Thursday 1 May 2008 

Bowling Coach Creates "The World's Best Slower Ball"

It's taken hard work and much trying. But international fast bowling coach, Ian Pont, believes he has created the world's best slower ball that will deceive the finest batsmen on the planet. It comes just in time for the IPL Twenty20 tournament as it can be learned in one afternoon by anyone.

The innocuous-looking delivery, known affectionately as the SLOB, is designed to look like a beamer but end up dropping like a stone into the block hole. It was created last summer but tests at the International Pro Camp in Potcheftroom, South Africa where Pont is head coach, have shown how effective it can be. The slower ball is now ready to be taught to others.

''It's quite an amazing delivery if you get it right'', said Pont, a former fast bowler himself. ''It's almost impossible to pick up by the batsman and in the load up to bowl it looks like any normal delivery, which makes it so hard to pick. That's what I wanted - something difficult to spot and extremely effective''.

The name SLOB comes from slow ball (slower obsolete delievery), and the fact that like a slob, the ball does nothing. ''There's hardly any rotation on the ball so it ends up 'dying' in the last 2-3 yards of flight and straight into a yorker length hopefully''.

Pont, who has worked with world number one Dale Steyn, England legend Darren Gough and many up-and-coming young quicks, says anyone can master it. ''Success rates are high for everyone who tries it but like all slower balls it takes some getting used to. I cannot see many batsmen hitting this if the bowler gets it right making it a perfect weapon at any level''.

Pont added. ''It's something no bowler should be without''.

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