Before considering some of the individual bowlers featured in Beldam & Fry’s Great Bowlers & Fielders (henceforth Great Bowlers), I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the range of bowling styles that would have been on display in the early 1900s.
In 1906, the photographer and former cricketer George Beldam and sportsman, politician, diplomat, academic, teacher, writer, editor and publisher (from his profile on Wikipedia!) C.B. Fry published “Great Bowlers and Fielders: Their Methods at a Glance” ), a collection of Beldam’s ground-breaking action photographs of bowlers (and fielders) of the Edwardian age with Fry’s commentary and analysis.
In a series of staged images, Beldam and Fry gave a unique insight into how bowlers actually bowled (or thought they bowled ) in the 1900s.
And I believe that there is a lot to be learned today from a closer analysis of Great Bowlers and Fielders (henceforth GBF) .
This piece is slightly modified from a paper submitted to an online course on the scientific revolution of the 17th century. The article was an excursion into twin obsessions of mine — over-elaboration and an exploration of coaching pedagogy, explicitly, what works, and why.
My conclusion was that the scientific revolution legitimised the question as a tool for learning. From observation (“what’s going on out there?”) to hypothesis (“is this what’s happening?”) via experiment (“is my hypothesis correct?”) and on to a new understanding (or another question).
And that sounds rather like the model for coaching (and, more pertinently, learning) that I can subscribe to.