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Technical development

All bowling remained underhanded until the early 19th century, and the majority of bowlers favored the high-tossed lob. The “round-arm revolution” that followed saw many bowlers start to raise the point at which they delivered the ball. Due to ferocious debate, the MCC changed the legislation in 1835 to permit raising the hand as high as the shoulder. The tempo, or bowling speed, greatly increased as a result of the new style. Bowlers gradually defied the rule by raising their hands higher and higher. When an England team competing against Surrey at London’s Kennington Oval abandoned the field in protest over a “no ball” call (i.e., an umpire’s determination that the bowler had thrown an improper pitch), things reached a boiling point.

Whether the bowler should be permitted to elevate his arm over the shoulder was the main topic of discussion. Due to this issue, the bowler was formally given permission to bowl overhand in 1864. (but not to cock and straighten the arm). A batsman’s ability to judge the ball was further complicated by this significant modification to the game. A bowler was already permitted to take a running start from any angle and for any length of time. The bowler might then release overhand, allowing the ball to travel at speeds more than 90 mph (145 km/h).

Cricket has an added twist in that the ball is typically thrown so that it bounces on the pitch (field) before the batsman can hit it, even if this is not as quickly as baseball pitchers can throw the ball (cricket match today). As a result, the ball may curve to the right or left, bounce low or high, or spin in the batsman’s direction or away from it.

With the development of batting gloves and padding, batsmen learned how to protect themselves, while the cane handle strengthened the bat’s durability. However, only the finest hitters could handle quick bowling due to how difficult it was for a batsman to predict the motion of the ball on most surfaces.

However, when the playing conditions improved, batters became acclimated to the new bowling technique and started to attack. Additionally, new bowling techniques were found, forcing batters to further modify their approach.

There was discussion of changing the “leg-before-wicket” regulation, which was put in place in 1774 statutes to forbid a batsman from using his body to stop the ball from striking his wicket, because so many runs were being scored in the early 20th century. However, other exceptional batters, including W.G. Grace, Sir John Berry Hobbs, and K.S. Ranjitsinhji, were responsible for the high scores (later the maharaja of Nawanagar). This was the heyday of cricket.

A number of initiatives were made in the 20th century to help the bowler and speed up play. However, by the middle of the 20th century, defensive play on both sides and a sluggish tempo had replaced the game’s dominant offensive style. One-day cricket, or limited-overs cricket, was created in an effort to increase a fan base that was on the decline. When a Test match was postponed due to inclement weather for the first few days, a limited-overs game was staged on the last day of play to provide spectators with a game to watch. This was the first time one-day cricket had been played abroad. One-day cricket was established as a result of the passionate response.

The small number of overs in this variation of cricket (often 50 per side) causes the game to go more quickly despite significant changes. There are various limitations on fielder positioning in one-day cricket. As a result, new batting techniques emerged, including the lofted shot and the paddle stroke, when the ball is struck behind the wicket where typically no fielders are present (where the batsman tries to hit the ball past the fielders and over their heads). Twenty20 (T20), a form of one-day cricket with 20 overs per side, made its debut in 2003 and swiftly gained popularity throughout the world.

One-day cricket, especially Twenty20, gained popularity globally with the inaugural Twenty20 world cup in 2007, surpassing Test matches, however Test cricket still has a sizable following in England. With the advent of new bowling techniques in the late 20th century, Test matches picked up the pace significantly.

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