Friends Provident T20 June 10, 2010

ECB outlaws double-bouncing delivery

Cricinfo staff
38

Warwickshire's plans to introduce some innovation to bowling by using the double-bouncing ball during their Friends Provident T20 game against Derbyshire was quashed by the ECB, which outlawed the delivery. The Daily Telegraph reported the ECB issued a directive to county coaches and umpires that the ball, if delivered, would be declared a no-ball - despite not breaching the laws of cricket - for it was against the spirit of the game.

"Further to an ECB Cricket Committee recommendation, it is confirmed that the practice of bowling a ball that bounces twice should be disallowed with immediate effect. It is considered inappropriate for the image and spirit of our game," the Daily Telegraph quoted the ECB directive as saying.

The idea to use the double-bouncer is the brainchild of Warwickshire bowling coach Graeme Welch. The decision to experiment with such a delivery was prompted by the accidental instance of Derbyshire offspinner Nathan Dumelow bowling a double-bouncing delivery that had then Leicestershire batsman Darren Stevens flummoxed. Though the ECB's decision would have thwarted Welch's plans, he received encouragement from the MCC, the guardian of the laws of the game, which declared the delivery legitimate. As a result, the delivery can be used in tournaments like the IPL or the World Twenty20, over which the ECB has no control.

"We don't think it is against the Spirit of Cricket or contrary to the Laws of the game," the newspaper quoted Keith Bradshaw, the chief executive of the MCC, as saying. "We see it as the same as the switch-hit and unless it changes the balance between the bat and ball we see no reason to change our view."

According to the laws, a ball can be declared a no-ball if it bounces more than twice and the umpire deems it to have been delivered intentionally. Law 24 states: "The umpire at the bowler's end shall call and signal No ball if a ball which he considers to have been delivered, without having previously touched the bat or person of the striker, either (i) bounces more than twice or (ii) rolls along the ground before it reaches the popping crease."

Welch said he was disappointed at the ECB's ruling and claimed the delivery required skill, just like the switch-hit, pioneered by Kevin Pietersen. The MCC had then deemed the shot legal for the same reason Welch feels the double-bouncer should be allowed. "Not just anyone can do it and it takes skill," Welch told the Daily Telegraph, adding the ball was of greater assistance to fast bowlers. "The margin of error is small.

"The batsman thinks it is a bouncer and by the time he has realised it is not he has cut down his reaction time. You need a bowler who can bowl out of the back of the hand and bounce it as close as he can in front of him so that when it bounces again it is on its way down.

"The trick is getting the pace right on the second bounce. I am disappointed about it [being outlawed]. Batsmen are smacking it out the ground and this is just the way the game is evolving. We are always trying to think of new things. I am a bowling coach and my job is to do that."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • baboo7 on June 16, 2010, 2:59 GMT

    i play cricket in trinidad, and i think it is fair to allow the double bounce ball. after seeing it bowled in the ipl, myself and teamates practiced it. and it takes a lot of skill. it should be allowed.

  • on June 11, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    My god I can't believe the ECB have gotten something right for once, are people trying to destroy the game of cricket or something?

    Double bouncing balls!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • D.V.C. on June 11, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Honestly, the law has read 'no more than twice' for at least a decade, since the 2000 code. How could anyone think that it was against the spirit of the game to bowl something that was clearly intentionally included as legal in the laws? If the MCC had wanted the law to read only bounce once that would have been easy to implement!

  • D.V.C. on June 11, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    Anyone claiming this ball is too hard for the batsman to hit for 6 clearly hasn't tried bowling the ball in a game or in the nets to a batsman, I have. I was bowling it as a surprise delivery in League cricket last year. The idea generally, is to york the batsman on the second bounce. This is really tough to do because you really have little idea how the front half of the pitch (where the ball must bounce the first time) is playing. Any variable bounce makes it really hard. If you pitch to short the batsman gets a good sighting and it is either easy to move to the ball and drive it, or there is a chance the ball bounces 3 times which is a no ball. If I pitch to full, I've essentially bowled a rank long hop which is easy to hit. And by the way, the speed of the delivery is usually faster than a spinners delivery, too slow and the batsman has too much time to gauge the trajectory. IMO it is the ECB who are not playing in the spirit of the game by saying they don't like the laws.

  • SomWardner on June 11, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Pradeep Mathew's double bounce ball used to bounce twice AND spin twice.

  • on June 11, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Brad Hodge intentionally bowled this bouncer in the Ford Ranger Cup and KFC Big Bash here in Australia. How can Greme Welch claim the idea?

  • on June 11, 2010, 0:18 GMT

    also someone mentioned a shooter a shooter doesnt bounce twice it doesnt actually bounce it rolls and another difference is its not delibrate unlike a the Trevor Chappell underarm ball or this double bounce i cant see why you should be allowed to bowl a ball that bounces twice its just not cricket one thing though its not unpickable as its so much slower than ever other ball you can see it coming and you would have tim to charge down the wicket to the pitch of the ball which would be about half way down and of course you wouldnt have to hit it as far if your hitting straight

  • on June 11, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    theres only two no balls that are worth the runs being given away they are a 3rd bouncer and a beamer not a lollypop ball that bounces a billion times

  • Chris_P on June 11, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    "Welch said he was disappointed at the ECB's ruling and claimed the delivery required skill, just like the switch-hit, pioneered by Kevin Pietersen"

    Has this guy been living in a cave for the last 20 odd years???

    I can recall Mike Gatting getting out in a WC final in 1987 using the switch-hit. And this stroke was being used well before that! When you read statements like this, you wonder about the blinkered thought processes about these so called "experts". Certainly, it dilutes any other statements he makes.

  • D.V.C. on June 10, 2010, 22:02 GMT

    Prince Ali, as noted by some knowledgeable poster on wikipedia, the LBW law is worded so that if either bounce pitches in line or outside off, the batsman can be out.

  • baboo7 on June 16, 2010, 2:59 GMT

    i play cricket in trinidad, and i think it is fair to allow the double bounce ball. after seeing it bowled in the ipl, myself and teamates practiced it. and it takes a lot of skill. it should be allowed.

  • on June 11, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    My god I can't believe the ECB have gotten something right for once, are people trying to destroy the game of cricket or something?

    Double bouncing balls!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • D.V.C. on June 11, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Honestly, the law has read 'no more than twice' for at least a decade, since the 2000 code. How could anyone think that it was against the spirit of the game to bowl something that was clearly intentionally included as legal in the laws? If the MCC had wanted the law to read only bounce once that would have been easy to implement!

  • D.V.C. on June 11, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    Anyone claiming this ball is too hard for the batsman to hit for 6 clearly hasn't tried bowling the ball in a game or in the nets to a batsman, I have. I was bowling it as a surprise delivery in League cricket last year. The idea generally, is to york the batsman on the second bounce. This is really tough to do because you really have little idea how the front half of the pitch (where the ball must bounce the first time) is playing. Any variable bounce makes it really hard. If you pitch to short the batsman gets a good sighting and it is either easy to move to the ball and drive it, or there is a chance the ball bounces 3 times which is a no ball. If I pitch to full, I've essentially bowled a rank long hop which is easy to hit. And by the way, the speed of the delivery is usually faster than a spinners delivery, too slow and the batsman has too much time to gauge the trajectory. IMO it is the ECB who are not playing in the spirit of the game by saying they don't like the laws.

  • SomWardner on June 11, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Pradeep Mathew's double bounce ball used to bounce twice AND spin twice.

  • on June 11, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Brad Hodge intentionally bowled this bouncer in the Ford Ranger Cup and KFC Big Bash here in Australia. How can Greme Welch claim the idea?

  • on June 11, 2010, 0:18 GMT

    also someone mentioned a shooter a shooter doesnt bounce twice it doesnt actually bounce it rolls and another difference is its not delibrate unlike a the Trevor Chappell underarm ball or this double bounce i cant see why you should be allowed to bowl a ball that bounces twice its just not cricket one thing though its not unpickable as its so much slower than ever other ball you can see it coming and you would have tim to charge down the wicket to the pitch of the ball which would be about half way down and of course you wouldnt have to hit it as far if your hitting straight

  • on June 11, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    theres only two no balls that are worth the runs being given away they are a 3rd bouncer and a beamer not a lollypop ball that bounces a billion times

  • Chris_P on June 11, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    "Welch said he was disappointed at the ECB's ruling and claimed the delivery required skill, just like the switch-hit, pioneered by Kevin Pietersen"

    Has this guy been living in a cave for the last 20 odd years???

    I can recall Mike Gatting getting out in a WC final in 1987 using the switch-hit. And this stroke was being used well before that! When you read statements like this, you wonder about the blinkered thought processes about these so called "experts". Certainly, it dilutes any other statements he makes.

  • D.V.C. on June 10, 2010, 22:02 GMT

    Prince Ali, as noted by some knowledgeable poster on wikipedia, the LBW law is worded so that if either bounce pitches in line or outside off, the batsman can be out.

  • D.V.C. on June 10, 2010, 21:59 GMT

    I play league cricket in England. I have been employing this delivery deliberately for a long time. It is hard to get right and requires skill. It is a surprise to the batsman when delivered, but so is the bouncer; and you don't need a helmet to guard against a double bouncer. The delivery is not against the spirit of the game, it is actually the closest delivery one can bowl to those of the game's inception. I would go so far as to say this is a decision that is uneducated, myopic, anti-cricket and stupid. I'm usually more articulate in comments on cricinfo, but I just feel this is so completely stupid and wrong that I have to be blunt.

  • ponty100mph on June 10, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    How about getting bowlers to perfect the in-swinging yorker first at very high speeds before dreaming up random deliveries that are like bobble feeds?

    Also agree with englefield about Pradeep Mathew bowling the double bouncer almost 20 years ago.

    There are excellent variation balls like The Slob, flying saucer and one finger slower ball that create havoc when well bowled. We have enough slower balls already to be honest....

  • david_franklin on June 10, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    Just a quick correction - the article suggests that a ball bouncing more than twice is only called a no-ball if the umpire deems it to be intentional. That's not right - any ball which bounces more than twice (or rolls along the ground) should be called a no-ball, whether intentional or not.

  • on June 10, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    I used to bowl double bouncers. Admittedly more because I had a somewhat terrible level of control than by design though...

    Surely the switch-hit has to go now if this isn't allowed? Underarm bowling was outlawed for a reason, and these are along the same lines.

  • Hassan.Farooqi on June 10, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    @santhoshkudva. Please read before commenting. "According to the laws, a ball can be declared a no-ball if it bounces more than twice and the umpire deems it to have been delivered INTENTIONALLY".

  • santhoshkudva on June 10, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    so if someday a delivery scoots along the pitch like it did at barbados during india's tour of WI in 1997, it shall be deemed as a no ball for no fault of the bowler's?

  • on June 10, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Is it April 1st?...................................

  • nafzak on June 10, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Might as well ask bowlers to only bowl slow to medium pace full toss that could be hit for six every time. More evidence that teh game is tilted in favour of batsmen. This is why the stats are so skewed these days and we can never compare todays players with those of days gone by.

  • simon_w on June 10, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    @ballonbat - "One of my best balls would drift into the non-striker's pads" - this had me laughing out loud! Are you Zaltman in disguise?

  • on June 10, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    Absolutely Brutal Action. No question is asked about any shot from the bat, whether it kills bowlers, umpires or spectators. But every question raises whenever a bowler tries bouncers, bowl outside the leg stump to tie down the batsmen and now double-bouncing deliveries.

  • on June 10, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    it can compare as both are clearly unfair and bordering on cheating im not biased towards batsman as i ws a bowler but i dont see how a bowler would not be embarassed by bowling this ball the likes of colin croft would be very disapointed if the second bounce was on the pitch but to be fair he only liked the second bounce to be on the headwear

    Wanderer your double bouncing ball was just due to the pace you bowled

  • on June 10, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    This is rather childish. How fast would a double bouncing ball be? 25miles/hour? or less? this would certainly spoil the game, and ECB did the right thing. The idea seems perfect for the Blind Cricket.

  • Hoggy_1989 on June 10, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    I think that it should be allowed for a time (or a particular competition) to see how it is used by bowlers (i.e. as a rare variation, or if every bowler tries to use it for every delivery). If the latter happens, then give it the same weighting as a bouncer; 1 or 2 deliveries per over and if its bowled after that, the umpire calls no-ball on it. I think thats a fair way to test it out and see if it becomes an addition to the game.

  • engelfield on June 10, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    this is not a new idea, i seem to remember a sri lankan spinner named pradeep mathew used to bowl a double bouncer in the early 90s. think he did it in an international game.

  • AliHaydar on June 10, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    I look forward to seeing the innovations that will arise from bowlers using the double-bouncer in the future, as it seems to have the support of the MCC! It will also be interesting to see what clarifications to the Laws the MCC will have to make once the double-bouncer is employed more often. With the switch-hit, the MCC clarified for LBW decisions that the off and leg stumps are determined once the bowler enters his run-up, also preventing a no-ball from having too many fielders on the leg-side. Which bounce do you use to determine where the ball has pitched for LBWs? It will also be exciting to see spinners have their shot at a two-way lateral movement similar to swinging deliveries; an off-spinner and a leg-spinner on the same ball! Oh, I'm giddy.

    ...And shame on you, ECB, for banning this! What a double-standard, allowing KP to use the switch-hit on your own national team while outlawing the creativity of bowlers!

  • on June 10, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    It was a shameful to bowl those in my younger days... now its a skill :)

  • Gizza on June 10, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    The double bouncer has always been legal. Also if the batsman "picks" the double bouncer, it can still be hit for six. The underarm roll can't be hit for a six which is why it's against the spirit of the game. Again this is batsman-bias. One of the greats about T20 is the innovations which should come from both the batting and bowling sides (and for that matter fielding as we've seen with Angelo Mathews and co.)

  • Marktc on June 10, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    I am of the opinion that as much as the crowds love seeing 4's and 6's, they love seeing wickets as well. The game however is moving away from this as it is becoming too batsman friendly (even the special bats for hitting 6's). If the bowlers can find legal ways to combat being hit all over the place, the it should be welcomed.

  • jero49 on June 10, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    I believe that the first thing they should outlaw is the "No- Mankad" rule where the non striker takes off like a man possessed before the ball is delivered, thus gaining an unfair advantage- he should stay put until the ball is delivered.

  • Jasonharcourt on June 10, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    The ECB has messed up big time here. How can they unilaterally declare a lawful delivery to be unlawful? I suggest it takes great skill to deliberately bowl a ball that bounces twice (any more bounces and of course it's a no-ball). But hey, if the ICC has allowed several illegal catches to be taken in the last couple of years, I guess anything is possible. I assume the ECB will now also issue a blanket ban on sledging, as that is a far worse contravention of the "Spirit of Cricket"? No, thought not.

  • vswami on June 10, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    How can ECB suddenly deem something illegal which is already legal. Mohammed Ashraful got a wicket a couple of years ago in a test match of a double bouncing delivery. Even in this years IPL, Iqbal Abdulla from KKR bowled double bouncing delivery twice in a spell. I have always wondered why bowlers dont do it more often, especially when the batsman is desperate to hit a six. He would get absolutely no pace from the bowler and is more often than not likely to mistime the shot.

  • Harvey on June 10, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    @Deepak Gulati - the double bouncing delivery can in no way be compared with the infamous underarm delivery. That was rolled along the ground, something that in the context of that game was in clear breach of the spirit of cricket. The laws were changed to make such a delivery a illegal, which was fair enough. Underarm bowling was subsequently outlawed except by prior agreement (wrongly in my view, since the issue with the offending delivery was that it was rolled along the ground, not that it was delivered underarm). The lawmakers continued to allow the ball to bounce "no more than twice" before the popping crease though, presumably to allow for innovations such as the one we're talking about. I find it disappointing that the ECB is stifling skill and innovation in this way. Any bowler trying such a delivery who gets it wrong is either very likely to be spanked or will concede a wide or no-ball. Surely it would enhance the excitement, not detract from it?

  • topspeed55 on June 10, 2010, 8:20 GMT

    I think this is just unfair for the bowlers. Its one kind of innovation. I mean then the Switch hit, Reverese Sweep, Upper Cut and Dilscoop should also be outlawed. This is simple common sense and balance between bat and ball should prevail. Scoop has come in play to couter reverse swinging yorkers. So I see no reason why bowler should not innovate.

  • on June 10, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    It does raise the spectre of the infamous underarm delivery in my mind. I could be over-paranoid.

  • ballonbat on June 10, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    This really is nothing new. When I was at primary school I could already not only double bounce with aplomb but also triple bounce, dribble, hook to point, slice to fine leg, bowl a donkey drop, bowl the loop - this goes high over the batsman and straight into the keeper's gloves. One of my best balls would drift into the non-striker's pads or have the umpire diving for cover. I never managed, however, to bring the third umpire into the frame.

  • on June 10, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    More proof that this is a batsman's game! I strongly think this shouldnt be outlawed! Will be interesting to see its effects in the game

  • osee_bhai on June 10, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    @wanderer1, you betcha, I was quite a beast at it as well. Didn't always work very well however.

  • wanderer1 on June 10, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    Ah the double bouncer, I used to be quite good at that delivery when I was younger. Didn't know I was a pioneer?

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  • wanderer1 on June 10, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    Ah the double bouncer, I used to be quite good at that delivery when I was younger. Didn't know I was a pioneer?

  • osee_bhai on June 10, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    @wanderer1, you betcha, I was quite a beast at it as well. Didn't always work very well however.

  • on June 10, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    More proof that this is a batsman's game! I strongly think this shouldnt be outlawed! Will be interesting to see its effects in the game

  • ballonbat on June 10, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    This really is nothing new. When I was at primary school I could already not only double bounce with aplomb but also triple bounce, dribble, hook to point, slice to fine leg, bowl a donkey drop, bowl the loop - this goes high over the batsman and straight into the keeper's gloves. One of my best balls would drift into the non-striker's pads or have the umpire diving for cover. I never managed, however, to bring the third umpire into the frame.

  • on June 10, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    It does raise the spectre of the infamous underarm delivery in my mind. I could be over-paranoid.

  • topspeed55 on June 10, 2010, 8:20 GMT

    I think this is just unfair for the bowlers. Its one kind of innovation. I mean then the Switch hit, Reverese Sweep, Upper Cut and Dilscoop should also be outlawed. This is simple common sense and balance between bat and ball should prevail. Scoop has come in play to couter reverse swinging yorkers. So I see no reason why bowler should not innovate.

  • Harvey on June 10, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    @Deepak Gulati - the double bouncing delivery can in no way be compared with the infamous underarm delivery. That was rolled along the ground, something that in the context of that game was in clear breach of the spirit of cricket. The laws were changed to make such a delivery a illegal, which was fair enough. Underarm bowling was subsequently outlawed except by prior agreement (wrongly in my view, since the issue with the offending delivery was that it was rolled along the ground, not that it was delivered underarm). The lawmakers continued to allow the ball to bounce "no more than twice" before the popping crease though, presumably to allow for innovations such as the one we're talking about. I find it disappointing that the ECB is stifling skill and innovation in this way. Any bowler trying such a delivery who gets it wrong is either very likely to be spanked or will concede a wide or no-ball. Surely it would enhance the excitement, not detract from it?

  • vswami on June 10, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    How can ECB suddenly deem something illegal which is already legal. Mohammed Ashraful got a wicket a couple of years ago in a test match of a double bouncing delivery. Even in this years IPL, Iqbal Abdulla from KKR bowled double bouncing delivery twice in a spell. I have always wondered why bowlers dont do it more often, especially when the batsman is desperate to hit a six. He would get absolutely no pace from the bowler and is more often than not likely to mistime the shot.

  • Jasonharcourt on June 10, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    The ECB has messed up big time here. How can they unilaterally declare a lawful delivery to be unlawful? I suggest it takes great skill to deliberately bowl a ball that bounces twice (any more bounces and of course it's a no-ball). But hey, if the ICC has allowed several illegal catches to be taken in the last couple of years, I guess anything is possible. I assume the ECB will now also issue a blanket ban on sledging, as that is a far worse contravention of the "Spirit of Cricket"? No, thought not.

  • jero49 on June 10, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    I believe that the first thing they should outlaw is the "No- Mankad" rule where the non striker takes off like a man possessed before the ball is delivered, thus gaining an unfair advantage- he should stay put until the ball is delivered.