St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Urban Legends St George's Park - Professor’s magic cricket ball makes Tysons out of schoolboys.
Professor’s magic cricket ball makes Tysons out of schoolboys.

For several years a professor at Sydney University, Australia, has been bowling leg swingers that would skittle an England side for less than 50.

And he is an Englishman.

Professor Arthur Veryam told the Daily Mail: “As a result of my researches it would be possible to produce a plastic cricket ball which would be a fast bowler’s dream-child.

Oom Danie Says
That professor's swing ball would certainly lead the batsmen a dance.
“Its seam could outlast a match and could be so made that a leg swinger could be within the reach of schoolboys.”

Professor Stephens is holidaying in Bristol before taking up the chair of aerodynamics at Queens University, Belfast.

All his bowling in Australia was done in a wind tunnel. He is investigating the behaviour of aircraft but the sideline of the perfect cricket ball for a fast bowler fascinated him.

He revealed that when Tyson and Statham were bowling in New Zealand radar measurements were made of their speed.

It was found that the ball was hurled at batsmen at 130 ft a second - and it was this speed which the professor re-created in his tunnel.

Then he rolled a cricket ball down a rail to create the normal spin of a ball leaving the bowler’s hand.

As the ball dropped into the wind tunnel a cine camera recorded the amount of swing.

“We proved beyond doubt,” said the professor, “that a ball can be made to swing very late indeed - that is within a few inches of his bat.

“That is something which the human eye has never been able to detect.”

The professor also proved that a following slightly crosswind is the ideal condition for a fast bowler who wants to create swing and that the variation of as little as one-thousandth of an inch in the seam of the ball can make a vast difference to the amount of swing produced.

Evening Post
September 3, 1956.

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