And they told us 'don't lose your head'
Bouncer: A short pitched delivery which rears up to the chest or head of the batsman.
- In the 1932-33 Ashes series in Australia English skipper Douglas Jardine instructed his pacer Harold Larwood to bowl fast, short pitched balls aimed at the body of the opponent batsmen. It was the first time in cricket's history that bouncers were used for intimidation.
- Throughout the 1970-80s, West Indian captain Clive Llyod employed four fast bowlers who constantly bowled a barrage of bouncers.
- Llyod's tactics forced the ICC to come up with 'one bouncer' rule in 1991.
- Umpire Dickie Bird reacted thus to the new law: 'I think it's a farcical law. If, in the opinion of the umpire, it is intimidatory bowling, he's got to stop it. I prefer the old law as it was.'
- 1994 saw the one bouncer per over rule being changed to two per over.
- In 2001 the bouncer rule was tweaked once again to one bouncer per over.
- In a recent ruling, ICC has allowed the bowlers to bowl 2 bouncers per over in 50-over cricket, which is same as Test cricket.
Image text: England's Graham Thorpe appears to lose his head while avoiding a bouncer during second day of play against Jamaica at Sabina Park in Kingston.