Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/84

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Bowling is an art, or rather it is an art to bowl well; and in a true sense, as all writers on the subject have agreed, it is an art that cannot be taught. "The art of bowling," says Mr Kempson, "is an incommunicable natural gift which can be perfected to almost any degree by practice." And this definition, though scarcely scientific, hits the nail on the head. Without a certain natural talent no one can be made into a bowler. Not that those who lack great capacity need despair of learning to bowl with ordinary skill and average success; but they will never reach a high standard, never become great bowlers. Everybody by perseverance and energy can obtain a certain command over the ball, and up to a certain point become a bowler. An experienced eye can detect in a very short time whether or not a young cricketer has the innate "something" that will enable him to make a name for himself as a bowler. However, without becoming famous, it is possible to become very useful. As much attention should be paid to bowling as to any other part of the game. Whether or not you have it in you to develop into a Peel or an Attewell is immaterial; your duty is to make yourself as good a bowler as you can.

Nothing is more noticeable in first-class cricket of the present day than the difference in quality between professional and amateur bowling. Practically all bowling in county matches is done by professionals, and the average professional is much superior to the average amateur bowler.

In batting there is no such disparity; in fact, the amateurs can quite if not more than hold their own, and for this reason: both at the public schools and at the universities far more time and attention are devoted to batting than to bowling. Nor is