parlance, a mullygrubber
is a ball
bowled so that it rolls along the ground towards the batsman. (A conventional ball leaves the bowl
er's hand and bounces once before reaching the batsman.) The Macquarie Dictionary defines mullygrubber
as "a poorly executed bowl which bounces twice or more", however the term is more commonly used (at least in Australia
) for a ball which is actually roll
ing. This is usually a result of bowling under-arm
, however unintentional mullygrubbers sometimes occur if the ball lands on an uneven patch of ground which stifles its bounce
The most famous and controversial mullygrubber in cricket history was bowled at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 1 February, 1981. The event was a 50-overs match between Australia and New Zealand, the third final in the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup. New Zealand needed fifteen runs in the final over to defeat Australia, and in the end batsman Brian McKechnie was required to score six runs from the last ball of the match. (For those uneducated in cricket, this means that he had to hit the ball so that it cleared (or at least collided with) the boundary fence without hitting the ground first.) Before the last ball was bowled, Australian captain Greg Chappell rather unsportingly instructed the bowler (his brother Trevor) to bowl underarm; the resultant mullygrubber gave McKechnie no chance of scoring the required boundary, and in this dirty fashion the match was won.
Bowling underarm is outlawed in modern cricket.