What is a Carrom Ball in Cricket?

Have you ever heard this term — Carrom Ball? No, I am not talking about the board game.

The carrom ball is a unique variation in the off-spinner’s armoury. But what is a carrom ball, and who invented it?

Well, let’s uncover the details about the carrom ball.

Carrom Ball: Flicking a Surprise to the Batters

Over the years, cricket has evolved a lot, and spinners are no exception. Off-spinners have also adapted with time and added different variations, with one of them being the carrom ball delivery.

The off-spinners use the carrom ball to surprise the batters and dismiss them. Renowned spinners like Ajantha Mendis and Ravichandran Ashwin have used it well to deceive the batters.

So, how is the carrom ball delivered?

The off-spinner holds the ball between their thumb, index finger, and bent middle finger. The bowler’s grip pretty much resembles to how a carrom player is about to flick the disc.

Just like anyone flicks the carrom disc, the off-spinner also flicks the ball in a similar way. 

Now the surprise element is in which direction the ball would turn. It depends on how the bowler grips the ball, and it can turn towards the leg side or off side, or go straight after pitching.

This characteristic makes it a lethal variation a bowler can possess. And the carrom ball can give off-spinners some crucial wickets.

Who Invented the Carrom Ball?

The origin of the carrom ball dates back to the 1950s, and Australia’s Jack Iverson was the brainchild behind it. Iverson used this variation effectively while playing for Australia in Tests after the Second World War.

Later, another spinner from his country, John Gleeson, had the variation in his arsenal during the 1960s. After that, the variation disappeared, like it didn’t exist at all.

In the late 1990s, Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath brought back the carrom ball in the cricketing scene, however, he also didn’t utilise it much. Then came the mystery spinner from Sri Lanka, Ajantha Mendis, who wreaked havoc on the opposition with his precise carrom balls.

And now Ravi Ashwin and Sunil Narine are among the best exponents of carrom ball delivery.

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