ICC news June 6, 2014

ICC committee mulls better methods to detect flex

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The ICC's cricket committee has stated that the methods currently in use to detect illegal bowling actions are imperfect. The committee, which discussed the issue during a two-day meeting in Bangalore on June 3 and 4, said that numerous international bowlers with "suspect" actions were continuing to bowl undetected, and hence it was important that match officials get support from biomechanists to identify the illegal actions with "more confidence".

"The committee discussed the issue of illegal bowling actions, and believed that there are a number of bowlers currently employing suspect actions in international cricket, and that the ICC's reporting and testing procedures are not adequately scrutinising these bowlers," the ICC said in a release. "It recommended that changes be considered to encourage umpires and referees to identify suspect bowlers with greater confidence, to use the expertise of the biomechanists working in this area to assume a greater role during the assessment process, and to allow for ongoing scrutiny of bowlers once they have been identified under the ICC procedures."

To make the process more robust, the ICC has decided to open illegal-action testing centres in more countries. Until now, bowlers had to travel to the laboratories at the Universtiy of Western Australia in Perth to undergo testing, but the committee was informed of additional centres being accredited by the ICC.

"Members of the committee were also updated on the project to increase the number of illegal-action testing centres around the cricketing world, noting that Cardiff Metropolitan University was now accredited to conduct illegal action testing for the ICC, and that other facilities in India, Australia, England and South Africa were likely to be accredited over coming months," the release said.

Last week, during the Lord's ODI, Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake was reported by match officials for delivering with an illegal action. Sri Lanka Cricket officials were surprised by the decision, even though Senanayake had been reported while touring England with the Sri Lanka A team in 2011. At the time, Senanayake worked on his action and subsequent tests found his bowling within the prescribed limits.

Currently, bowlers whose actions are considered suspect are required to attend ICC-approved biomechanics laboratory tests to assess the amount of elbow extension (flex) in their bowling action. In November 2004, the ICC set a uniform 15-degree limit on elbow extension.

Under the existing procedure, Senanayake, who finished as the second highest wicket-taker in the series, will be scrutinised in a closed-door environment within 21 days of his being reported. During this time he is allowed to play, until the test results are declared.

In another incident, last month, Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal had sought an explanation from the ECB after England fast bowler Stuart Broad appeared to suggest Ajmal bowled with an illegal action. West Indies offspinners Shane Shillingford and Marlon Samuels, too, have been hauled up for suspect actions more than once.

In order to help bowlers correct their flawed actions, the ICC tied up with a consortium of Australian cricket, sports science and sports engineering institutions in 2012 to develop wearable sensor technology that would allow the legality of bowlers' actions to be assessed during matches and training sessions. The ICC revealed that the technology was tested on 70 players in training sessions during the Under-19 World Cup held in UAE earlier this year.

"The results of the trials were very encouraging, with the final stage of the project expected to conclude in 2016," the ICC's release said, without elaborating on any details of the findings.

The cricket committee's recommendations will be tabled at the ICC chief executives meeting scheduled to be held before the annual conference between June 23-27 in Melbourne.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kensohatter on June 9, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    This whole flex malarky is rubbish. It was brought in to protect Murali and now its impossible for umpires to take control. Darrel Hair was 100% correct and should have been backed from the word go. There is either round arm or bent arm... once you straighten that should be the end of the discussion. How can an umpire judge if something has flexed a certain % point. And how to you test players who are clearly going to be careful during the testing phase and then go full bore in competition. Murali becoming the worlds highest wicket taker in my mind is one of the games greatest injustices and robs Warne of his rightful spot as the standalone standout spinner of this generation.

  • rkannancrown on June 7, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    What has always been surprising is that the off spinners have been questioned while the fast bowlers are the ones who actually get away. Many fast bowlers clearly let loose an unexpected faster delivery by chucking & this gives them an unfair advantage.Spinners get little adavnatge by chucking except when they let loose a faster delivery. A committee led by Anil Kumble clearly needs to go into the subject deeper than just bothering about complaints.

  • getsetgopk on June 7, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    UK_Chap: Fully agree. It took a certain country a fair amound of time to change its opinion of reverse swing as cheating to becoming an art, im sure they'll coming around on this one as well. Fact is, all bowlers, fast and spin, chuck. Thats just how it is. You can't bowl with a perfect straight arm. That is humanly impossible, unless you stick a steel rod across a bowlers arm and prvious tests have shown that fast bowlers chuck more so than spiners. These are the facts of the matter now if one makes the argument that since fast bowlers move their arm fast and hence the naked eye can't see the chuck, i.e they are esthetically ok and that spinners, since they rotate their arm much slowly, their chuck is visible to the eye and if you present just that as argument and call for a ban for spinners then clearly you are discriminating against spinners. But even if such an argument is acceptable, some spinners rotate their arm faster than others, how are you going to detect that?

  • UK_Chap on June 7, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    The vast vast majority of the people from the " I am glad the ICC are doing something about it" brigade all seem to have this notion that this will only affect certain spin bowlers from certain countries. With ever more high definition / high speed cameras all the cheerleaders will find that all bowlers from their own countries will be under scrutiny and they will also find that they are not so squeaky clean as they would like to believe. All I can say is keep on shouting for the demise of any kind of innovation, creativity or development of the sport. Can the purists honestly tell me cricket is still using the same bats and balls and equipment they were using when the game was conceived about 140 years ago ?. The shots that are played now with batsmen moving around and switching sides mid delivery are all part of the same changes that have and are taking place. You cannot halt progress.

  • bobmartin on June 7, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    I agree that it's a total mess. Did we have all this nonsense before ICC tampered with the Laws by introducing the amount that the arm could straighten in the delivery swing ? No we did not, and there was very little if any controversy for however many years that Law 24 has been in force.(Note that the Laws of Cricket are still as they were before that ICC ruke/regulation. ie NO straightening) Now we have a plethora of chuckers who are taking loads of wickets and affecting the results of matches, simply because on the field where the infringements take place it is virtually impossible for umpires to judge the amount of arm straightening with the naked eye. When they do have suspicions there's a whole rigmarole to be followed which is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. And as long a the ICC persist with this tampering with Law 24, the situation will persist. And as for the ludicrous suggestion of electronic monitoring during a match... I'm speechless..

  • on June 7, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    What a mess in the making! It all started with the 15 degree rule. Look as to how many bowlers are using full armed shirts!!! I think only Bishen S Bedi called the bluff. As youngsters, when playing club cricket we would see a few chuckers. Now we see them in all their grandeur in international cricket. It is a shame. Imagine the amount of effort needed to rectify at all levels of competitive cricket. As umpires will have no way to empirically determine the degree of flex, a certain bowler can abuse the system and perform in a an important match, for example, a World Cup final. What if his action is determined illegal later, the match result would have been told long back. It is best to not allow any flex and immediately no ball any transgression. After 2 warnings, the bowler should not be allowed to continue to bowl in the innings.

  • on June 7, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    I'll try again- contraction by triceps followed by a "braking" contraction by biceps at the time of release. Many bowlers throw especially "off cutters" which involve sharp supination. The practical problem with 15 degrees is the detection by the square leg umpire - an unreliable imprecise . Video technology - hawkeye may work.but probably not the gold standard - emg for practical reasons.

  • on June 7, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    I really hope senanayake gets cleared because he deserved this success he is enjoyin as of late..He was never a star in school cricket,and had to work his way up through the lower tiers of sri lankan club cricket..He may not be naturally talented as players like mendis but he works incredibly hard..He has payed his dues and he deserves success...

  • fkhawaja on June 7, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    whenever there is a series in england and they lose there will be a controversy created to mentally disturb the visitors specially their main players. australia did this with murlidharan, waqar wasim sarfraz etc if I remember correctly. they can't bear the fact that the teams from subcontinent are better. they are scared of india so they will never say a thing against any indian player at all....

  • on June 7, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    the problem with most commenters is assumption that spinners only chuck .as mentioned by some commentators worst offenders are quicks. why are you clubbing asian teams together when was the last time an indian spinner was reported?

  • kensohatter on June 9, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    This whole flex malarky is rubbish. It was brought in to protect Murali and now its impossible for umpires to take control. Darrel Hair was 100% correct and should have been backed from the word go. There is either round arm or bent arm... once you straighten that should be the end of the discussion. How can an umpire judge if something has flexed a certain % point. And how to you test players who are clearly going to be careful during the testing phase and then go full bore in competition. Murali becoming the worlds highest wicket taker in my mind is one of the games greatest injustices and robs Warne of his rightful spot as the standalone standout spinner of this generation.

  • rkannancrown on June 7, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    What has always been surprising is that the off spinners have been questioned while the fast bowlers are the ones who actually get away. Many fast bowlers clearly let loose an unexpected faster delivery by chucking & this gives them an unfair advantage.Spinners get little adavnatge by chucking except when they let loose a faster delivery. A committee led by Anil Kumble clearly needs to go into the subject deeper than just bothering about complaints.

  • getsetgopk on June 7, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    UK_Chap: Fully agree. It took a certain country a fair amound of time to change its opinion of reverse swing as cheating to becoming an art, im sure they'll coming around on this one as well. Fact is, all bowlers, fast and spin, chuck. Thats just how it is. You can't bowl with a perfect straight arm. That is humanly impossible, unless you stick a steel rod across a bowlers arm and prvious tests have shown that fast bowlers chuck more so than spiners. These are the facts of the matter now if one makes the argument that since fast bowlers move their arm fast and hence the naked eye can't see the chuck, i.e they are esthetically ok and that spinners, since they rotate their arm much slowly, their chuck is visible to the eye and if you present just that as argument and call for a ban for spinners then clearly you are discriminating against spinners. But even if such an argument is acceptable, some spinners rotate their arm faster than others, how are you going to detect that?

  • UK_Chap on June 7, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    The vast vast majority of the people from the " I am glad the ICC are doing something about it" brigade all seem to have this notion that this will only affect certain spin bowlers from certain countries. With ever more high definition / high speed cameras all the cheerleaders will find that all bowlers from their own countries will be under scrutiny and they will also find that they are not so squeaky clean as they would like to believe. All I can say is keep on shouting for the demise of any kind of innovation, creativity or development of the sport. Can the purists honestly tell me cricket is still using the same bats and balls and equipment they were using when the game was conceived about 140 years ago ?. The shots that are played now with batsmen moving around and switching sides mid delivery are all part of the same changes that have and are taking place. You cannot halt progress.

  • bobmartin on June 7, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    I agree that it's a total mess. Did we have all this nonsense before ICC tampered with the Laws by introducing the amount that the arm could straighten in the delivery swing ? No we did not, and there was very little if any controversy for however many years that Law 24 has been in force.(Note that the Laws of Cricket are still as they were before that ICC ruke/regulation. ie NO straightening) Now we have a plethora of chuckers who are taking loads of wickets and affecting the results of matches, simply because on the field where the infringements take place it is virtually impossible for umpires to judge the amount of arm straightening with the naked eye. When they do have suspicions there's a whole rigmarole to be followed which is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. And as long a the ICC persist with this tampering with Law 24, the situation will persist. And as for the ludicrous suggestion of electronic monitoring during a match... I'm speechless..

  • on June 7, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    What a mess in the making! It all started with the 15 degree rule. Look as to how many bowlers are using full armed shirts!!! I think only Bishen S Bedi called the bluff. As youngsters, when playing club cricket we would see a few chuckers. Now we see them in all their grandeur in international cricket. It is a shame. Imagine the amount of effort needed to rectify at all levels of competitive cricket. As umpires will have no way to empirically determine the degree of flex, a certain bowler can abuse the system and perform in a an important match, for example, a World Cup final. What if his action is determined illegal later, the match result would have been told long back. It is best to not allow any flex and immediately no ball any transgression. After 2 warnings, the bowler should not be allowed to continue to bowl in the innings.

  • on June 7, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    I'll try again- contraction by triceps followed by a "braking" contraction by biceps at the time of release. Many bowlers throw especially "off cutters" which involve sharp supination. The practical problem with 15 degrees is the detection by the square leg umpire - an unreliable imprecise . Video technology - hawkeye may work.but probably not the gold standard - emg for practical reasons.

  • on June 7, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    I really hope senanayake gets cleared because he deserved this success he is enjoyin as of late..He was never a star in school cricket,and had to work his way up through the lower tiers of sri lankan club cricket..He may not be naturally talented as players like mendis but he works incredibly hard..He has payed his dues and he deserves success...

  • fkhawaja on June 7, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    whenever there is a series in england and they lose there will be a controversy created to mentally disturb the visitors specially their main players. australia did this with murlidharan, waqar wasim sarfraz etc if I remember correctly. they can't bear the fact that the teams from subcontinent are better. they are scared of india so they will never say a thing against any indian player at all....

  • on June 7, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    the problem with most commenters is assumption that spinners only chuck .as mentioned by some commentators worst offenders are quicks. why are you clubbing asian teams together when was the last time an indian spinner was reported?

  • on June 7, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    who told no othr games use tech...in tennis wen a player challenges the referee decision isnt tht a technology usage...

  • on June 7, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    They'll check all the Asian players except Indian players... why suddenly this happening. I think England's lost. all the time if they lost badly. they came with other issue. but this is good if they treat same to all.

  • Snambidi on June 7, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    In cricket 2 things that can be clearly judged by an Umpire as far as Bowling is concerned are the "no balls" & " wides" If more scientific methods using Electronics equipments", it would pave way for series of disputes& take away a lot of Playing time. It is better not to introduce anything new in the game. What has already been introduced by electronics now leading to third umpire decisions ,are they perfect in all respects? Leave cricket to it's traditional ways. Is there any other game which depends upon electronic equipments to decide.? Why this speciality for Cricket alone which is not as popular as Soccerin the World? Cricket playing Nationsare comparatively less though more nations are joining the game now. This is indeed a good sign.

  • Snambidi on June 7, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    Postings from Brian Peacock on 7th Junemat GMT 1.41 refers.

    This they would not have been able to judge. This is the reason I had suggested that a norm for deciding the correctness of Bowling Action especially for spinners should be worked out by the Committee & made applicable. Unless there is a firm yardstick to decide the correctness of Bowling Actionit is difficult to judge. In this connection ,the action of Malinga is also very difficult to judge.

  • Greatest_Game on June 7, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    @ Ajanthan Shantiratnam thinks "there shd be better methods to identify an illegal action and not just scrutinise Asian spinners. It's not a big problm because not many non-Asian players can make the big stage today with their spin bowling."

    1. If it is not a problem, why are you complaining? 2. It is not only Asian bowlers who are reported: e.g.Johan Botha, the South African, was reported, tested, & his doosra found illegal. 3. England's spinners had no problem "making the big stage" in India, & the West Indies has a number of leading spinners who have "made the big stage." Asia does not produce the only spinners, and not only are Asian spinners reported.

    Asia is not the center of the spin bowling universe. Cricket is global, and fine players of every discipline come from all countries. It is irrational to suggest otherwise.

  • ground-boy on June 7, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    Is Cricket in a mathematical/technological mess? Everybody talking about the degree of flexy (rules). It has to be controlled by the gentle actor/actress in action with peace in mind. No rules or any method imposed can make a person honest. In 94 FIFA cup Romario and Bebito was the fierce attacking force and their team won in a post match penalty shootout after Baggio's miss hit over the horizontal goal bar. In 96 ICC cup agricultural pintch hitting was the fierce force and the CUP won by a team came from nowhere. Since then ICC changed the first 15 over field restriction rule and introduced power play of 20 overs with the option to ask for it whenever batters need it. Then power play reduced to overall 15 overs with 1st 10 mandatory and next five before 40 th over. Great flexibility. All these create and extends new mathematical culture of cricket. ESPN database caters the needs. Simplest query provide interesting accurate and (funny) information....(continued).....PS below...

  • on June 7, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    I studied this issue with electromyography and a finin 1966 and took it to the MCC, there were not interested. The stimulus was Harold Rhodes, but he hyper extended. The key to diagnosis is a sharp contraction by the elbow extensor a (triceps) followed immediately after release

  • pmahone on June 7, 2014, 0:48 GMT

    A bit worrying this.

    Cricket administrators should go right back to basics, the contest between bat and ball, and see how lop-sided that has become. Then they should cast their minds back to the reason no-balls were introduced and act to reinforce that logic which, I'm damned sure, wasn't to stop talented off spinners being able to turn and bounce the ball.

    Murali lent heft to Shane Warne's drive to reinstate spin bowling as a legitimate, match-winning element of the game. There is not a better sight in today's game than Saeed Ajmal loping up to the stumps and unveiling his armoury of bouncing, spinning, skidding hand grenades. It is skillful, clever and adds considerable depth to our game.

    Finally, and in my view, decisively, cast your minds back to the 10 years pre-Warne - that fallow, awful period between the demons of West Indian pace and the arrival of a new era of spin. It was, without doubt, the dreariest, most uninspiring period in cricket's history.

    Let's not go back.

  • Greatest_Game on June 6, 2014, 22:40 GMT

    @ Matt Stewart wrote "the limit was introduced to give plenty of leeway from the previous "zero" degrees."

    The 15° limit was introduced in 2005 because ALL bowlers flex/extend/straighten their elbows during delivery. It is biomechanically almost impossible to bowl WITHOUT some degree of flex. Interestingly, quicks are the worst offenders!

    BUT…... before that, from 2000 on, the Laws allowed for flex of 5° for spinners, 7.5° for med pacers & 10° for quicks, who were given the MOST leeway! Brett Lee REALLY needed that 'leeway' - he flexed badly, like McGrath.

    15° was decided on because the 5°/7.5°/10° figs were too confusing & impossible to administer. 15° is the point at which the human eye can recognize extension in an action. The elbow can be BENT AT ANY ANGLE during delivery, provided the degree of bend does NOT CHANGE by more than 15°. Bowling with an elbow at 45° is fine, BUT it must NOT straighten beyond 30° - i.e. by + 15°!

    The ICC should name it the "Bowling Lee Way!"

  • reb1 on June 6, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    Paul Rone Clarke, there are only a handful of baseball pitchers who can pitch above 100 mph in the history of the game. Aroldis Chapman can pitch 101 regularly (record of 105.1), but 106 mph is not a "regular" occurrence in baseball. It doesn't take away from your argument, but the numbers are not that different.

  • on June 6, 2014, 21:40 GMT

    There are two key problems with the way the ICC deals with throwing at the moment. First the 15 degree rule is too lenient. A 15 degree toleration allows spinners to get away with deliberately throwing the ball. That is not what the toleration was designed for. Itwas introduced to deal with fast bowlers who involuntarily flexed their arms when bowling. As such for bowlers who have the keeper standing up to the stumps the 15 degree toleration should be reduced to 10 degrees. That would cut out nearly all the suspect spinners from the game.

    Secondly the ICC's testing procedures are a joke. Testing in a lab doesn't replicate match conditions. Until proper in game testing can be introduced chuckers are always likely to revert to chucking in match conditions even if they pass all the lab tests. When the pressure is on and they are getting smacked all round the place in an important match the temptation for the chucker will always be to chuck.

    I am glad the ICC is finally taking action.

  • on June 6, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    All bowlers including fast bowlers must be tested every year to check whether they are in the 15 degree limit. ( I stress " including fast bowlers " )

  • on June 6, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    Any bowler with a bend elbow should not be bowling period .

  • Barnbarroch on June 6, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    If they went back to proper straight arm bowling, it would all be easier. It's impossible for anyone to judge whether an arm is bent by 14, 15, 16, or 18 degrees; but possible to judge whether it is bent and then straightened during bowling.

    The old rule was therefore judgeable and enforceable; the current system, introduced to accommodate Muralitharan, is unworkable.

  • ramz30380 on June 6, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    @Mindmeld - Subcontinent teams do have their testing systems, kindly get ur facts right before pointing an accusing finger. I do agree tht its the ICC tht pinpoint these concerns, umpires in particular. But isnt a rule, a rule for everyone and every umpire has to look into it, no matter where they are playing?!

    Its common knowledge tht every international match these days have one neutral umpire. In such case, when sub-continent teams are playing in the sub-continent why is it tht there are no reporting on these players and why such issues are racked up only when teams tour Eng & Aus in particular?! Please dont tell me tht the hosting nations dont have anything to do with it! They dont decide, but they can put in a word tht instigates such actions. Of course, the decision lies with the ICC, I totally accept tht!

    Make no mistake, a wrong action is a wrong action no matter which country, region or cricket status a player enjoys - I totally agree with tht!

  • samincolumbia on June 6, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    ICC finally decides to wake up and do something about this ridiculousness perpetrated by certain nations, especially Pakistan and SL! I firmly support England and Australia on this and the sooner ICC puts a lid on suspect actions the better for the game of cricket,

  • on June 6, 2014, 18:17 GMT

    There are no elbow bend rules in tennis, baseball, javelin, discus throwing and other sports that involve projecting a ball or object forward by hand, so why the obsession about the elbow bend in cricket? Didn't they used to bowl underarm? Would an American basell pitcher "thow out" the batsman everytime because of his extra speed? I love cricket, but sometimes I wonder why I bother! So many of the rules are absurd. Make up your minds - NO FLEX or any amount of flex, but 15 degrees? Come on. This is as stupid as Duckworth- Lewis and rain determining results. It's as dumb as having national teams made up of foreigners. And decisions based on "bad light" instead of turning on some damned lights! Then there is scheduling that makes no sense at all, with overlapping and conflicting events all the time. WHY IS CRICKET STUCK IN THE NINETEETH CENTURY? Cricket in this day and age is not a "gentleman's sport" played by the aristocracy. So why do people keep pretending that it still is.

  • on June 6, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    Some misguided idea that England reported the action. They didn't. The umpires reported it. Brian C Lewis has shown that it's possible to throw a cricket ball from a standing position (no run up - stood completely still, both feet on the ground - not even a walk up ) at over 90 MPH if you are allowed to bend the arm just 20 degrees! That's one of the reasons why the 15 degree rule is so important. At 55-60 degrees baseball pitchers can throw up to 106 Mph regularly (that's substantially faster than Akhtar or Tait at their fastest). In addition the number of revs per minute ROCKETS up for spinners if the elbow is employed. From around 1200 at 10 degrees or under to close to 1550 at 20 degrees. The turn you get increases at a rate that is even higher on the average pitch. Bent arms can make a huge difference. We either say "you have to bowl" or we say "you might as well throw" If the former, there has to be a line in the sand somewhere otherwise in a decade or two it will be baseball.

  • nilup9123 on June 6, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    I think the the 15 degree rule is a good limit for spinners. the only thing i see hear is that the English are the weakest when it comes to playing good spinners. they are trying to have their way. doosras, flippers, top spinners etc.. gives a lot of excitement to the game.. it makes the game so much interesting. all skilled spin bowlers with these exciting names will be taken out and its a shame for the game. i think keep the 15 degrees and if its more than that take them out.

  • yorkshire-86 on June 6, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    What advantage would the game gain from no balling full bungers?

  • 200ondebut on June 6, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    There needs to be a way of weeding out those that are deliberately trying to throw it as opposed to victimising those that have a physical deformaty.

    Lab testing will only serve to prove the physical llimitations a bowler has - no one will try and throw it when being tested.

    One answer would be to ban long sleave shirts!!!

  • JoshFromJamRock on June 6, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    To be honest I don't see why this is a problem. Forget about bowling actions. If it gives the bowlers any sort of advantage, let it be. Everything is against them. Batsmen are spoiled cry babies and the ICC keeps giving them candy. Letting bowlers have more flexibility (say 30 degrees) would add more spice and balance to the contest between bat and ball.

    A lot of persons complain that chucking seamers have the potential to injury batsmen. Really? With the best helmets, pads, boxes, and shoes ever seen in the game, only foolish and awful batsmen will get themselves injured. Chucking gives paces bowlers no more than 10 mph and it gives spinners no more than 5-10 degrees more spin.

  • switchmitch on June 6, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    ICC created this Frankenstein and now they must suffer the consequences. The 15 degree flex rule is as ridiculous as it gets. Back when I started playing, it was simple - if there is a "visible" flex, the bowler was chucking.

    And is there any test conducted on how a doosra is delivered? Even with my limited physics knowledge and playing experience, I can easily declare it is impossible to deliver it without a considerable elbow thrust. No wonder all mystery spinners are those with a chucking cloud hanging around them, not to mention the long sleeves on hot, summer days.

    If most bowlers flex their elbows while bowling, why is that flex visible only when mystery spinners, doosra bowlers? Can some expert explain this physics marvel?

  • chechong0114 on June 6, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Here we go again with the only thing that the ICC and the sport of cricket has perfected and that is handing more scrutiny and judgment on players. What a wicked sport cricket is that is all they spend their time doing, finding ways to judge, hurt and belittle the very thing that makes the sport great "THE PLAYERS". They have no money to pay the players, empty seats all over the cricket world at most major venues and tornaments the sport cannot even find proper footing in the USA but all that is not important. All that matters to them is to make sure they stay abreast with all their judgements and continue to keeps players under strict scrutiny what a woeful shame. Nothing but a bunch of bullies.

  • on June 6, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Sir, speaking as a cricketer, engineer and physiotherapist I " solved" this problem of throwing in 1966 following the Rhodes controversy ( he hyper extended) I took my analyses to the MCC but they were not interested. My methods included electromyography. I demonstrated that many bowlers "throw" at least some of the time. What happens is that the elbow flexes and pronates then extends and supinates. Triceps muscle shows a sharp braking activity immediately after release. The problem is that from square leg the umpire will never be able to reliably detect a 15 degree bend prior to release. So without technology we cannot solve the problem, because many bowlers only throw occasionally. But technology would be cumbersome and ruin the game. I believe that we are stuck with this problem for a long time to come, unless of course we allow throwing. Unthinkable?

  • on June 6, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    the limit was introduced to give plenty of leeway from the previous "zero" degrees. if bowlers want to risk pushing it to the extreme, then simply ban them for 2 years if they are found to go over the 15 degrees as a first offence, and a life ban after that. should stop them pushing the limits. no "remedial work", no "don't bowl the doosra" simply ban them.

  • md111 on June 6, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    '@Pippy_The_Dog The problem is not the technology its the 15 degree rule' - this is totally correct as soon as a number of degrees (in this case 15) is mentioned bowlers will push it as much as they can. In a professional sporting environment its only natural. Bowlers who used to bowl with near enough straight arms (5% flex) now experiment to see what they can do and any extra advantage they can get.

  • ground-boy on June 6, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Bowlers get their turn to bat Pippy. Even Lilly cannot change the structure of the game. Batters privileges are temporary and all in all that evens out in a match.

  • Pippy_the_dog on June 6, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    The problem is not the technology its the 15 degree rule. There have always been bowlers, who deliberately or not, have 'thrown' the ball. However this ridiculous law encourages bowlers to experiment with 'flex' and inevitably the boundaries are pushed. Inevitably illegal actions are probably becoming more common place.

    The argument that batsman have all the advantages in the modern game is an entirely different issue. The ICC have the power to level the playing field on this issue. Why not at regulations on bat specifications? As Dennis Lillie discovered this is well within the control of the rule makers.

  • on June 6, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    @RavFe: What are you implying ? England didn't report the action - the umpires (mixed nationalities) did.

  • on June 6, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    These aren't flawed actions these are flawed calling for illegal action. So there shd be better methods to identify an illegal action and not just scrutinise Asian spinners. It's not a big problm because not many non-Asian players can make the big stage today with their spin bowling. Umpires are not used to much spin bowling if you consider the majority of the matches. Example how many overs by a spin bowler in a ten match ashes series? Or a 5 match AUS vs SA series? Umpires must spend more time watching doin bowling.

  • RavFe on June 6, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    These situations are pretty tough to handle specially during the game and Bowler could deliver illegal delivery any time. But SL bowler who has gone through the situation when he was in Sri Lanka A team in 2011 in England. He was cleared and " It doesn't surprise me the facts that it happens when they reach this part of the world" as it happened in the history also again and again. It could be one or the other Lack of Resources or Lack of TALENT. It is absolutely correct that we need to get this right to protect the game of Cricket and Spirit of the game not only the bowling action also How to take the start when running between wickets.

    @ Mindmeld you may not be English but if you are so tempted to post word about sub continent teams I would really appreciate if you can have look in to those teams before you comment and you will learn how to play cricket respectively and How they became more successful against the whole CRICKET WORLD.

  • on June 6, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    It will be a revolutionary idea to allow throwing, as long the ball hits the pitch before it reaches the batsman's reach. The game has been, over a period of years, heavily got tilted in favour of batsmen! Have to bring some balance between bat & ball.

    Just disallow all full tosses & beamers as no-balls (without any free hit).

    No-balls from over-stepping (front foot fault alone) may be declared as a no-ball with a free hit.

  • Gurudumu on June 6, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    Many who think it is spinners only who bowl with illegal actions are in for a rude shock! I believe several fast bowlers will have their actions called to question - in the long run more fast bowlers will bear the brunt of on field flex testing. Kudos to ICC for once

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on June 6, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    I am pleased to see something finally being done.

    The only other real option is to let bowling actions deteriorate further, forget about cricket and just play baseball.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 6, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    Its a noble goal and if they are able to develop a system that can analyse a bowlers action in near real time it will prove or disprove a lot of the accusations against unfair/illegal actions.

    At the moment its too easy to bowl with a legal action in a lab and then revert to a an illegal action in game conditions, especially when the pressure is on to deliver wickets.

    It should be more than possible to have wearable sensor technology, the only issue is that long-sleeved shirts may need to have the bowling arm shorter so they don't interfere with the sensor.

  • shillingsworth on June 6, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    'The results of the trials were very encouraging' Presumably this means that the equipment worked. I'd suggest that, in terms of the number of bowlers found to have illegal actions, the results were anything but encouraging.

  • on June 6, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Been following cricket for eight years and still don't understand what's wrong with throwing a ball. The game is already weighed heavily towards batsmen anyway. Even for fast bowlers how many extra mph does throwing add? It's better than having a rule that's not enforceable. BTW, I've seen loads of so called pure spin bowlers throwing when they are tired at the end of the day and can't get the mph/rpm as they normally would.

  • Biggus on June 6, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    @ stormy16:- I understand it's a vexed issue, but I don't regard hyperextension as the same a chucking per se. Hyperextension is really an unavoidable consequence of the inertia of the forearm as the shoulder and upper arm drive over the top during the bowling action. Off spinners chucking isn't unavoidable at all. You really can't bowl fast without some degree of hyperextension but you can bowl without chucking in the classical sense. From an aesthetic view I can't actually see hyperextension in real time but I sure can see offies blatantly chucking, and it's nothing to do with arm speed since a spinner's arm comes over just about as fast as a quick anyway, the energy is just dissipated differently.

  • Biggus on June 6, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    High time I reckon. I just groan when I see some bowling actions today. There really seems to be a divide in the cricketing world about this, with the Asian countries largely pro and the Anglo ones against. No prizes for guessing my side, I just find chucking aesthetically ugly. I can bowl a top spinner without chucking but not the doosra, so that's where I draw the line. I don't expect any supporters of countries that have these bent arm bandits to agree with me, nor do I make any apologies for my stance, it is what it is. I expect EVERYONE will be blatantly chucking fairly soon in the future. So much for cricket, it just won't be the same game anymore.

  • ground-boy on June 6, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    Any bowler can deliver an illegal one any time. Sometimes it may go unnoticed. Interestingly most of the scrutiny against spin bowlers and fast bowlers actions are hard to determine with naked eye. There are fast bowlers with suspect actions. If ICC expect very high accuracy, in future they will have to use a technology like hot spot during the game with wires attached to bowlers body & arm backed by Wi-Fi. How many wickets fallen to such suspected deliveries? Better use hi-tech under spotlight to aid live telecast.

  • Narkovian on June 6, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    ICC making a bold statement. And not before time. So many bowlers have been allowed to enter cricket over the last 15 years or so, whose actions are not only suspect, but plainly chucking. No names here, as I am sure you wouldn't print it.. but you know who I am referring to. Many are tested and then re-released. Within a few weeks they are usually back to their old ways... Oh but they have "been cleared" by ICC tests, so they must be alright !! ...I don't think so.! What the bent-arm apologists don't seem to understand is how easy it is to spin a ball when you throw it. It is very difficult to spin it when you bowl it. That's how its meant to be. Ask Shane Warne or Richie Benaud for example. Fast bowlers who chuck is a different subject altogether. .. lethal. My worry is that as usual with ICC, the situation will simply carry on.. and be swept under the carpet again. Let's hope not !

  • stormy16 on June 6, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    This will always be a difficult issue and everytime its opened its been nothing but a can of worms. Who would have thought Glen Mcgrath had a degree of flex but that's a fact. The degree of flex is another can of worms but it seemed the way forward. The issue with this is the process to determine the degree of flex is complicated and not in match conditions. First prize would be if the degree of flex could be gauged on field or the degree of flex be based on physical danger to the batter. For example you dont want Curtlety Amrose throwing one at you but if a spinner throws one its not really going to harm you. Yes I know this seggests allowing spinner to "chuck" but like said this is a can of worms.

  • on June 6, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    @Mindmeld what authority do you have to speak on behalf of all sub continent teams? I know for a fact that many bowlers with suspect actions have been removed from competition at under 17 and under 19 level in SL. Same goes for Premier League Cricket in SL. At least the SLC takes a tough stance on it. When we don't have technology to measure degrees certain bowlers have been sent to Australia to be tested. Sachithra was one of them and he was cleared in 2011.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on June 6, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    'wearable sensor technology'....if they can perfect this then all bowlers must wear this while bowling, pace, slow, spinners the lot. and if their action goes beyond allowable degree, the device should yell out a siren for the umpire to hear and duly called No ball....now if this was to eventuate i reckon all bowlers from all countries would be sweating in their socks!

  • BhaskarHajong on June 6, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    No good playing cricket if people are just throwing to get wickets. Suspected actions should be deal strictly whatever country the cricketer may belongs to.

  • landl47 on June 6, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    Great news if technology can be used to detect illegal deliveries in match conditions. Testing a bowler to see whether he CAN bowl with a straight arm in the laboratory is not the same thing as testing him to see whether he DOES bowl with a straight arm in match conditions. Almost every spectator, except the chronically one-eyed, can see that in matches some bowlers slip in occasional deliveries with bent arms. Others (Shane Warne is a good example) bowl with a dead straight arm every time.

    Let's get throwing out of cricket and do it now, before another generation of bowlers decides that it's acceptable to bowl with a bent arm if they can get away with it..

  • Mindmeld on June 6, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Imran Kahn, it is the ICC, not England, taking this action. It is time to stop playing the victim. There is a problem because sub-continent teams do not police the problem satisfactorily within their domestic and national teams. When they travel abroad they have to meet the high standards expected for overseas teams. This is why they have the problem, not because somebody is picking on them. I am not English.

  • on June 6, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Throwing should not be tolerated. I cannot imagine how some bowlers are allowed to throw in the international stage. Surely the bowler's action should be corrected in his teenage years and not allowed to continue with the suspect action until he is an adult.

  • Mindmeld on June 6, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Ajith Gunasekara, the countries you mention all have very rigorous testing systems within their own countries. Why do you think Finn's action was tinkered with so much, Luke Gannon and so on? When was the last time you heard any cricketer in the sub-continent being scrutinised internally? They just do not employ the same standards, and that's why most of the problem is coming from these countries.

  • Indian_Kari_Pakku on June 6, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    Every time when an Asian team goes to England for a tour they are having problems. I hope they would do same to India in the up coming England tour.

  • IndiaNeedsBowlers on June 6, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    I was hoping the Cricket Committee would come up with some clear guidelines for Manded. Either this way or that 1. If they want to continue with it, give strict guidelines to Umpires to not ask the Fielding Captain when an appeal is made and immediately give the decision (out/ not out/ third umpire). Also make it very clear to the teams that no warnings what so ever would be given. or 2. Get rid of the rule, and let the batsmen do whatever they want, the non striker could as well be half way down the pitch when the ball is bowled (risking either his or his partners run out after the delivery is bowled and the batsman plays it).

  • on June 6, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    All identified at the peak of their performance. All from Asian countries and from West Indies. No chuckers in ENG, Aus & NZ were reported. It is better to have a test before play international cricket.

  • Udendra on June 6, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    Testing while in play is good. But as with DRS, BCCI will find fault with this too.

  • on June 6, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    I think it would be revolutionary if the clause of 15 degrees was relaxed further but only in the shorter format. However the Tests should be left for the purist and the 15 degree clause should be reduced to 10 or something. There are many advantages of this bias. Firstly the spinners will now have a bigger say in the scheme of things in the shorter format where teams are not assured of winning even after posting 200 runs in 20 overs. Bringing in spinners who can use a wider angle to get in the doosra and other deliveries would help check the run flow and would help show an even battle as compared to the batting friendly displays we saw in this year's IPL. Secondly keeping the error angle shorter would keep out any sense of foul play in tests which is considered the purest form of the game. Thus many teams would be willing to embrace the changes and the officials can move on with it without breaking their head too much.

  • on June 6, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Why every time england had a problem with visting team, its not first time england history for guest teams is very poor.

  • on June 6, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Finally some action on this. This needs to be looked at more seriously. I don't think we have any doubt that there is some serious issue here. Am happy that ICC is finally doing something about it. Lets keep the game clean.

  • Imperious3rill on June 6, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    Cricket have been a batsman game...left/right hand batsmen can do reverse hit and play as both hand batsmen. they can do anything but bowlers they have to be so careful about their action though nowadays award action bowler are in play but its not fair that batsmen are getting more freedom..

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  • Imperious3rill on June 6, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    Cricket have been a batsman game...left/right hand batsmen can do reverse hit and play as both hand batsmen. they can do anything but bowlers they have to be so careful about their action though nowadays award action bowler are in play but its not fair that batsmen are getting more freedom..

  • on June 6, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Finally some action on this. This needs to be looked at more seriously. I don't think we have any doubt that there is some serious issue here. Am happy that ICC is finally doing something about it. Lets keep the game clean.

  • on June 6, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Why every time england had a problem with visting team, its not first time england history for guest teams is very poor.

  • on June 6, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    I think it would be revolutionary if the clause of 15 degrees was relaxed further but only in the shorter format. However the Tests should be left for the purist and the 15 degree clause should be reduced to 10 or something. There are many advantages of this bias. Firstly the spinners will now have a bigger say in the scheme of things in the shorter format where teams are not assured of winning even after posting 200 runs in 20 overs. Bringing in spinners who can use a wider angle to get in the doosra and other deliveries would help check the run flow and would help show an even battle as compared to the batting friendly displays we saw in this year's IPL. Secondly keeping the error angle shorter would keep out any sense of foul play in tests which is considered the purest form of the game. Thus many teams would be willing to embrace the changes and the officials can move on with it without breaking their head too much.

  • Udendra on June 6, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    Testing while in play is good. But as with DRS, BCCI will find fault with this too.

  • on June 6, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    All identified at the peak of their performance. All from Asian countries and from West Indies. No chuckers in ENG, Aus & NZ were reported. It is better to have a test before play international cricket.

  • IndiaNeedsBowlers on June 6, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    I was hoping the Cricket Committee would come up with some clear guidelines for Manded. Either this way or that 1. If they want to continue with it, give strict guidelines to Umpires to not ask the Fielding Captain when an appeal is made and immediately give the decision (out/ not out/ third umpire). Also make it very clear to the teams that no warnings what so ever would be given. or 2. Get rid of the rule, and let the batsmen do whatever they want, the non striker could as well be half way down the pitch when the ball is bowled (risking either his or his partners run out after the delivery is bowled and the batsman plays it).

  • Indian_Kari_Pakku on June 6, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    Every time when an Asian team goes to England for a tour they are having problems. I hope they would do same to India in the up coming England tour.

  • Mindmeld on June 6, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Ajith Gunasekara, the countries you mention all have very rigorous testing systems within their own countries. Why do you think Finn's action was tinkered with so much, Luke Gannon and so on? When was the last time you heard any cricketer in the sub-continent being scrutinised internally? They just do not employ the same standards, and that's why most of the problem is coming from these countries.

  • on June 6, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Throwing should not be tolerated. I cannot imagine how some bowlers are allowed to throw in the international stage. Surely the bowler's action should be corrected in his teenage years and not allowed to continue with the suspect action until he is an adult.