Pradeep Mathew's amazing deliveries
  Webpage dedicated to the varied talents of Pradeep Mathew: Sri Lanka's greatest unsung cricketer.
  The Googly  

By the time he was selected for the Sri Lanka squad in 1984, Pradeep had perfected the googly. A ball that looks like a chinaman, but turns the other way. To pursue the racial metaphor, beneath the veneer of a benign Chinaman lurks a hungry Turk with a machete.

Invented by English slow bowler Bernard Bosanquet at the turn of the century, the googly was initially seen as a dishonest sleight of hand, as “not quite cricket.” Today it is acknowledged as one of the game’s most brilliant inventions.

Pitch a googly around middle stump after bowling a succession of chinaman deliveries and you can slice a batsman in half, if lucky, clipping his glove or the bails of the wicket. To have a ball do the opposite of what you expect is unnerving.

Mathew delivered the googly from the back of his hand with the seam turning the other way. The googly accounted for all three wickets that he took in his debut against India.

A chinaman spinner can ply a decent trade with a stock ball and a googly. These variations provide enough succour to sustain an average first-class career. Mathew had both mastered by his 20th birthday and, over the next ten years, would develop 12 other deliveries in a career that boasted many highlights, but few accolades.

  << Back  
         Articles (c)W.G. Karunasena.