Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/160

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

to propel the object as described above or is not. It does not make any difference what the wrist is doing. Wrist-action in conjunction with elbow-action may form part of a throw; apart from elbow-action it cannot. It is possible to throw with very slight elbow-action combined with much wrist-action, but it is the elbow-action that makes or unmakes the throw. A minor point must be added. Sometimes a third method of propelling an object from the hand is taken into consideration. This is technically called a jerk. A jerk is a kind of modified throw in which the ball is made to leave the hand by a sudden stoppage of the arm's swing almost as soon as the swing begins. There are various kinds of jerks, but for practical purposes all are throws. Sometimes the swing is broken against the body, in which case the object is ejected in the same way as an apple impaled on a walking-stick flies off if the stick be hit against a tree-stem.

Now, contrary to the general idea, such considerations as these affect only indirectly the question of "throwing" as regards bowling in cricket. The rules on the point are these:—

Law 10.—"The ball must be bowled; if thrown or jerked, the umpire shall call 'No ball.'"

Law 48 (a).—"If the umpire at the bowler's end be not satisfied of the absolute fairness of the delivery of any ball, he shall call 'No ball.'"

Instructions to Umpires. Law 48.—"The special attention of umpires is called to this law, which directs them to call 'No ball,' unless absolutely satisfied of the fairness of the delivery."

There are no definitions in the 'Laws of Cricket' of either bowling or jerking or throwing. It is presupposed that all umpires know that a ball must, in being propelled, be either bowled or not. The Laws direct an umpire to call "No ball" whenever he sees a ball so propelled that any question arises in his mind as to whether it is bowled or not. What could be more simple? And yet ninety-nine umpires out of a hundred entirely misunderstand their duty on the point. Nothing will make them "no-ball" a bowler until they are absolutely satisfied that he is throwing or jerking. A jerk in the technical sense of the word is unmistakable, and, hence does not really affect the question. But a throw is mistakable; and umpires think they have got to decide between what is a throw and what is a bowl. That is not the law at all. The law tells them to say "No ball" every time a ball is so delivered that any doubt, however slight,