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Speed Guns

Two part article.
With the advent of speed guns i sometimes wonder what speeds were some of the bowling greats -- Botham, Hadlee, Garner, Holding, Marshall etc.

Botham i would guess mid 80s with a faster ball of late 80s.

Care to guess.

2nd part - how reliable are the speed guns. Often seems the bowler is putting in real effort, but the gun records low 80s and vice versa, This discrepancy has been picked up by commentators.

Bit of a nothing article really, but though i would get it off my chest.

comment by Kharse (U18276)

posted on 8/9/13

Just speculating without fact is one thing and being measured and tested is quite another.
You would say Ryan Harris is way quickerrr than Chris woakes the last ashes test(same test mind).
There's more to the Speed of a cricket ball than meets the eye.
There is lot of Optical illusion involved you know.
Who knows Jeff could be a mere 82 mph bowler,or may be not.
Of all the bowlers i've looked at without checking the meter,Shoib akhtar is the quickest, exagerrated by his marathon run up and his hair flying back as if he was riding a motorbike in a highway without helmet.

posted on 8/9/13

and to add to that, there is no way bowlers of 70s and 80s are quicker than bowlers of now. Just look at how much facilities they get. All bowlers have good physios, technologies, gym and so many body conditioning equipments around. It would be stupid to say bowlers back then were quicker then bowlers now.

posted on 9/9/13

Akhtar and Lee were probably the last of the super quicks that bowled spells above 95mph. Unfortunately both suffered injuries throughout there career due to them putting there body on the line. Bowling coaches now won't allow bowlers to bowl like this which is a shame because there is nothing more exciting in cricket than seeing a quick bowler steaming in.

posted on 9/9/13

Mitchell Johnson looked dam quick yesterday. One delivery nearly blew the keeper back to the boundary.

Kharse/Viru - Agree with both your comments. Personally i think Thommo was very quick looking at Video footage. Still think Aktar in his pomp was quick so was Waqar Younis and Lee.

posted on 9/9/13

Wasnt a long time ago Tino Best / Edwards were both bowling 90 - 95 mph at the England openers. Well that's if the speed guns are to be trusted.

Another thing i have never quite worked out is what makes a Fast, Fast Medium, Medium Fast, Medium bowler. Any guesses.

Bumble keeps banging on about speed saying that 80mph wasn't quick enough for international cricket then Broad/Anderson/Bresnan were all bowling around 80mph for England. Admittedly of late they have all gained a yard of pace so it may have have been a David Saker tactic.

posted on 9/9/13

Older people talk about Frank Tyson bowling faster in the 50's than any man in history before or since. The ability to bowl fast at say 90 MPH is something you are born with. I am not sure if training and diet would add an awful lot to your speed. It may mean you could sustain it for longer however.

posted on 11/9/13

You can estimate the speeds by watching video as we know the distance the ball has travelled and we can time it. We can calculate the average speed and then extrapolate to the point at which the ball leaves the bowler's hand.

Av. speed = distance / time
The distance will be the hypotenuse of the crease length and the bowler's arm height (assuming 8ft)
Av. speed = 17.84 metres from crease to crease ie the bolwer's hand to the batsman / time taken

I have done some rough estimates from Youtube and Sir Richard Hadlee bowled at an average of 85.51mph based on three balls to Ian Botham

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HR7EGbzV3Y

Michael Holding bowled at an average of 102.33mph based on two balls to Ian Botham

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aHSarzMLb4

Ian Botham bowled at an average of 95.02mph based on three balls to Australian batsmen

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNUIsMNxGpM

If the radar readings are taken from the ball leaving the hand, then we should increase the speed that I have given as the ball will decelerate due to friction

Therefore, assuming the video is played at the correct speed, from these figures, it would seem the bowlers of yesteryear did bowl at similar speeds. Whether they could keep up the speeds or if these few balls are typical of their bowling, that is the question but they look fast enough to me.

posted on 11/9/13

You can see in this video of Michael Holding to Geoff Boycott that Geoffrey barely has time to react and so it wouldn't surprise me if it was over 100mph.


posted on 11/9/13

Good work son - how are you recording the time it has taken for the ball to go crease to crease?

Just on optical them West Indies bowlers were quicker than a lot of what we see today. Had a quick browse for Patrick Pattterson. He was brutal. Apparently it was down to holding & patterson who was the quickest.

posted on 20/9/13

Botham was never a 95mph bowler. They called him beef for a reason

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