Bosie or Bossy (googly)

Published: Reading time: ~ 4 min. Comments: 0
Bosie or Bossy (googly)

The more unpredictably the bowler sends the ball, the higher the probability of success for him. In 1900, the cricketer Bernard Bosanquet invented a way to rotate the ball using the wrist. After bosie or bossy (googly), the ball rotates opposite direction to the stock delivery.

Bosie or Bossy (googly): the basic meaning

This word is spelled differently in different countries: bosie or bossy. There is also a modern version – googly. At first, such a reception caught batsmen by surprise. This stroke was popular in the early 20th century. From the side, it looks like a broken arm at the beginning of the movement since, after the throw, the ball is slightly deflected in the opposite direction. When the ball comes out of the palm, it should rotate clockwise (when viewed from the bowler side). Also, such a technique can be performed as a conventional leg break, but in this case, the rotation of the ball begins already at the stage when the ball is released from the hands of the cricketer.

An experienced batsman has a high chance of seeing a change in the wrist movement of an opponent. This will allow you to react to the throw in a modern way. If you did not notice the performance of this technique at the bowler, then there is a chance that the opponent will catch you by surprise. Bosie or Bossy (googly) is the main weapon of a leg spin bowler, and this is one of the most effective ways of wicket-taking balls.

Bosie or Bossy (googly): the creator

English athlete Bernard Bosanquet played cricket for about 20 years. He learned the basics of the game at Eton College, and then he continued to develop as a player, enrolling at Oxford University. From 1899 to 1919, he played for the Middlesex club, and seven times the player received invitations to the England national team for test matches. Bosanquet was considered an all-rounder. In 1905 he won the Wisden Cricketer Prize.

While studying at Oxford University, Bernard Bosanquet noted that he began to practice performing bosie or bossy (at that time, the name googly was not used). The athlete decided to abandon his fast throws in favor of a new technique. In 1903, Bernard had a successful season and joined the Marylebone Cricket Club, which was on a tour of the cities of Australia. He did not become the team leader but more than once successfully threw the ball at the bowler position. His bosie or bossy (googly) turned out to be one of the most memorable moments of the tour. The 1904 season was a breakthrough in Bosanquet’s career. He scored more than 100 wickets for the first time in a year. In 1905, the Englishman also looked good, but they had already got used to his throws. In response, he could not offer good length bowling. In the following years, Bernard Bosanquet did not receive an invitation to the England national team. He continued to play cricket but focused more on family life and worked in other fields of activity. After World War I, he married Mary Janet Kennedy-Jones, daughter of a Member of Parliament. The couple had a son, Reginald, who later became a famous TV presenter.

Bernard Bosanquet’s throwing method drew the attention of other cricketers who tried to repeat this technique. It is worth noting Reggie Schwarz from South Africa, who also played for the Middlesex club. In 1905, he also delighted the audience with a performance of bosie or bossy (googly). Several South African cricketers can be considered followers of Schwarz: Bert Volger, Gordon White and Aubrey Faulkner. Gradually, players from Australia and England used bosie or bossy (googly) in their game. Together, the athletes have improved this method of throwing so much that the heads of the main associations in the world of cricket began to fear for the safety of batsmen. The fact is that athletes used to perform without reliable protection. For example, they used caps instead of helmets. Some cricket experts have accused Bernard Bosanquet that his invention negatively affected the appeal of cricket. In response to the accusations in 1924, Bosanquet published an article in The Morning Post, where he stated that the influence of bosie or bossy (googly) on the popularity and attractiveness of cricket is exaggerated: «It is not for me to defend it. Other and more capable hands have taken it up and exploited it, and, if blame is to be allotted, let it be on their shoulders. For me is the task of the historian, and if I appear too much in the role of the proud parent, I ask forgiveness».

In any case, Bernard Bosanquet had a great influence on the formation of cricket.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

Do you need help?

Ask your question

Write us the details in support and we will get back to you

Open Form