Chucking surfaces in women’s cricket

March 16th, 2009 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, March 16 (IANS) Chucking has surfaced in the Women’s World Cup cricket, with authorities failing to adequately deal with the bowlers who throw.
In what has become a spectacular case of technology contradicting itself, England fast bowler Jenny Gunn has been cleared of throwing by the International Cricket Council (ICC) a fortnight after she was banned from Australian domestic cricket while playing for Western Australia (WA).

Gunn, 22, and a veteran of 65 one-day internationals, is in the bizarre situation of being able to bowl her country to victory in the game’s most prestigious competition but not being allowed to bowl in Australian domestic cricket, The Australian reports.

Always widely regarded as having a suspect action, Gunn was reported by the match umpires Nov 30 last year while playing for WA against South Australia.

Gunn made herself available for an analysis of her bowling action at the Australian Institute of Sport biomechanics laboratory in Canberra two months later.

Remarkably, none of Gunn’s deliveries complied with the maximum allowable elbow extension of 15 degrees.

Gunn appealed the findings and the appeal was postponed until after the World Cup.

In the meantime, she was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action by the on-field umpires during the opening day of the World Cup against Sri Lanka in Canberra March 7.

Amid the 13 pages of legalese and biomechanical jargon covering suspected illegal bowling actions in the ICC’s handbook, part C7 clearly states: “No member of the bowling review group shall be from the country of the player who is the subject of the hearing.”

Apparently that applies only to male internationals. For women the report is simply shipped off to the home board to deal with.

So the ICC sent the report to the England and Wales Cricket Board, which sent it to its national academy at Loughborough.

A report came back suggesting that Gunn’s chucking is an optical illusion, the same scientific reason given for the unusual action of the world’s leading wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan.

Neither the ICC nor Cricket Australia (CA) have been able to explain why CA testing in Australia two months ago found Gunn to be a blatant chucker.

But as this latest debacle has shown, the system is far more flawed than any bowling action.

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