Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/159

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137
BOWLING.

thing as a half bowl, half throw. I maintain that no one can mistake the two methods in his own case. The line of demarcation is clean and sharp. A man knows at once which he is using. But a looker-on cannot always be sure which of the two methods of propulsion is being employed. The eye is not quick enough to follow the instantaneous movements of the propeller's arm. Every one propels in a particular manner quite peculiar to himself, and often one individual propels in a way which to himself is genuine bowling, but looks to another like throwing. The second party knows that if he himself moved his arm as the iirst party seems to do, he himself would at once feel that the motion produced a throw, not a bowl. The second party, then, is liable to say unhesitatingly, "That man is throwing." He may be correct or he may not, but he can have no possible ground for being absolutely sure one way or the other unless the throw is absolutely deliberate and pronounced. The result is, that the distinction between bowling and throwing is subjectively certain, objectively uncertain. Subjectively, there can be no doubt which of the two methods is being employed in a particular instance; objectively, there may be much doubt.

If this is true, the reason is at once apparent why as yet no proper and conclusive definition of throwing as distinguished from bowling has been formulated. I am afraid I cannot supply the deficiency, though in my own mind I have a perfectly clear idea as to what is throwing and what is not. It is the elbow-work that makes the whole difference. In bowling, all the arm from the shoulder-joint to the wrist-joint is, no matter whether the arm be straight or bent at the elbow, purely a connecting medium between the hand and the body. In throwing, the elbow is not only a connecting-link, but actively participates in the propulsion. The elbow, at the very last moment before the ejection of the object from the hand, is shot forward in front of the rest of the arm, which is then instantaneously straightened in the very act of ejection. There is something distinctly jerky and flicky in this projection of the elbow and straightening of the arm, but the jerkiness must not be confused with the jerky motion that may be imparted by a quick turn or sudden stopping of the body to a genuine bowl with an absolutely straight arm. The great thing is to clearly understand that when the arm is kept perfectly straightened during the action of ejecting there cannot be any throwing in the case at all. But when during the action the arm is bent at the elbow, the method of ejection may or may not be a throw, according to whether the elbow is used directly