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In the sport of
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
, a bouncer (or bumper) is a type of short-pitched
delivery Delivery may refer to: *Delivery (commerce), of goods, e.g.: **Pizza delivery **Milk delivery Film and television *Delivering (film), ''Delivering'' (film), a 1993 short film by Todd Field *Delivery (film), ''Delivery'' (film), a 2005 animated sho ...
, usually
bowled In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cri ...
by a fast bowler, which bounces once and then reaches the batsman at head-height.


Usage

Bouncers are used to drive the batsman back on to his back foot if he has been freely playing front foot scoring shots, such as drives. To this end, bouncers are usually directed more or less at the
line Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * ''The Line'' (2017 film) * ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line'', a 2009 independent film by Nancy Schwartzman Lite ...
of the batsman's body. Aiming at the batsman is legal provided the ball bounces on the pitch; or upon reaching the batsman, the ball is below the batsman's waist. Aiming at the batsman's head without bouncing on the pitch, known as a beamer, is illegal. A batsman may play a bouncer in either a defensive or an attacking way. If the batsman plays it defensively he aims primarily to avoid getting out, and secondarily to avoid being hit by the ball. For a head-high bouncer, these goals are achieved most easily by ducking under the ball. If the ball is at chest height, the batsman's best defence is to move on to his back foot, raise his bat vertically to chest height, and attempt to block the ball and direct it downwards to the pitch so as to avoid presenting a catch to a fielder. Sometimes the batsman will need to jump into the air to gain the necessary height to defend with the bat. He may also sway out of the way. Given these approaches, the bowler can hope to both intimidate the batsman somewhat, and possibly have the ball deflect off the bat at an awkward angle and produce a catch for a nearby fielder. Conversely, the bouncer can be a very productive ball for the batsman, if he plays it in an attacking manner. The shot that is used to attack the bouncer is the
hook shot In basketball, a hook shot is a play in which the offensive player, usually turned perpendicular to the basket, gently throws the ball with a sweeping motion of the arm farther from the basket in an upward arc with a follow-through which ends ove ...
. To play the hook shot the batsman moves his back foot backwards and towards the off side as the ball is being delivered. As the ball approaches, the batsman swivels from facing the off side to facing the leg side, while holding the bat horizontally. The batsman's aim is to hit the ball at high speed towards, into or over the leg side boundary. However, despite their run-scoring potential, hook shots frequently lead to wickets falling, particularly through balls hitting the top edge of the bat and being caught by leg side fielders. However, if the bouncer is misdirected by the bowler, and reaches the batsman on the off side of his wicket, the cut, uppercut or late cut can be played, either with the intention of guiding the ball along the ground, through a gap in the field setting or over the infield for four or six. There is an unspoken agreement, particularly in the time before the widespread use of batting helmets, that fast bowlers will not bowl bouncers at each other, because less skilled batsmen are less likely to effectively defend and therefore more likely to be struck. Breaking of this rule can lead to "bouncer wars" – that is, the targeted bowler engaging in retaliatory hostile short-pitched bowling at his opponent during the following innings. The delivery is primarily used by fast bowlers, however, during a BBL match between the
Hobart Hurricanes The Hobart Hurricanes are an Australian professional men's Twenty20, T20 franchise cricket team based in Tasmania, Australia. They compete in Australia's domestic Twenty20, T20 cricket competition known as the Big Bash League, which is a league ...
and
Melbourne Renegades The Melbourne Renegades are an Australian professional men's Twenty20 franchise cricket team based in the Australian state of Victoria (Australia), Victoria. They compete in the Australian Twenty20 cricket competition, the Big Bash League. The ...
in 2020, Hurricanes
leg-spinner . Image:slow left arm small.gif, A leg spin or leg break delivery bowled from wikt:around the wicket, around the wicket. Leg spin is a type of spin bowling in cricket. A leg spinner bowls right-arm with a wrist spin action. The leg spinner's norm ...

leg-spinner
Qais Ahmad Qais Ahmad ( ps, ; born 15 August 2000) is an Afghan cricketer. He made his Test cricket, Test match debut for the Afghanistan national cricket team, Afghanistan cricket team in September 2019. Domestic career Qais Ahmad made his senior cricket ...
bowled a 121
km/h The kilometre per hour ( SI symbol: km/h; abbreviations: kph, kmph, km/hr) is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, a di ...
bouncer to the Renegades'
Shaun Marsh Shaun Edward Marsh (born 9 July 1983) is an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a ...

Shaun Marsh
. It came as a surprise to keeper
Ben McDermott Benjamin Reginald McDermott (born 12 December 1994) is an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricke ...
, who, standing up to the stumps, could not react fast enough to catch the ball and thus conceded four byes.


ICC rules

Because of the potential danger to batsmen of being hit and to stop bowlers bowling bouncers all the time, there are Laws in the
Laws of Cricket The ''Laws of Cricket'' is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two oppos ...
governing how frequently a bowler may bowl bouncers, as well as how many fielders may field backward of square leg. These laws take into account the relative skill of the batsmen. During the 1970s to 1980s, bouncers were used as part of a team's intimidatory tactics, especially by the West Indies team. In 1991, the
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
(ICC) introduced a "one bouncer per batsman per over" rule in an attempt to discourage the use of intimidation. However, the ruling was not well received by players and umpires alike, with English
umpire An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or Mandate (politics), mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual Office, working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exe ...
Dickie Bird Harold Dennis "Dickie" Bird, (born 19 April 1933) is an English retired international Umpire (cricket), cricket umpire. During his long umpiring career, he became a much-loved figure among players and viewing public, due to his excellence as ...
describing it as "farcical" as he felt that calling intimidatory tactics should be left to the umpire. The ICC changed it to two bouncers per over in 1994, with a two-run no-ball penalty (rather than one-run no-ball) if the bowler exceeded two bouncers an over. One Day International cricket allowed one bouncer per over in 2001 (and a one-run no-ball in case a bowler exceeded the limit). On 29 October 2012 the ICC increased the number of bouncers that could be bowled during a One Day International to two per over. The number of bouncers per over allowed in T20s was kept to one.


Controversies

Fast leg theory, the deliberate and sustained bowling of bouncers aimed at the body, coupled with a cordon of legside catching fieldsmen to catch deflections, was a tactic used by
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
against
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
in 1932/33, dubbed the
Bodyline Bodyline, also known as fast leg theory bowling, was a cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in whic ...

Bodyline
series by the Australians. This controversial tactic caused the
Laws of Cricket The ''Laws of Cricket'' is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two oppos ...
to be reformed to prevent any recurrence. In 1954–55 in Sydney, England fast bowler
Frank Tyson Frank may refer to: People As a name * Frank (given name) Frank is a masculine given name. While ''Frank'' has been a European name in its own right, the given name in the English-speaking United States arose in the 20th century as a shor ...
bowled bouncers at Australian
Ray Lindwall Raymond Russell Lindwall (3 October 1921 – 23 June 1996) was a cricketer who represented Australia national cricket team, Australia in 61 Test cricket, Tests from 1946 to 1960. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowling, fast b ...

Ray Lindwall
, who returned the favour by hospitalising Tyson with one of his own. An angry Tyson returned with a large lump on his head and took 6/85 in the second innings to give England a 38-run victory. In 1994 at the Oval
Devon Malcolm Devon Eugene Malcolm (born 22 February 1963) is a former English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pi ...
was hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Fanie de Villiers. The incensed Malcolm told the South Africans "You guys are history" and took apart their second innings with 9/57.


Injuries and deaths caused by bouncers

The bouncer is an aggressive delivery and the very nature of the delivery by a fast bowler and aimed at the head can lead to batsmen being hit in the chest, neck or head. In 1962, Indian captain
Nari Contractor Nariman Jamshedji "Nari" Contractor (born 7 March 1934, Godhra, Gujarat Gujarat (, ) is a state on the western coast of India with a coastline of – most of which lies on the Kathiawar peninsula – and a population of 60.4 milli ...
was hit above his right ear by a
Charlie Griffith Sir Charles Christopher Griffith (born 14 December 1938) is a West Indian former cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a ...
bouncer which resulted in severe loss of blood and left Contractor critically ill. He regained full consciousness after six days and returned to first-class cricket ten months later. In 2006, playing in his 100th test, Australian opener
Justin Langer Justin Lee Langer (born 21 November 1970) is an Australian cricket coach and former cricketer. He is the current coach of the Australia national cricket team, Australia men's national team, having been appointed to the role in May 2018. A left- ...

Justin Langer
was struck on the head by a bouncer from
Makhaya Ntini Makhaya Ntini OIS (born 6 July 1977) is a South African former professional cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cric ...

Makhaya Ntini
and hospitalised. In 2008
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
batsman
Shivnarine Chanderpaul Shivnarine "Shiv" Chanderpaul (born 16 August 1974) is a Guyanese people, Guyanese former cricketer of Indian people, Indian descent and former West Indian international cricketer and captain of the West Indies cricket team. Considered one of the ...

Shivnarine Chanderpaul
was knocked out for several minutes after being hit by a bouncer from Australian
fast bowler Pace bowling (also referred to as fast bowling) is one of two main approaches to bowling (cricket), bowling in the sport of cricket, the other being spin bowling. Practitioners of pace bowling are usually known as ''fast'' bowlers, ''quicks'', o ...

fast bowler
Brett Lee Brett Lee (born 8 November 1976) is an Australian former international cricketer, who played all three formats of the game. During his international career, Lee was recognised as one of the fastest bowlers in the world. In each of his first two ...

Brett Lee
during a test match.
Shoaib Akhtar Shoaib Akhtar (; born 13 August 1975) is a Pakistani former cricketer and commentator who is regarded as one of the fastest bowler in history of international cricket International cricket matches are played between teams representing their ...

Shoaib Akhtar
injured both
Gary Kirsten Gary Kirsten (born 23 November 1967) is a South African cricket coach and former cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a ...
(2003) and
Brian Lara Brian Charles Lara, (born 2 May 1969) is a Trinidadian Trinidadians and Tobagonians, colloquially known as Trinis or Trinbagonians, are the people who are identified with the country of Trinidad and Tobago. The country is home to peopl ...
(2004) with fast bouncers. Both batsmen had to be taken off the field. In November 2014, Australian cricketer
Phillip Hughes Phillip Joel Hughes (30 November 1988 – 27 November 2014) was an Australian Test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abilities ...
was knocked unconscious by a bouncer from
Sean Abbott Sean Anthony Abbott (born 29 February 1992) is an Australian professional cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a ...

Sean Abbott
, which hit the side of his head, between the grille and shell of his helmet, during a
Sheffield Shield The Sheffield Shield (currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Marsh Sheffield Shield) is the domestic first-class cricket competition of Australia. The tournament is contested between teams from the six states of Australia. Sheffield Shi ...
match. He was taken to hospital in a critical condition, suffering from a
subarachnoid haemorrhage Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is bleeding Bleeding, also known as a hemorrhage, haemorrhage, or simply blood loss, is blood escaping from the circulatory system from damaged blood vessels. Bleeding can occur internally, or externally eithe ...

subarachnoid haemorrhage
, but died from his injuries two days later, never having regained consciousness. During the semifinal of the
2019 Cricket World Cup The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup was the 12th Cricket World Cup The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup) is the international championship The International Championship is a professional Snooker world rankings ...
, against
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
, Alex Carey injured his chin from a deadly bouncer of
Jofra Archer Jofra Chioke Archer (born 1 April 1995) is a Barbadian-born English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch ...
. The resulting blow knocked the helmet off Carey's head, who caught it mid-air, saving himself from dismissal. During the second test of the
2019 Ashes Series The 2019 Ashes series (officially the Specsavers Ashes Series for sponsorship reasons) was a series of Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration and is considered the game's highest sta ...
, Australian batsman
Steve SmithStephen, Steve, Stevie, Stevin, or Steven Smith may refer to: Academics *Steve Smith (political scientist) (born 1952), British international relations theorist and senior university manager *Stephen Smith (journalist) (born 1956), American journal ...
was hit on the neck by a 92.4mph(148.7 Kmph) delivery from England fast bowler
Jofra Archer Jofra Chioke Archer (born 1 April 1995) is a Barbadian-born English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch ...
. After retiring concussed, Smith returned to play 45 minutes later. The Australian medical team's decision to let him play was criticised by the brain injury charity
Headway Headway is the distance or duration between vehicles in a transit system measured in space or time. The ''minimum headway'' is the shortest such distance or time achievable by a system without a reduction in the speed of vehicles. The precise defi ...
, as "incredibly dangerous". Smith's replacement,
Marnus Labuschagne Marnus Labuschagne ( or ; born 22 June 1994) is a South African-born Australian international cricketer who plays for the Australian national cricket team, Australian national team and domestic cricket for the Queensland cricket team. He also cu ...
, became the first concussion substitute in a Test match.


See also

*
Cricket terminology This is a general glossary __NOTOC__ A glossary (from grc, γλῶσσα / language, speech, wording) also known as a vocabulary or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge Domain knowledge is knowled ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Bouncer (Cricket) Cricket captaincy and tactics Bowling (cricket) Cricket terminology
fr:Lexique du cricket#B
fr:Lexique du cricket#B