When I started this blog, I struggled to come up with a name that evoked the fascination I feel for the game of cricket. I didn’t want to write as the wrong’un, much as the googly would fit the bill – possibly the original mystery ball. Professor Bruce Charlton already had an excellent blog called the doosra.
So I went one further. After the doosra (the second, or “other” on), comes the third one, or “The Teesra”. Saqlain Mushtaq was reputed to be developing a new mystery delivery, back in 2004. At the time, it wasn’t really clear if this ball ever was ever bowled in anger, or even exactly what the delivery might be.
But a post on cricistan.com shows Saqlain bowling his “third one” (after the off break, and the doosra) in the 2008 ICL. [post no longer available; video clip removed from youtube for copyright violation]
It looks like a flipper – palm of the hand facing away from the bowler at the point of release, the ball flipped out beneath the fore-finger. And the video clip shows the result as a seemingly short delivery pitches much further up than expected, and skids on to trap him leg before.
So is this the new mystery ball? Or could it be Graeme Swann’s “gyro” arm ball?
It doesn’t really matter – so long as spin bowlers can keep coming up with new ways to take wickets, the game will stay as fascinating as ever.