DB, for some reason, suggests that a bowler would not consciously throw the ball if a chucking allegation could end their careers. Excuse me, but I think that is pretty naive. That would imply that no cheating ever takes place in sports. Cricket had its match fixing scandals. Almost every sport has had doping scandals. I am sure that there are sportspersons who stay clean to avoid getting into trouble, but there will always be people who want to gain any slight advantage they can, even if it means bending or breaking laws.
Fair enough. But there are other points I still do not understand. Take this:
So let me explain why we should care about bending the arms within the permissible limit. First, the assumption is that throwing brings some advantage to the bowler. If it didn’t, there is no point in discussing any of this because who cares if the bowler throws or bowls if spin “chiefly depends on wrist and finger movement“?
Again, the ICC has found virtually all bowlers bend their arms within the permissable limit. For almost all of them — again, Sarwan excluded — the bending cannot be avoided. I hate to destroy a cricket myth here, but no less a former skeptic than Michael Holding, whose own action was flowing and smooth, was convinced of the science. Bending the arms within the limit is inevitable, and — what’s worse — it cannot be seen (which makes this entire debate moot).
Secondly, as Kridaya notes, the limit of 15 degrees was chosen because scientists determined that was what could clearly be seen by the naked eye. When umpires suspect something’s strange from what they see, they then report it to the ICC, which, as an extra check on the umpire, hires scientists to further look into the subject.
Kridaya’s problem is a very good one, though. He argues that if an umpire reports someone who is then cleared by scientists even though the action still looks fishy, then what is to be done? Do we just accept the scientists’ verdict?
Well, yes. In Botha’s case, umpires were clearly not satisfied and have reported him again. The system is working. So what’s the problem? Call it if you think it’s strange, then wait for the appropriate authorities to make a definitive ruling. Do it again and again, if you have to — as has happened with Botha — but at some point, you will have to accept what the scientists say, right?