Shabir was picked from street cricket and pushed directly into International cricket, no one cared. His(even Bhajji's) action can be corrected, but I am not too sure about Akhtar's or Murali's action.
    Last edited by Sanz; 22-04-2006 at 08:37 PM.

  14. #14
    Hall of Fame Member Sanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    I always find it weird when Australian fans cry about chucking and then never mention Lee. Its fairly obvious that his action is far from perfect, despite it looking 'nice'.
    What annoys me more is when many of them question ICC's integrity on the issue of chucking.

  15. #15
    State 12th Man
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    What I'm saying is that bowling with a straight arm, as an ideal, must be maintained. It's part of the game. Of course, the difference between bwoling and throwing is pretty vague since everyone flexes their arms to some extent. But as I said, we have to stick to the ideal. The degree of flexion must be minimized, and people who exceed it need to be sorted out. This is going to be a problematic issue forever. But you gotta stick to the ideal. ( X 10 )

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