November 6, 2012


Maurice Holmes, the unlucky mystery spinner

Bowling the 'doosra', though proved a legal delivery, is being discouraged in countries like England and Australia due to their orthodox views on the perception of the proper bowling action. Andy Bull, writing in The Spin, points out the particular case of English mystery spinner Maurice Holmes, on whom the England cricketing system has given up on despite his precious talent.

In Australia national selector John Inverarity has said the decision about whether or not the doosra should be taught to young bowlers is "a question of integrity", because he is not sure it can be bowled legally. Many people in England, it seems, would agree with him, though they haven't come out and said it. Holmes is not one of them. "It is proven that you can bowl the doosra within the limits; that is a scientific fact, there is no morality about it. I have proven that I can bowl it within the limits." It feels as though a confederacy of conservatives is at work against him.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.