How to Stay Within The 15 Degree Limit

Sachithra Senanayake
Sachithra Senanayake was banned recently but has subsequently undergone remedial work on his action
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

It’s big news that the ICC are cracking down on top level bowlers with suspicious actions. What does that mean for us playing and coaching at a level where you can’t tell a “chucker” for sure?

It’s not as easy as you might think. The famous example is Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. His hyper flexible shoulders and wrists combined with a bent arm certainly looks like chucking to the naked eye. Yet he had extensive computer model testing and despite what the eye thinks, his arm straightened well within the legal limit.

The only way to tell at lower levels is to rely on the judgement of the umpires. So that means if you have even the smallest thought of playing at high levels, you need to make sure your action is beyond reproach.

It's much easier for young players to correct as they have not ingrained the habit on their muscle memory. However, whatever the age of the player, it is up to a good coach to take the action back to the root of the problem and build it back up again.

The process is as follows:

  • Strip it down. Start by taking everything away from the bowler except the action itself: Batsman, net, ball, run up and stumps. Bowl from a standing position, starting at the point of back foot impact
  • Build up the feel. Take time to go through the right feel from a standing start without the ball. Make sure the arm is dead straight while keeping the rest of the action the same. The focus is on getting the feel for a straight arm again. When the arm is straight from a stationary position you can start to walk through the action, then jog through from a few paces; still without the ball.
  • Bring back the ball. When the arm is straight without the ball it's time to bring the ball back in. Initially it's more important to get the feel for releasing the ball again rather than worry about line and length. Start as before with a standing position and move to walking through. When the release is sound you can start to jog through the action with the ball from a few paces.
  • Bring back the run up. Finally you can bring back the bowler to their full run up and release. Now is the time to focus on accuracy. With a player wanting to generate more pace the coach could work on driving the hip and chest through more to prevent a chucking relapse.

With so much pressure on to remove chucking from the game, it’s the job of every coach and player at every level to make sure the straight arm is coached as well as possible.

© 2014 Pitchvision Academy

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