Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of, a 20-metre pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground; when ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches, they communicate with two off-field scorers. There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length.
Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core, layered with wound string. Cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century, it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council, which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches; the game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket, owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club in London. The sport is followed in the Indian subcontinent, the United Kingdom, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.
Women's cricket, organised and played separately, has achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country. Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket, that the batsman must defend; the cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets. It is believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597.
The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that: "Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies". Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey. The view that it was a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket". One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" meaning a staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of stick. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch "krick", meaning a stick.
Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de sen. Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but the sport itself may be of Flemish origin. Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick.
In cricket, a player's bowling average is the number of runs they have conceded per wicket taken. The lower the bowling average is, the better the bowler is performing, it is one of a number of statistics used to compare bowlers used alongside the economy rate and the strike rate to judge the overall performance of a bowler. When a bowler has taken only a small number of wickets, their bowling average can be artificially high or low, unstable, with further wickets taken or runs conceded resulting in large changes to their bowling average. Due to this, qualification restrictions are applied when determining which players have the best bowling averages. After applying these criteria, George Lohmann holds the record for the lowest average in Test cricket, having claimed 112 wickets at an average of 10.75 runs per wicket. A cricketer's bowling average is calculated by dividing the numbers of runs they have conceded by the number of wickets they have taken; the number of runs conceded by a bowler is determined as the total number of runs that the opposing side have scored while the bowler was bowling, excluding any byes, leg byes, or penalty runs.
The bowler receives credit for any wickets taken during their bowling that are either bowled, hit wicket, leg before wicket or stumped. B o w l i n g a v e r a g e = R u n s c o n c e d e d W i c k e t s t a k e n A number of flaws have been identified for the statistic, most notable among these the fact that a bowler who has taken no wickets can not have a bowling average, as dividing by zero does not give a result; the effect of this is that the bowling average can not distinguish between a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one run, a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one hundred runs. The bowling average does not tend to give a true reflection of the bowler's ability when the number of wickets they have taken is small in comparison to the number of runs they have conceded. In his paper proposing an alternative method of judging batsmen and bowlers, Paul van Staden gives an example of this: Suppose a bowler has bowled a total of 80 balls, conceded 60 runs and has taken only 2 wickets so that..
30. If the bowler takes a wicket with the next ball bowled 20. Due to this, when establishing records for bowling averages, qualification criteria are set. For Test cricket, the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack sets this as 75 wickets, while ESPNcricinfo requires 2,000 deliveries. Similar restrictions are set for one-day cricket. A number of factors other than purely the ability level of the bowler have an effect on a player's bowling average. Most significant among these are the different eras; the bowling average tables in Test and first-class cricket are headed by players who competed in the nineteenth century, a period when pitches were uncovered and some were so badly looked after that they had rocks on them. The bowlers competing in the Howa Bowl, a competition played in South African during the apartheid-era, restricted to non-white players, during which time, according to Vincent Barnes: "Most of the wickets we played on were underprepared. For me, as a bowler, it was great." Other factors which provided an advantage to bowlers in that era was the lack of significant safety equipment.
Other variations are caused by frequent matches against stronger or weaker opposition, changes in the laws of cricket and the length of matches. Due to the varying qualifying restrictions placed on the records by different statisticians, the record for the lowest career bowling average can be different from publication to publication. In Test cricket, George Lohmann is listed as having the superior average by each of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive. Though all three use different restrictions, Lohmann's average of 10.75 is considered the best. If no qualification criteria were applied at all, three players—Wilf Barber, A. N. Hornby and Bruce Murray—would tie for the best average, all having claimed just one wicket in Test matches, without conceding any runs, thus averaging zero. ESPNcricinfo list Betty Wilson as having the best Women's Test cricket average with 11.80, while CricketArchive accept Mary Spear's average of 5.78. In One Day Internationals, the varying criteria set by ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive result in different players being listed as holding the record.
ESPNcricinfo has the stricter restriction, requiring 1,000 deliveries: by this measure, Joel Garner is the record-holder, having claimed his wickets at an average of 18.84. By CricketArchive's more relaxed requirement of 400 deliveries, John Snow leads the way, with an average of 16.57. In women's One Day International cricket, Caroline Barrs tops the CricketArchive list with an average of 9.52, but by ESPNcricinfo's stricter guidelines, the record is instead held by Gill Smith's 12.53. The record is again split for the two websites for Twenty20 International cricket. George O'Brien's average of 8.20 holds the record using those criteri
Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka by population. According to the Brookings Institution, Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million, 752,993 in the city proper. It is the financial centre of a popular tourist destination, it is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to the Greater Colombo area which includes Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the legislative capital of Sri Lanka and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. Colombo is referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is within the urban area of, a suburb of, Colombo, it is the administrative capital of the Western Province and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is a vibrant place with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins, it was the legislative capital of Sri Lanka until 1982. Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago, it was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948.
In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Like many cities, Colombo's urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority, encompassing other municipal and urban councils such as Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council, Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, Kolonnawa Urban Council, Kaduwela Municipal Council and Kotikawatte Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha; the main city is home to a majority of Sri Lanka's corporate offices and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, Beira Lake, Colombo Racecourse, University of Colombo, Mount Lavinia beach, Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Colombo Lotus Tower as well as the National Museum; the name "Colombo", first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhala name කොලොන් තොට Kolon thota, meaning "port on the river Kelani". Another belief is that the name is derived from the Sinhala name කොල-අඹ-තොට Kola-amba-thota which means "Harbour with leafy mango trees".
This coincides with Robert Knox's history of the island. He writes that, "On the West the City of Columbo, so called from a Tree the Natives call Ambo, growing in that place; the author of the oldest Sinhala grammar, written in the 13th century wrote about a category of words that belonged to early Sinhala. It lists kolamba as belonging to an indigenous source. Kolamba may be the source of the name of the commercial capital Colombo; as Colombo possesses a natural harbour, it was known to Indian, Persian, Roman and Chinese traders over 2,000 years ago. Traveller Ibn Battuta who visited the island in the 14th century, referred to it as Kalanpu. Arabs, whose prime interests were trade, began to settle in Colombo around the 8th century AD because the port helped their business by the way of controlling much of the trade between the Sinhalese kingdoms and the outside world, their descendants now comprise the local Sri Lankan Moor community. Portuguese explorers led by Dom Lourenço de Almeida first arrived in Sri Lanka in 1505.
During their initial visit they made a treaty with the King of Kotte, Parakramabahu VIII, which enabled them to trade in the island's crop of cinnamon, which lay along the coastal areas of the island, including in Colombo. As part of the treaty, the Portuguese were given full authority over the coastline in exchange for the promise of guarding the coast against invaders, they were allowed to establish a trading post in Colombo. Within a short time, they expelled the Muslim inhabitants of Colombo and began to build a fort in 1517; the Portuguese soon realized that control of Sri Lanka was necessary for protection of their coastal establishments in India and they began to manipulate the rulers of the Kotte kingdom to gain control of the area. After skilfully exploiting rivalries within the royal family, they took control of a large area of the kingdom and the Sinhalese King Mayadunne established a new kingdom at Sitawaka, a domain in the Kotte kingdom. Before long he annexed much of the Kotte kingdom and forced the Portuguese to retreat to Colombo, besieged by Mayadunne and the kings of Sitawaka, forcing them to seek reinforcement from their major base in Goa, India.
Following the fall of the kingdom in 1593, the Portuguese were able to establish complete control over the coastal area, with Colombo as their capital. This part of Colombo is still known as Fort and houses the presidential palace and the majority of Colombo's five star hotels; the area outside Fort is known as Pettah and is a commercial hub. In 1638 the Dutch signed a treaty with King Rajasinha II of Kandy which assured the king assistance in his war against the Portuguese in exchange for a monopoly of the island's major trade goods; the Portuguese resisted the Dutch and the Kandyans but were defeated in their strongholds beginning in 1639. The Dutch captured Colombo in 1656 after an epic siege, at the end of which a mere 93 Portuguese survivors were given safe conduct out of the fort. Although the Dutch
One Day International
A One Day International is a form of limited overs cricket, played between two teams with international status, in which each team faces a fixed number of overs 50. The Cricket World Cup is played in this format, held every four years. One Day International matches are called Limited Overs Internationals, although this generic term may refer to Twenty20 International matches, they are major considered the highest standard of List A, limited overs competition. The international one-day game is a late-twentieth-century development; the first ODI was played on 5 January 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. When the first three days of the third Test were washed out officials decided to abandon the match and, play a one-off one-day game consisting of 40 eight-ball overs per side. Australia won the game by 5 wickets. ODIs were played in white kits with a red ball. In the late 1970s, Kerry Packer established the rival World Series Cricket competition, it introduced many of the features of One Day International cricket that are now commonplace, including coloured uniforms, matches played at night under floodlights with a white ball and dark sight screens, for television broadcasts, multiple camera angles, effects microphones to capture sounds from the players on the pitch, on-screen graphics.
The first of the matches with coloured uniforms was the WSC Australians in wattle gold versus WSC West Indians in coral pink, played at VFL Park in Melbourne on 17 January 1979. This led not only to Packer's Channel 9 getting the TV rights to cricket in Australia but led to players worldwide being paid to play, becoming international professionals, no longer needing jobs outside cricket. Matches played with coloured kits and a white ball became more commonplace over time, the use of white flannels and a red ball in ODIs ended in 2001. In the main the Laws of cricket apply. However, in ODIs, each team bats for a fixed number of overs. In the early days of ODI cricket, the number of overs was 60 overs per side, matches were played with 40, 45 or 55 overs per side, but now it has been uniformly fixed at 50 overs. Stated, the game works as follows: An ODI is contested by two teams of 11 players each; the Captain of the side winning the toss bowl first. The team batting first sets the target score in a single innings.
The innings lasts until the batting side is "all out" or all of the first side's allotted overs are completed. Each bowler is restricted to bowling a maximum of 10 overs. Therefore, each team must comprise at least five competent bowlers; the team batting second tries to score more. The side bowling second tries to bowl out the second team or make them exhaust their overs before they reach the target score in order to win. If the number of runs scored by both teams is equal when the second team loses all its wickets or exhausts all its overs the game is declared a tie. Where a number of overs are lost, for example, due to inclement weather conditions the total number of overs may be reduced. In the early days of ODI cricket, the team with the better run rate won, but this favoured the second team. For the 1992 World Cup, an alternative method was used of omitting the first team's worst overs, but that favoured the first team. Since the late 1990s, the target or result is determined by the Duckworth-Lewis method, a method with statistical approach.
It takes into consideration the fact that the wickets in hand plays a crucial role in pacing the run-rate. In other words, a team with more wickets in hand can play way more aggressively than the team with fewer wickets in hand; when insufficient overs are played to apply the Duckworth-Lewis method, a match is declared no result. Important one-day matches in the latter stages of major tournaments, may have two days set aside, such that a result can be achieved on the "reserve day" if the first day is washed out—either by playing a new game, or by resuming the match, rain-interrupted; the original DL-method however had a few inherent flaws. For example, Tony Lewis, one of the formulators of this method recognized after the match between India and Kenya during the 1999 World Cup held in Bristol, that the original method gave an unfair advantage to the team chasing scores above 350 runs in a 50 overs match. Hence, the method was revised and a new version was released in 2004. There was one more such change made, first implemented on 2009.
Off late, the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method is used, a modification of the DL-Method suggested by Prof. Steven Stern, it was first implemented during the 2015 World Cup. One of the major changes made to DLS from DL method was based on a historic analysis by Prof. Stern that a team with higher run rate in their initial stages has a greater chance to get to a high score than a team with slow initial run rate, but more wickets in hand; because the game uses a white ball instead of the red one used in first-class cricket, the ball can become discoloured and hard to see as the innings progresses, so the ICC has used various rules to help keep the ball playable. Most ICC has made the use of two new balls, the same strategy, used in the 1992 and 1996 World Cu
Batting average (cricket)
In cricket, a player's batting average is the total number of runs they have scored divided by the number of times they have been out. Since the number of runs a player scores and how they get out are measures of their own playing ability, independent of their teammates, batting average is a good metric for an individual player's skill as a batter; the number is simple to interpret intuitively. If all the batter's innings were completed, this is the average number of runs they score per innings. If they did not complete all their innings, this number is an estimate of the unknown average number of runs they score per innings; each player has several batting averages, with a different figure calculated for each type of match they play, a player's batting averages may be calculated for individual seasons or series, or at particular grounds, or against particular opponents, or across their whole career. Batting average has been used to gauge cricket players' relative skills since the 18th century.
Most players have career batting averages in the range of 20 to 40. This is the desirable range for wicket-keepers, though some fall short and make up for it with keeping skill; until a substantial increase in scores in the 21st century due to improved bats and smaller grounds among other factors, players who sustained an average above 50 through a career were considered exceptional, before the development of the heavy roller in the 1870s an average of 25 was considered good. All-rounders who are more prominent bowlers than batsmen average something between 20 and 30. 15 and under is typical for specialist bowlers. A small number of players have averaged less than 5 for a complete career, though a player with such an average is a liability unless an exceptional bowler as Alf Valentine, B. S. Chandrasekhar or Glenn McGrath were. Career records for batting average are subject to a minimum qualification of 20 innings played or completed, in order to exclude batsmen who have not played enough games for their skill to be reliably assessed.
Under this qualification, the highest Test batting average belongs to Australia's Sir Donald Bradman, with 99.94. Given that a career batting average over 50 is exceptional, that only five other players have averages over 60, this is an outstanding statistic; the fact that Bradman's average is so far above that of any other cricketer has led several statisticians to argue that, statistically at least, he was the greatest athlete in any sport. Disregarding this 20 innings qualification, the highest career test batting average is 112, by Andy Ganteaume, a Trinidadian Keeper-batsman, dismissed for 112 in his only test innings. Batting averages in One Day International cricket tend to be lower than in Test cricket, because of the need to score runs more and take riskier strokes and the lesser emphasis on building a large innings, it should be remembered in relation to the ODI histogram above, that there were no ODI competitions when Bradman played. If a batter has been dismissed in every single innings this statistic gives the average number of runs they score per innings.
However, for a batter with innings which finished not out, the true average number of runs they score per innings is unknown as it is not known how many runs they would have scored if they could have completed all their not out innings. This statistic is an estimate of the average number of runs. If their scores have a geometric distribution this statistic is the maximum likelihood estimate of their true unknown average. Batting averages can be affected by the number of not outs. For example, Phil Tufnell, noted for his poor batting, has an respectable ODI average of 15, despite a highest score of only 5 not out, as he scored an overall total of 15 runs from 10 innings, but was out only once. A batter who has not been dismissed in any of the innings over which their average is being calculated does not have a batting average, as dividing by zero does not give a result. Highest career batting averages in Test matches. Table shows players with at least 20 innings completed. * denotes not out. Last updated: 14 October 2018.
Highest career batting averages in First-class cricket as follows: Source: Cricinfo Statsguru. Table shows players with at least 50 innings batted, note this table has no requirement for minimum number of runs scored. * denotes not out. Last updated: 10 November 2018. Alternative measures of batting effectiveness have been developed, including: Strike rate measures a different concept to batting average – how the batter scores – so it does not supplant the role of batting average, it is used in limited overs matches, where the speed at which a batter scores is more important than it is in first-class cricket. A system of player rankings was developed to produce a better indication of players' current standings than is provided by comparing their averages. Cricket statistics Batting average Bowling average
Tamil Canadians are Canadians of Tamil ethnic origins from Sri Lanka. From a population of fewer than 150 Tamils in 1983, it has become one of the largest visible minority population groups within the Greater Toronto Area. In the 1991 census, Tamils were the fastest-growing ethnic group in the city. Canada's Tamil population is thought to constitute the 2nd largest Sri Lankan diaspora in the world with Toronto being home to the 2nd largest Tamil community outside of Asia. With the outbreak of riots and eventual civil war in Sri Lanka in 1983, Tamil migration to Canada increased significantly. In 2000, Sri Lanka was the sixth largest source country of immigrants to Canada, sending 5,841 people or 2.57% of Canada's immigrant total. Between 1991 and 2001, Sri Lanka was the fifth largest source country of immigrants to Canada, after China, the Philippines, Hong Kong. Between 2001 and 2010 Sri Lanka's rank dropped to 17 in the list of immigrant source countries to Canada. Well behind the major source countries China and Philippines.
In 2010 immigrants from Sri Lanka consisted of only 1.4% of Canada's immigrant total of 280,681. Most permanent residents from Sri Lanka came as either independent immigrants, refugees, or family class sponsored immigrants. Refugee claimants are an independent category of Tamils from Sri Lanka who arrived in Canada and are claiming protection under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. After 2001 there have been no Government of private sponsored Tamil refugees to Canada. There are 141,074 UNHCR recognized Tamil refugees in non-signatory countries. There are a total of 589,639 refugees from Sri Lanka in 2011 who have registered with the UNHCR in non-signatory countries. Much of the Tamil language media in Canada is based in Toronto, while some centres operate in Montreal. A community magazine, Thamizhar Mathiyil, has been published since 1990 and has grown to several hundred pages in length. Ten alternative weekly Tamil language newspapers are distributed in Toronto and Montreal; the Monsoon Journal and the Tamil Mirror are English language newspapers created and targeted at Tamils.
Four Tamil language radio stations broadcast out of Montreal as well. Three Tamil language television stations are based in Toronto. Various political and religious organizations exists among the Tamil Canadian community. One such organization is Canadian Tamil Congress, which works as a community and lobby group to communicate on behalf of some Tamil Canadians at the municipal, provincial and international levels; the Canadian Tamil Congress is largest of these organizations with 11 chapters in the country. The smaller organizations are geared towards organizing kin and village groups from Sri Lanka, as well as supporting various political parties such as the Liberal Party of Canada, New Democratic Party and Conservative Party of Canada. Tamil candidates have participated in the political process representing various parties at municipal and federal level. In 2011, Rathika Sitsabaiesan was elected as the first Tamil-Canadian Member of Parliament, as a New Democrat in Scarborough-Rouge River.
Logan Kanapathi was the first Tamil Canadian candidate to win election to large municipal government. He serves his second term as Ward 7 councilor in the town of Markham. Many Hindu Temples have been built by the community to cater to its religious needs. Hindu Youth Network, an organization founded by Sri Lankan Tamils, is the largest Hindu youth movement in Canada with thousands of Hindu Tamil students and over 80% of the Hindu student groups in the country under its umbrella. There are Christian churches that cater to the Tamil community in Canada. Tamil Canadians have run multiple campaigns encouraging the donation of blood to the Canadian Blood Services organized by various Canadian Tamil organizations; the community undertook a recent campaign to help SickKids Hospital, which treats 100,000 children every year. These campaigns were organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress, with the support of many social and community organizations; some campaigns and non-profit charities in the Canadian Tamil community have been linked to the funding of the LTTE, a designated terrorist organization in Canada.
A unanimous decision was made at the House of Commons on October 5, 2016 declaring the month of January as Tamil Heritage Month under M-24. The motion will "recognize the contributions that Tamil-Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of the Tamil language and culture, the importance of educating and reflecting upon Tamil heritage for future generations by declaring January, every year, Tamil Heritage Month.". Canada has attracted a number of internationally renowned writers from Sri Lanka, including Shyam Selvadurai. Despite his family's relative privilege and urban base, his family left Sri Lanka because of the 1983 riots. Canadian Tamils have contributed to the sports fields such as the ranked Canadian tennis player Sonya Jeyaseelan and cricketer Sanjayan Thuraisingam. Pradeeban Peter-Paul a Tamil Canadian table tennis player has been part of the Canadian National Team for the past 12 years, he was one of two Canadians who qualified to represent Canada at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
Soccer and cricket are two of the main sports played by the Tamil population in Canada. A law named "Tamil Heritage Month Act, 2014" was passed by the Ontario government to proclaim January as Tamil heritage month; this law is for remembering and educating future generations abou
Fast bowling is one of two main approaches to bowling in the sport of cricket, the other being spin bowling. Practitioners of pace bowling are known as fast bowlers, quicks, or pacemen, they can be referred to as a seam bowler or a'fast bowler who can swing it' to reflect the predominant characteristic of their deliveries. Speaking, a pure swing bowler does not need to have a high degree of pace, though dedicated medium-pace swing bowlers are seen at Test level these days; the aim of fast bowling is to deliver the ball in such a fashion as to cause the batsman to make a mistake. The bowler achieves this by making the hard cricket ball deviate from a predictable, linear trajectory at a speed that limits the time the batsman has to compensate for it. For deviation caused by the ball's stitching, the ball bounces off the pitch and deflects either away from the batsman's body, or inwards towards them. Swing bowlers on the other hand use the seam of the ball but in a different way. To'bowl swing' is to induce a curved trajectory of the cricket ball through the air.
Swing bowlers use a combination of seam orientation, body position at the point of release, asymmetric ball polishing, variations in delivery speed to affect an aerodynamic influence on the ball. The ability of a bowler to induce lateral deviation or'sideways movement' make it difficult for the batsman to address the flight of the ball accurately. Beyond this ability to create an unpredictable path of ball trajectory, the fastest bowlers can be potent by delivering a ball at such a rate that a batsman fails to react either or at all. A typical fast delivery has a speed in the range of 137–153 km/h, it is possible for a bowler to concentrate on speed when young, but as fast bowlers mature they pick up new skills and tend to rely more on swing bowling or seam bowling techniques. Most fast bowlers specialise in one of these two areas and are sometimes categorised as swing or seam bowler. However, this classification is not satisfactory because the categories are not mutually exclusive and a skilled bowler bowls a mixture of fast, swinging and cutting balls—even if he prefers one style to the others.
For simplicity, it is common to subdivide fast bowlers according to the average speed of their deliveries, as follows. There is a degree of subjectivity in the usage of these terms. For comparison, most spin bowlers in professional cricket bowl at average speeds of 70 to 90 km/h. Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Jeff Thomson and Mitchell Starc have clocked over 160 km/h and are categorised as "Ultra Fast" bowlers although bowling at speeds lower than this mark. While Steven Finn is classified as a fast-medium bowler by Cricinfo, he can bowl at around 145 km/h, with his fastest clocked at 151.9 km/h, making him the 10th fastest amongst active bowlers as of 3 January 2015 The first thing a fast bowler needs to do is to grip the ball correctly. The basic fast bowling grip to achieve maximum speed is to hold the ball with the seam upright and to place the index and middle fingers close together at the top of the seam with the thumb gripping the ball at the bottom of the seam; the image to the right shows the correct grip.
The first two fingers and the thumb should hold the ball forward of the rest of the hand, the other two fingers should be tucked into the palm. The ball is held quite loosely so. Other grips are possible, result in different balls – see swing and seam bowling below; the bowler holds their other hand over the hand gripping the ball until the latest possible moment so that the batsman cannot see what type of ball is being bowled. A fast bowler needs to take a longer run-up toward the wicket than a spinner, due to the need to generate the momentum and rhythm required to bowl a fast delivery. Fast bowlers measure their preferred run up in strides, mark the distance from the wicket, it is important for the bowler to know how long the run-up is because it must terminate behind the popping crease. A bowler who steps on or beyond this has bowled a no-ball, which affords the batsman immunity from dismissal, adds one run to the batting team's score, forces the bowler to bowl another ball in the over. At the end of the run-up the bowler brings his lead foot down on the pitch with the knee as straight as possible.
This can be dangerous due to the pressure it places on the joint. Knee injuries are not uncommon amongst fast bowlers: for example, the English pace bowler David Lawrence was sidelined for many months after splitting his kneecap in two; the pressure on the leading foot is such that some fast bowlers cut the front off their shoes to stop their toes from being injured as they are pressed against the inside of the shoe. The bowler brings the bowling arm up over their head and releases the ball at the height appropriate to where they want the ball to pitch. Again, the arm must be straight though this is a stipulation of the laws of cricket rather than an aid to speed. Bending the elbow and "chucking" the ball would make it too easy for the bowler to aim at the batsman's wicket and get them out. Fast bowlers tend to have an action that leaves them either side-on or chest-on at the end of the run up. A chest-on bowler has chest and hips aligned towards the batsman at the instant of back foot contact, while a side-on bowler has chest and hips aligned at ninety degrees to the batsman at the instant of back foot contact.
West Indian bowler Malcolm Marshall was a c