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Bowling is an essential part of the game of cricket. The bowler throws the ball towards the batsman who is protecting the wicket. After the thrower has put the ball into play, a teammate will bowl an over from the other end of the pitch. In turn, the batsman tries to get into a comfortable position to strike the ball with an accented shot.

Bowling: the basic meaning

The bowler must throw the ball according to the rules. For example, cricket has a strictly specified biomechanical definition, which restricts the angle of extension of the elbow. If the ball is not served correctly, the referee may cancel the action. If the ball is served so that the batsman cannot hit it technically correctly, then bowler’s end umpire will rule it a wide.

Bowlers are divided into several classifications:

  • Fast bowlers. Their major weapons are the pace and power of the throw.
  • Spin bowlers. Players of this kind bring the ball into play slowly and constantly intend to deceive the opponent with an unpleasant spin and an unpredictable flight path. Such throws can be with or without a rebound from the field.
  • Medium bowlers. Players who successfully combine different shooting styles. Sometimes this classification includes those cricketers who consistently bowling but do not use interesting ball rotation.

“Have a bowl” – this is how they say about the team that wins the toss and will be the first to serve.

Bowling: history

At the beginning of the cricket development, there was only one method in the game – bowling. There are several legends about how this sport was born. For example, in the historical records of France, it is said that cricket was played in this country in 1478. The French at the time were rivaling the British. It means that the game has spread to some regions of England. The most popular version is that shepherds were the first to play cricket, who hit a stone or ball of wool with a whip (they grazed sheep) to defend the wicket gate into the sheep-fold. This sport got its name thanks to the low stool used in 15-16 centuries in England. People called it “cricket”.

For the first time in the press, cricket was mentioned in 1706. William Goldwyn talked about this exciting discipline, noting that the teams that met arguing about the game rules. The first rules of cricket appeared in 1744. The following terms were published in them:

  • The principals shall choose from amongst the gentlemen present two umpires who shall absolutely decide all disputes.
  • The stumps must be 22 inches high and the bail across them six inches.
  • The ball must be between 5 & 6 ounces, and the two sets of stumps 22 yards apart.

Note that there were no restrictions on the length and height of the bit at that time. Shortly after the publication of the rules, the first cricket club, Hambledon, was registered. In 1787, the Marylebone Cricket Club was founded, which is now considered one of the key organizations in cricket.

In the 60s and 70s of the 18th century, the rules of cricket gradually began to take on a modern look. So, the curved shape of the bat was invented. Now players could roll the ball on the ground and throw it through the air, which increased interest in the games. A lot depended on bowler strength and coverage in the past. From that time on, the players began to act more technically. Other rules were also introduced:

  • The ball weighed five and three-quarter ounces.
  • It is forbidden to attack the opponent. In addition, provided for mowing and covering the wicket to standardize conditions were appointed.

As cricket matches were played according to the same rules, this increased interest in the discipline in the 18th century. If at the beginning of the century there were about 50 official matches per year, then by the end their number increased to more than 500.

Bowling: bowler challenges

It was believed that in throwing cricketers, the elbow joint should not bend. A slight bending was allowed if the elbow was bent before the start of the throw, or it was laid down by human nature (there are also such cases among the leading players). In the 21st century, studies were carried out, according to which scientists found out that when putting the ball into the game, many cricketers unbend their elbows. This is due to the tension in the arm, which causes the elbow to swing. A rule was introduced allowing 15 degrees of extension to be achieved.

Bowlers’ throws are divided into the side on and front on actions. When thrown, the player’s hind foot lands parallel to the crease, the cricketer aims at the wicket, looking over his shoulder. Most modern players prefer mid-way action where the back foot lands at a 45-degree angle and the upper body is aligned between side on and front on. Some cricketers use a mixed action. It connects the elements of the front and side protrusions. At the same time, experts do not advise using such a technique, since in the future such movements can lead to serious injuries.

The bowler’s main job is to keep the batsman out of the maximum set of runs. Your best bet would be to knock the batsman out of the game and get all 10 wickets that are possible during the inning. Usually, achieving one goal will help achieve another. The strategy for the match depends on many conditions, including the format in which the teams meet. Bowlers tend to use defensive play patterns in limited-overs. The team’s captain is usually responsible for which tactical scheme a team chooses.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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