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Thursday, September 23, 2021

the fastest bowler ! and 6 byes !!

Today at  Abu Dhabi, KKR won the toss, put MI in and opened the attack with Nitish Rana and VArun Chakravarthi, the 3rd over was bowled by Sunil Narine  .. .. and then came the quickie Lockie Ferguson – a  right-arm quick with a good bouncer, capable of hitting 150 kmph, he was fast and furious !  MI after a great start managed 155/6.

Who is the fastest bowler ever ?  that was R Balasundaram’s Q on FB today – it read : Arguably the fastest bowler ever to have played cricket, never played in Tests. This despite scoring over 4000 plus first class runs and taking over 450 wickets. He is supposed to be the only bowler to have conceded 6 byes albeit in club cricket... The ball after one bounce in front of the stumps took off straight and landed outside the boundary without a second bounce. Who was he?

The  fastest Indian  perhaps could be  – Kapil Dev, TA Sekhar, Yograj Singh, Varun Aaron, Javgal Srinath, Jasprit Bumrah,  Navdeep Saini, Ishant Sharma !!! ..

Internationally –  Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillee,  Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Fidel Edwards, Shane Bond, Shaun Tait, Shoaib Akhtar, Brett Lee, Allan Donald  or the likes of Harold Larwood, Frank Tyson

.. .. .. yet there is one name, which most of us may not know – Charles Kortright

Charles Jesse Kortright (1871 – 1952)   was an English cricketer, who played for Essex and Free Foresters. In his obituary in the 1953 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, he was described as "probably the fastest bowler in the history of the game", a testimony fervently supported by countless of those who saw and faced him.

He took 489 wickets in first-class matches at an average of 21.05, with best innings figures of 8/57. (Many of Essex's matches prior to 1895, when they were admitted to the County Championship, were not first-class.) He was also a useful, hard-hitting batsman, with two first-class hundreds to his credit and an average of 17.61. He played as an amateur, having a private income which meant he did not need to work for a living. Unlike most other gentleman amateurs, Kortright trained hard and bowled fast off a long run-up. Though he never played Test cricket, he appeared for the Gentlemen in the Gentlemen v Players match which, in years when no Test team was touring England, was the most prestigious fixture of the season. John Arlott included him in his best XI never to play Test cricket for England.

Before concluding .. perhaps there cannot be a ‘6 Bye’ now -  when the ball passes the batsman – it is collected by the wicket keeper.  If   the wicket-keeper fumbles or misses the ball, the batsmen may be able to score runs safely. These runs are scored as byes – byes are  added to the team's total, but not to the numbers of runs scored by either batsman.

If the wicket-keeper misses the ball and it travels all the way to the boundary, the batting team scores four byes, just as if the batsman had hit the ball to the boundary for four runs. In the virtually impossible case that a bouncer bounces so high that it flies directly over the boundary without touching the ground, only 4 byes are awarded. One cannot score a boundary six in byes – nor in leg byes, wides or no-balls; a boundary six can only be scored if the ball has made contact with the bat or the hands or gloves holding it.

Here is what MCC rules says :  23.1 Byes

If the ball, delivered by the bowler, not being a Wide, passes the striker without touching his/her bat or person, any runs completed by the batters from that delivery, or a boundary allowance, shall be credited as Byes to the batting side. Additionally, if the delivery is a No ball, the one run penalty for such a delivery shall be incurred.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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