In my long, long, long-ago cricketing and newspaper-writing days, it was clear to me when a bowler was pelting, and I used to have no hesitation in saying that the bowler was pelting. Jake Croker and Charles Chichester, however, both Chronicle sports writers of considerable eminence, preferred to use the more urbane term, “chucking.”
Imagine my delight, therefore, at reading the report by Mike Selvey in today’s edition of the British newspaper The Guardian when he came to talk about Amjad Khan’s bowling action during the third day of the cricket Test at Port-of-Spain.
Says Mike Selvey: “Fingers will be pointed at his [Amjad Khan’s] action (local spectators were calling him a ‘pelter’).”
And then Selvey provided this linguistic classic about Amjad Khan’s bowling action: “… but although to the naked eye it looks jerky, he has a pronounced wrist flick allied to a hyperextensive elbow, accentuated by the force put on it in bowling.”
Wherever they are, I hope that Chic and Jake take note, and add that description to that of our now unnamed colleague who used to insist that a spade was “an agricultural implement for the titurition [sic] of the soil.”
For me, when I see certain types of bowling action, I will go to my grave determined to say simply: “He pelting.”
George N Cave