Chucking in Cricket: Understanding the Illegal Bowling Action and Its Consequences

Cricket, a game steeped in tradition and governed by a multitude of rules, has witnessed its fair share of controversies and debates over the years.

One such contentious issue is the illegal bowling action known as “chucking.”

This article delves into the intricacies of chucking, why it is deemed illegal, and the consequences faced by bowlers reported for this action.

What is Chucking?

What is Chucking

Chucking refers to an illegal bowling action where a bowler straightens the arm during the delivery of a ball, deviating from the established rules that require the rotation of the shoulder to impart velocity.

The cricketing laws specify that a bowler must not extend their arm during the bowling action, allowing only a permissible limit of 15 degrees for the straightening of the elbow joint in international cricket.

If an umpire detects chucking during a delivery, they can call a no-ball, rendering the delivery illegitimate.

The legality of a bowler’s action is assessed between the point where the bowling arm passes above shoulder height and the release of the ball.

Any deviation beyond the permitted limit leads to the classification of the delivery as chucking.

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Consequences of Chucking:

When a bowler is reported for chucking, the process of scrutiny and consequences follows a structured protocol.

The match referee records the incident in the match report, providing the ICC and the team manager with relevant details.

A media statement is issued, highlighting that the player has been reported for this illegal action.

The first step involves an independent review of the player’s action by an ICC panel of human movement specialists.

If deemed illegal, the player is suspended from international cricket until the action is rectified.

The player can continue to bowl in domestic cricket under supervision.

A reassessment is conducted to determine if the player has remedied their action, and if cleared, the suspension is lifted.

However, if a player is reported for a second time, they face a one-year suspension before being eligible for a reassessment.

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Why is Chucking Illegal?

Why Chucking is Illegal

Chucking is deemed illegal in cricket because it provides the bowler with an unfair advantage.

Bending the arm beyond the stipulated 15 degrees allows for increased pace and spin, granting the bowler an edge over the batsman.

This advantage is particularly pronounced in spin bowlers, leading to a higher incidence of chucking reports among this category of players.

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Should Chucking be Legalized?

Should Chucking be legal

The question of whether chucking should be legalized has sparked debates within the cricketing community.

While some argue for its legalization to bring added excitement and variety to the game, others emphasize the need to maintain the integrity and fairness of the sport.

Despite the emergence of controversial cases, such as Sunil Narine’s fluctuating chucking bans, the prevailing sentiment leans towards preserving the sanctity of the game by upholding the prohibition on chucking.

Chucking in cricket remains a contentious issue, with strict regulations in place to curb any attempts to gain unfair advantages.

The consequences for bowlers reported for chucking underscore the seriousness with which cricketing authorities address this matter.

As the debate on its legalization continues, the sport grapples with the delicate balance between tradition and innovation, seeking to uphold the essence of fair competition that defines cricket on the global stage.