Friends Provident T20 June 10, 2010

ECB outlaws double-bouncing delivery

Cricinfo staff

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

  • darren 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.

  • Dummy4 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!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Daniel 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!

  • Daniel 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.

  • Som on June 11, 2010, 5:00 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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?

  • Dummy4 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

  • Dummy4 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

  • Peter 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.

  • Daniel 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.

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