Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal was banned from bowling in International Cricket for a year after he was deemed for an illegal bowling action. It was proved that Ajmal is chucking and his elbow exceeds the 15 degree limit while bowling. ICC has reported that Saeed Ajmal bends his arm 40 degrees bowling the doosra, 39 degrees while bowling off spin.
First of all, what is a chucking? How can a bowler be reported and banned for Chucking? Here is the detailed explanation given on how a bowler goes through the phrase when he was reported for chucking?
1. What is a Legal Delivery?
Law 24 Clause 3 states that “A ball is fairly delivered in respect to the arm if, once the bowler’s arm has reached the level of the shoulder in the delivery swing, the elbow joint is not straightened partially or completely from that point until the ball has left the hand.”
2. What is called as a Throwing/Chucking?
Mostly the bowlers’ elbow will straighten because of the sheer forces going through the body at the point of delivery. However some bowlers will bend their elbow at the point of delivery which gives the bowler unfair advantage of generating extra speed than if the ball is delivered with a straight elbow. Bowling with a bent elbow is called chucking.
3. Is there any limit for bending the elbow?
The ICC has now set a maximum limit of 15 degrees of flex, which means that no bowler can extend their elbow beyond that level. If a bowler bends his arm beyond that limit, then he is reprimanded for chucking.
4. Why is 15 degrees the maximum limit?
That is the number which biomechanics says that straightening becomes visible. It is difficult for the naked eye to see less than 15 degrees in a bowler’s action.
It is found that when the bicep reached the shoulder the amount of bend was around 165 degrees. Very few bowlers can get to 180 degrees because the joint doesn’t allow that. It’s difficult to prevent that happening, but once you go further than 15 degrees you get into an area which is starting to give you an unfair advantage and you are breaking the law.
5. Who brought the 15 degree rule into existence?
Seven former cricketers including Sunil Gavaskar, Aravinda de Silva, Dave Richardson, Michael Holding, Tony Lewis, Tim May, Agnus Frasur developed this and was backed by the ICC Cricket Committee. It was later approved by ICC’s Chief Executive Committee and was implemented from March 1, 2005.
6. Who has the rights to report a suspected bowling action?
The on-field umpires or the match referee will report a bowler bowling with a suspected bowling action. They will mention the breach of law in their match report which they will send to the ICC. Since they are seeing it with a naked eye, it is not needed for them to mention the degree of bend.
7. What should a bowler do if he was reported for suspected bowling action?
The bowler in question will then be given 21 days to report to the ICC’s Human Movement Specialist panel in Brisbane, Australia. If a member of the panel finds that the bowler’s action strays beyond the 15 degree limit, the bowler will be suspended from all forms of cricket.
8. Who will be present in the ICC’s Human Movement Specialist Panel?
The panel consists of four leading independent biomechanics experts based at four centres around the world. Biomechanics is the study of human movement which involves complex computer technology to analyse bowlers’ actions.
The ICC experts are:
Professor Bruce Elliott, University of Western Australia (Perth)
Marc Portus, Australia Institute of Sport (Canberra)
Professor Tim Noakes, Sports Science Institute at the University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Dr Paul Hurrion, Quintic Biomechanics Consultancy (Coventry, UK)
9. What will a bowler undergo during Testing?
A bowler will be wired up with a series of reflectors which are connected to a central computer. It converts their bowling action into a 3D image. This image can be broken down into a skeletal form, from which the experts can isolate the movement of the arm at the point of delivery. From here, they can measure the angle of the elbow straightening and record whether it is above or below t.he 15 degree limit.
10. Can a bowler be banned if he exceeds the limit for a particular type of delivery?
No.However if a bowler exceeds the 15 degrees for a particular type of delivery but all their other variations are perfectly legal, they can be warned that they face further reporting if they choose to use this delivery during an international match.
11. Can a bowler appeal when his action is proved to be illegal?
Yes, they can appeal and request a hearing with the ICC’s Bowling Review Group (BRP). The BRG has the power to uphold or overturn a bowler’s suspension.
12. Who are the members of BRP?
Chairman of ICC Code of Conduct Commission.
An existing Match Referee
A former International Player.
A former International Umpire.
ICC General Manager.
A member of the ICC Human Movement Specialists.
The six members who convene proceedings will change depending on the bowler’s nationality.
13. What will happen if a bowler is banned for the second time?
Simple. He will be banned from international cricket for a minimum period of a year if he exceeds the limit again in two years’ time.
14. Who are the bowlers to have reported for illegal bowling action?
Johan Botha (South Africa), James Kirtley (England), Harbhajan Singh (India), Kane Williamson(New Zealand), Jermine Lawson, Shane Shillingford and Marlon Samuels (all West Indies), Sachitra Senanayake (Sri Lanka), Shoaib Malik, Shabbir Ahmed and Saeed Ajmal (all Pakistan), Sohag Gazi (Bangladesh), Prosper Utseya (Zimbabwe).