|Ajmal - bent elbow|
The ICC seem to have ramped up their approach on this aspect of the game this year. A number of bowlers have been reported, banned, investigated or are undergoing remedial action including Kane Williamson, and Sachithra Senanayake.
But as far as FB knows, no bowler in the lower leagues of the East of Scotland Cricket Association has been given this treatment, although speculation about unique bowling actions is a regular part of the Saturday afternoon discourse during many games.
FB’s own action is beyond question, if only because he is unable to bend any part of his body more than 15 degrees.
FB has suffered as much as any other lower league batter from the bottom feeding chuckers, but Ajmal is something different. A truly great bowler whose reputation is now probably slurred irretrievably. There are suggestions that the attention on him is a reflection of a long standing campaign by some to outlaw the doosra altogether. It is unfair to batters, so they say. FB has never encountered a doosra from the business end - for which he is truly thankful - but on these grounds he thinks the straight ball should be banned too. It is unfair to batters - well to FB at least.
Some say that it is impossible to bowl the doosra without an illegal arm bend. Illegal or unnatural? FB's attempt to bowl a doosra in the nets rendered his shoulder and wrist out of action for weeks. FB's investigations suggest that it may be something only to be attempted by the double jointed. And there’s the rub.
|Akhtar - bent elbow|
So, is there no place for the double jointed in cricket?
Which brings FB naturally on to Sergei Rachmaninov, known to all cricketers as the composer of lushly romantic piano concertos, the Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Vocalise and other sundry delights. The music that swells up all through the uber-romance Brief Encounter is his, and he is Classic FM's favourite composer.
But, despite all this, was Rachmaninov a chucker?
To FB’s knowledge Sergei Rachmaninov was never seen on the cricket field. No one has therefore seen his doosra. But on the evidence of the complexity of his piano writing, many critics contend that Rachmaninov must have been double jointed. His joints may therefore have flexed illegally during his Paganini Variations, not to mention his doosra. This is something that the ICC, or Classic FM, need to consider with some urgency.
It is surely time it was established beyond doubt whether Rachmaninov's doosra laden Paganini Variations was a legal delivery.
|Rachmaninov - bent elbow|
Until that day dawns, cricketers will wish to approach his music, and his doosra, with caution.