HomeCricketWhat is Chucking in Cricket

What is Chucking in Cricket

In cricket, throwing, also known as chucking, is an illegal bowling action where the bowler straightens the bowling arm during delivery. This action is prohibited as it gives an unfair advantage to the bowler. If the umpire detects a throw, they will call a no-ball, and the batsman cannot be dismissed from that delivery.

Biomechanical testing revealed that all bowlers flex their extended arms to some extent. To address this, the International Cricket Council (ICC) implemented regulations allowing a maximum of 15 degrees of permissible straightening of the elbow joint during delivery. This limit applies from when the bowling arm passes above shoulder height until the ball is released, allowing for the natural flexing of the elbow joint.

Law 21 of the MCC says “A ball is fairly delivered in respect of 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 instant until the ball has left the hand. This definition shall not debar a bowler from flexing or rotating the wrist in the delivery swing.”

Basically, once the bowling arm gets to shoulder height, the elbow can’t straighten until the ball is thrown. But bowlers can move their wrist during the swing before releasing the ball.

First Ever Cricketer Punished for Chucking 

Tom Wills, one of the most famous cricketers of Australia in the mid-19th century, was the first ever to be accused of chucking. In 1872, Wills was called for throwing in a major Australian match, leading to the end of his first-class career.

Tom Wills, born in 1835 was not only a prominent cricketer but also the founder of Australian rules football. Wills played a pivotal role in organizing the first recorded cricket match in Melbourne in 1856. He went on to become one of the finest cricketers of his time, renowned for his exceptional batting and bowling skills.

Despite his sporting achievements, Wills faced personal struggles and controversies throughout his life, including battles with alcoholism and mental health issues. He tragically passed away at the age of 44 in 1880.

Players Faced Chucking in International Cricket

Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar and Saeed Ajmal, England’s David Gower, Sri Lankan legend Muthiah Muralitharan, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, Australia’s Ian Meckiff and West Indies’ spinner Sunil Narine have all faced accusations of throwing in international cricket.

1. Ian Meckiff 

Ian Meckiff, a promising left-arm pacer in Australian cricket during the late 1950s and early 1960s, saw his career cut short due to allegations of throwing. His trajectory as one of the rising stars abruptly ended when he was no-balled for throwing during the first Test against South Africa in 1963. Meckiff retired from cricket following the match, marking the unfortunate conclusion of his once-promising career.

2. Muttiah Muralitharan

Throughout his career, Muttiah Muralitharan faced accusations of an illegal bowling action due to the unusual bend in his bowling arm.

The controversy made headlines in 1995 during a Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia in Melbourne. Australian umpire Darrell Hair called Muralitharan for throwing, sparking a heated debate about the legality of his bowling action. Muralitharan’s action was scrutinized through biomechanical testing, and while some experts supported his action as within the legal limits, others remained sceptical. Despite the controversy, Muralitharan continued to play cricket, eventually becoming one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time. 

3. Saeed Ajmal

Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal’s bowling action came under scrutiny, particularly for his distinctive doosra delivery, which appeared to involve excessive elbow straightening. In 2014, Ajmal was reported for a suspect bowling action during a Test match against Sri Lanka. Subsequent biomechanical analysis confirmed that his bowling action exceeded the permissible limits for elbow extension. As a result, he was suspended from bowling in international cricket and had to undergo remedial work on his action.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular