Saturday, September 16, 2006

Legalize weak-throwing to promote the doosra

Original draft of letter published in The Wisden Cricketer February 2006

There are two kinds of throwing which bowlers can engage in: strong-throwing and weak-throwing.

Strong-throwing is when the palm of the hand faces the batsman at the moment the ball is released. It is used to generate extra surprise pace, and is generally regarded as unfair and potentially dangerous.

Weak-throwing has the back of hand facing the batsman at the moment of release. This allows the finger spinner to bowl a doosra (and top-spinner) more easily and effectively. Many people, especially in the South Asian cricketing nations, regard weak-throwing as a fair delivery.

I suggest that weak-throwing (with back-of hand facing batter) should be permitted by the laws of cricket in order to encourage the doosra and maintain spin bowling as an important part of the game, while strong-throwing should remain illegal.

Bruce Charlton, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK