Chucking in Cricket and Why is it Illegal?
Cricket has many rules and one of the more important ones to remember is the illegal form of bowling known as chucking or throwing. Below is a brief explanation of what is chucking in cricket and what happens to reported bowlers.
What is Chucking?
Chucking is an illegal bowling action where a bowler straightens his or her arm when delivering a ball. The laws state that the rotation of the shoulder is needed to impart the necessary velocity on a ball. A bowler should not extend his arm during the bowling action.
If an umpire deems that a bowler has chucked a ball, he can call a no-ball which means that the delivery is counted as illegitimate. The rules state that only a limit of 15 degrees is permissible for the straightening of the elbow joint for bowlers playing international cricket.
This law can be applied between the point where the bowling arm passes above the shoulder height and the point where the ball is released as well. Some sort of natural flexing of the elbow joint must take place and must be allowed during the course of legal delivery. Bowlers who have fallen prey to chucking have had to get their action sorted before being allowed to bowl again in international cricket.
What Happens if a Bowler Gets Reported for Chucking?
If an official deems that a bowler is chucking, they detail this in their match report at the end of the game to the match referee. The match referee then provides the ICC and the team manager with a copy of the report and a media statement is also issued claiming that the player has been reported for this action.
The first step begins with an independent review of the player’s action which is carried out by an ICC panel of human movement specialists group. They will furnish the report to the ICC and if it concludes that the bowler has indeed an illegal action, they are suspended from international cricket till the action is remedied.
If only a particular delivery is deemed illegal, they can continue to bowl as long as they do not use the delivery until it has been remedied. The player can continue to bowl in international cricket, however. The player can seek a hearing from a review group for bowling made by a group of experts that are appointed by the ICC.
They review the evidence and decide on the legality of a particular bowler’s action. If the player is cleared then the suspension is lifted from them. Also, a player suspended from international cricket can play domestic cricket under supervision from their board.
A reassessment is carried out as an independent review that concludes whether a player has remedied their action and their suspension is then lifted. If a player is reported for a second time, he is then suspended for a period of one year before applying for a reassessment of the action.
Why is Chucking Illegal in Cricket?
Chucking is illegal in Cricket because it gives the bowler an unfair advantage. The same reason, why as a footballer you cannot just score a goal by putting the ball into the net with your hands. In cricket, if the bowler bends his arm more than the stipulated 15 degrees, he or she gets an unfair pace and turns advantage. This advantage is more prevalent in spinners than fast bowlers, which is why most of the players pulled up for chucking are spin bowlers. Throwing the ball is legal in Baseball and not cricket, there is a huge difference between just throwing the ball at a batsman and actually bowling.
Should Chucking be Legalized?
Even though a lot of players in recent times have been reported for chucking, most famously Sunil Narine who keeps coming in and out of chucking bans with new bowling actions to suit the game. There is still a case for making chucking legal just to bring color to the game. With rules being changed or added to the game from time-to-time like Powerplay, Super-Sub, Free-Hit, and others, there should be some in favor of the bowler also. Hence, there is a need for including say one or two overarm deliveries per over, where the bowler can then gain some extra spin or pace to change the game when under pressure.
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