Saeed Ajmal’s Arm Looks Funny

Sorry to link once more to an item from Cric-Sis, but the blogger supremo posted an intriguing photo of Saeed Ajma’s delivery action:

It’s troubling, but I don’t exactly understand the science behind these measurements. Which isn’t to say I don’t believe in the science and think the ICC is peddling a giant conspiracy to defraud the public. (This seems to be the Australian/English position on chucking.) And as bad as Ajmal’s arm may seem, it doesn’t compare to sheer strangeness of Shoaib Akhtar’s arm:


5 thoughts on “Saeed Ajmal’s Arm Looks Funny

  1. Thanks for that compliment, DB!

    I received a comment on that blog post of mine, where I was told that Saeed Ajmal is allowed a bend on 23.5 degrees since he has a permanent bend of 8.5 degrees.

    While that may give him a bit more leeway, I am still unconvinced about that action. It looks to me a lot more with his doosra. Check this video out of Murali… if Ajmal can manage this, I will never have any problems with him!

    • Russ says:

      Shridhar, of course Ajmal can do that. Let me ask you a question…

      Suppose you (with your heavy luggage) want to cross a deep gorge crossed by a simple rope bridge. Suppose also, that I told you that the rope that supports the bridge is quite supple and strong, but if it stretch and bends more than 15 degrees it could snap.

      Now suppose you are watching people cross the bridge, sometimes it bends a little, sometimes seemingly a lot, even more than 15 degrees. “No”, I say, “we have tested it many times, with many people, some of whom looked heavy, and it has never bent more than 15 degrees”. But you remain unconvinced.

      So I show you a video I’ve made in a test environment, where I strengthened the rope bridge with steel beams, which couldn’t be carried to the gorge, and video-taped people and their heavy luggage walking across so that it was clear that the rope was not bending a single degree. Would that convince you to cross the bridge?

      Any bowler that points their elbow down the pitch is going to straighten their arm considerably because of the rotational force on the elbow from the fore-arm at delivery. If you brace the elbow, it won’t bend, and the wrist will be able to do the necessary work. But it proves precisely nothing.

      A throw, incidentally, does not gain power from the straightening (try throwing with only an elbow bend – it is called a girly throw for a reason). It gains power from the rotation of the elbow, and the whip of the hand. We ought to no-ball bowlers whose elbows point down the pitch.

      • Russ, you put up a damned good argument, and I was almost convinced till I tried one thing. I had read somewhere (long back, so I can’t quite remember who had written it and where) that the reason why ‘doosra’ bowlers are susceptible to chucking can be easily understood by anyone by trying to bowl a ‘doosra’ himself.

        So I did just that. I tired it out various times with varying degrees of elbow-bend, and with the elbow pointed in various directions. And each such delivery was tried atleast thrice, which is what is generally done in scientific experiments.

        I found that the bigger by elbow bend, the more was the spin I could generate. And it was the same whether my elbow was pointed towards the pitch or towards mid-wicket.

        When I read your point, I was almost convinced by the last part, where you wrote about the ‘girly’ throw. But the point is, when spinners bend their elbow, they do not do it to get power, they do it to get spin. Pacers may do it for power, for pace, but not spinners.

        Now even though this was a personal experiment conducted in an unscientific manner (despite all efforts to keep it as standardised as was possible for me), I still feel that the conclusions that I have drawn is what most people would draw.

        I have played a lot of ‘chuck’ cricket, where you chuck the ball from shoulder height down an 8-yard pitch, and there used to be remarkable turn that could be generated. The higher your arm went, the turn became lesser because your elbow straightened out. (Try it head high, then just above head high, and then full elbow stretch)

        I may still be wrong, and the analogy you have provided about the rope is a very good one. But I would like your views after you try out what I have written about my experiences and experiments. It would be nice to read your views then.

  2. […] an earlier post on Saeed Ajmal’s funny arm, Russ (again, of Knotted Paths fame) argued with CRIC-SIS about arm no-balls. This is Russ: Any […]

  3. Joe says:

    I would just like to state that original photo is mine. It does not belong to Cric-Sis. A-hum –!/therealhicksy/media/slideshow?

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