How to Throw a Cricket Ball – Perfecting the Bullet Throw

Throwing is a technique and it’s not just about how fast you release and how far the ball travels so let’s take a closer look at this important part of the game.

How to Throw a Cricket Ball Properly

This is a fielding technique that can help get an edge over the batting team. Throwing the cricket ball properly keeps batsmen alert to the danger and can make the difference in those tight run out calls.

Here’s the procedure, laid out in a step by step process:

  • Step 1. Collect the ball in both hands and stand sideways to your target. (In a match situation this would be the stumps or the keeper’s gloves.) Now move your throwing arm back behind your head.
  • Step 2. Now it’s time to bring that throwing arm through: The arm will swing forward and, it’s important to remember that the elbow should be level or higher than your throwing shoulder.

To help with power, your wrist should be behind and outside of the line of that elbow.

  • Step 3. This is the point where you release the ball: As you do so, make sure that both of your feet remain planted on the ground while your chest faces the target.

As you let go of the ball, those feet will help with your balance while the position of the chest assists with direction.

  • Step 4. The follow through helps with power and accuracy so the final step is just as important as the previous three. As you swing the throwing arm through, both of your arms should finish behind the opposite hip.

Keep your head and eyes focused on the target.

In general, think of a baseball pitcher and how important they are to their team. Interestingly, the two techniques are very similar but, in cricket, we’re just looking to throw the ball that much further.

If you throw flat, fast and accurately, you are an asset to your team and it’s always helpful if you want to retain your place and be considered a vital part of that side.

What is a Bullet Throw?

A bullet throw comes in fast and flat and it’s so called because its trajectory is similar to that of a bullet. There may be a late dip as the throw arrives at its destination but otherwise, this is a flat trajectory from the moment it leaves the fielder’s hand.

A bullet throw is also very flat and will hit the wicket keeper’s gloves or the bowler’s hand without them having to move. Power and accuracy are key while practise will also help you to perfect the trajectory needed to master this technique.

How to Warm Up and Prepare for Throwing

Proper warm ups are important for any aspect of cricket and throwing is no exception. If you throw ‘cold’ with the appropriate muscles unprepared then you can risk injury.

In regards to throwing and, for many other cricket drills, the most important warm up exercises involve stretching. This helps to keep the muscles warm and flexible, effectively lengthening them ahead of the match or the practise session.

The plan here is to get the throwing shoulder properly warmed up and ready for that perfect bullet throw. If it is cold and the muscles are shorter before the game, those shoulder muscles will also be weaker and, at the very least, you can be left feeling sore and stiff.

How to Throw a Cricket Ball

Throwing Drills

From those elementary stretching exercises, you can now move on to practise some throwing drills. Underarm throwing at stumps or cones can help you to get that arm nice and loose and then you can move on to something more strenuous.

Start to throw overarm at the target and move back so that your stumps or cones are further away. It helps you, and your teammates and coaches if you have a net to trap the balls so that they aren’t subsequently scattered all over the field.

Visualization can be important for any drill in cricket and many find it useful for throwing the ball. Imagine launching that ball, flat and fast, with perfect accuracy into the stumps or the wicket keeper’s gloves.

Keep those images in your head and run through the scenario several times in your mind. It’s not something that everyone believes in but, at the very least, this type of visualization technique can help you go into a game of cricket with a positive mindset and that’s certainly not a bad attitude to have.

cricket Bullet Throw

How to Use a Slip Cradle

A slip cradle is a piece of equipment which is known, primarily, for helping slip fielders to practise their catching. However, it can also be useful for practising throwing. Stand away from the equipment and throw the ball into the cradle.

Keep practising those throws, moving back each time until you feel like you may be on the boundary edge. The cradle now becomes a target for you to aim at and to practise your accuracy.

This drill can also help your teammates with their catching although, if you are throwing in from a distance, they will need to stand much further away from the cradle.

Further Tips on Throwing a Cricket Ball

Outside of a match situation those steps can be practised in the nets or on the outfield and they can help you to perfect that bullet throw technique.

  • Be sure to stretch properly before a game and get those shoulder muscles nice and loose
  • Follow each of those four steps until you are comfortable and the throwing process feels natural
  • Make sure your feet, shoulders and hips are in line and directed towards the target
  • To build up strength, seek out heavier balls and work through your practise drills
  • To take that further, research into strength training to develop those key muscles
  • Use the slip cradle for catching and throwing drills with your teammates
  • Point your fingers at the target as you let go of the ball
  • Practise, practise and practise.