Ajmal Throws England Out for 192

You can reply on Third Man to state the facts.  England, who won the toss and elected to play cricket, were all out for 192 in the Dubai National Stadium today.  Seven of these dismissals were run outs. Seven run outs?  Well, they weren’t bowled.

Those who relied on getting that truth from their Sky Sports Entertainments package  were to be disappointed.

So too were those who expected it from the Test Match Special team.  Shame on them!

Those at the ground who thought that the umpires might see that the laws of the game were implemented were frankly deluded.  That function of course has been taken away from them by the administrators, in case they broke the conspiracy of silence and did their traditional job of policing the laws of the game on the field of play.

And those who relied on those self same administrators in the nearby offices of the ICC to see that such a bowler would not be allowed to participate in a club match let alone a Test match with such an action were whistling in the Dubai sunshine.

The Characteristics of an Obtuse Angle: not quick or alert in perception, feeling, or intellect; not sensitive or observant.

Sky, in a bizarre decision showed Ajmal’s “variations” under the microscope of super, super slo-motion, and then had to ignore how these exposed to everyone but their hirelings  the full extent of the chucker’s positive and blatant  elbow angle and snap, far exceeding even the itravesty of the 15 degree limit – everyone that is but the former cricketers of distinction who are locked into the type of complicity pioneered by wrestling commentators in the 1960s.

Not one of them had the courage or the ethical commitment to say, “He’s bloody chucking them.”  UPDATE: back in a London Sky Studio Bob Willis courageously did so.

60 degrees of concern. Will the umprires and referee take action?

Hussein legitimized a round the wicket javalin throw as Ajmal’s third variation, the Twousra, or his ‘arm ball’.  Botham thought it ‘slingy’. Viewers could sense that he was having to brace himself as he said this.

Over on Test Match Special, a man in bright yellow trousers was looking for buses, seagulls, and naked nuns rather than have to describe the action that was taking place in front of his nose down there on Planet Darts.

Now, for those in the blogging seats, there is always the danger that they will stand accused of being poor losers by ascendant Australians and even belligerant Bangladeshis who not long ago had no problem driving those Ajmal arrows to the boundary.


But the point is that athletics took years to stamp out the use of drugs in its sport.  In that time young people had the choice of taking the stuff or working three times as hard and still often finishing behind the cheats.

Do we really want youngsters coming into cricket thinking that this is the way to deliver spin?  Do we want those who are doing it the hard and legitimate way to be kept out of teams by cheats who throw the ball?  

Do we really want to see the cash we spend on tickets, our subscriptions and licence fees pay for administrators who think this is right or haven’t the guts to take the necessary action to stamp it out ?

Do we want the papers we buy and our license and subscription fees to employ so-called journalists who would rather an easy life than expose and challenge what is going on in the name of cricket?

No. No. No.

The conspiracy of silence from the establishment will do the game no service in the long run.

UPDATE: Good old Bob .  Third Man has published before this piece on Murali bowling in a brace.  Ajmal should wear one similar and show the world his doosra – Murali took the challenge.



Filed under Heavy Roller

11 responses to “Ajmal Throws England Out for 192

  1. I’m not sure what I think, except that England didn’t bat well, but have you read John Stern and The Old Batsman on this subject?

    I feel there may be generational differences at work here. Do you, for example, remember Meckiff and Griffin? I’m not old enough to, and nor are John Stern or The Old Batsman.

  2. growltiger

    Well said. Despite all the attention lavished on Murali (who had a wonderfully flexible wrist to complicate the matter) there has never been real understanding of why spinners are greater offenders in the matter of chucking than fast bowlers. Apart from the visible evidence of the crooked elbow, the fact that good international batsmen “cannot pick the length” is a complete give-away. The reason they cannot pick length is that there are multiple paths for the hand to follow as it comes over, and the batsman – unlike the umpire at point or square leg – cannot see whether the arm has straightened, as it is all foreshortened. Thus, the normal calibration of length from action doesn’t work. Of course, the pass should never have been sold for Muralitheran, but this chap is much worse.

  3. John Halliwell

    Brian, I remember Meckiff. He was a major reason my early mornings listening to radio broadcasts in 1958/59 were ruined. England went to Australia for the 58/9 tour as holders of the Ashes and as hot favourites to win the series. The England squad was, on paper, as powerful as any you could name in the history of the game. But the Aussies hammered them 4-0. There were many reasons, chucking and dragging among them. E W Swanson attempted to sum it up:

    ‘It was a tour which saw all sorts of perverse happenings – from an injury list that never stopped (and culminated in only 12 out of 18 being fit to fly to New Zealand), to the dis-satisfaction with umpiring and bowlers’ actions that so undermined morale. From various causes England gave below their best..’

    Jim Laker, in his controversial book: Over to Me had no doubt about the illegality of Meckiff’s action:

    ‘Meckiff, a left-arm bowler, throws all the time. Throwing is an essential part of his action – so much so that if he tried to bowl fairly, I think he would do well to get a place in his local Grade side. I well remember batting in the Brisbane Test with Meckiff on at one end and Burke ( a self-confessed chucker) at the other. “It’s like standing in the middle of a darts match,” I told Neil Harvey. Neil doubled up. It was about that time that Meckiff had one of his wild spells. Norman O’Neill, from the boundary, sent a fine throw to the top of the stumps. “Put Norm on,” yelled a wag in the crowd, “- at least he can throw straight.”

    There was also a six feet five Aussie fast bowler named Gordon Rorke who was an outrageous dragger and regularly bowled from 18 yards – but that is, perhaps, best left for a future TM trip in the Time Machine.

  4. diogenes

    There is something different about a throw from a fast bowler – as well as Meckiff and Griffin, Loader’s bounceer was widely acknowledged to be thrown, and of course there was Charlie Griffith – an average fast-medium bowler who threw when he put in an effort ball. With those guys, there was risk of physical injury to the batsman. I am not so sure where the land lies with slow bowlers. Obviously Lock was out-of-court because he threw his faster ball at considerable velocity. But when a bowler has a perceptible jerk for each delivery, it gets difficult. There is no real risk of physical injury. However, perhaps the real point is that it makes it impossible to judge the trajectory of the delivery. The delay/pause in Ajmal’s action is very disconcerting. To generate the pace he does with that kind of pause must suggest that he is throwing – it is not the culmination of a rhythmic sweep of the arm.

    • growltiger

      The pause is indeed disconcerting, although it is possible to pause and then bowl with a straight arm, in which case (and there are a few around) batsmen get used to it. It is that combination of Ajmal’s hiatus and the straightening of a very bent arm that makes the length so difficult to pick. The degree of flex required to execute the doosra is not really the problem; Ian Bell’s complete inability to pick it should be chalked up to Ajmal. But the ball that got Strauss is quite another thing.

  5. Thanks all, this is interesting.

    To expand a little on what I meant, I grew up as a cricket-watcher in the 1970s and 1980s (the first cricket I can remember at all is fragments of the 1972 Ashes Tests), some time after all the ‘chuckers’ that have been mentioned had retired. The only bowler whose action I can recall receiving widespread criticism during that period was the Yorkshire (and sometime England) off-spinner Geoff Cope, and I can’t remember there being any major throwing controversies in international cricket until Murali came under
    suspicion in the late nineties.

    I think it may be the case that throwing doesn’t have the same type of emotional resonance for those of us who don’t remember the opprobrium attached to the likes of Meckiff, Griffin and Griffith, with the result that we’re more likely to say something along the lines of ‘Oh, just let it pass, it leads to entertaining cricket’, which appears to be the basic thread of many people’s arguments (although not mine). There’s also often an implication that slow bowlers don’t necesarily gain an advantage from throwing, but this surely can’t be right when it enables them to bowl the doosra and helps to confuse the batsman’s perception of length (a point I’d never really considered but which is well made above and highly relevant).

    Essentially the development of the permitted degree of flexion as a means of allowing Murali to continue bowling (for right or wrong) means that the international authorities will rarely have to act on throwing again, except in extreme cases or if a really fast bowler comes along with a dubious action and there’s more physical danger involved (a sort of Charlie Griffith for the 21st century, perhaps).

    For good or ill, the goalposts have been moved. Whether that was right or not is another matter. All the ICC Elite Panel umpires will be singing from the same hymn sheet so the chances of someone taking after Hair or Emerson and calling Ajmal are nil. Also, no England player will say anything in public about it other than it isn’t a problem for fear of accusations of sour grapes at best and racism at worst. I reckon they might have some interesting views in private, though.

  6. Thank you so much, Gentlemen, for these splendid contributions.
    As you will see here, https://downatthirdman.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/crickets-jerks-angles-and-extensions-or-not-throwing-a-tantrum/ the Squire and Third Man are in New Zealand on a Grand Investigation.
    The Squire seems particularly pleased with the wine and he is already asking questions about pay loads and the capacity of the Type III. It is bad enough bringing home Screaming Cats from Melbourne.
    He does think that he is on the scent of something. Time, as ever, will tell.

  7. Chris Tyrrell

    HE Chucks it the cheating COOONT!

  8. Pingback: Cricket’s Jerks, Angles and Extensions or Not Throwing a Tantrum | Down At Third Man

  9. Pingback: Posts to toast « Declaration Game

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