Sat | Aug 8, 2020

Orville Taylor | Chucking balls

Published:Sunday | October 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Orville Taylor

If you are playing cricket, you must hold the balls until it is appropriate to release. Whether one is bowling pace, spin, or googlies, the delivery must be within the range of the wicket and the bowler’s front foot must not cross the crease. Yet, even if he lets go of the ball, but his arm is not properly bent, then he is ‘flinging’, throwing or Chucking.

More important, having balls does not automatically give the bowler the right to pitch it at the batsman. Worse, if not in play, the wayward fielder who improperly touches the balls can be accused of bringing the game into disrepute. After all, many times, even the legitimate bowler himself puts illegal substances on the balls and the umpire ultimately has to raise a finger.

Good bowlers use proper line and the right length and someone who is deeply schooled in the law of the game and law on the whole must stick to the rules. Unless the umpire gives the go-ahead and he is slated to bowl, he must hold his position.

Yet, even more imperative is that one must not touch the ball if he is not in the game. And if while parked in the stands, the spectator catches it, he may chuck the ball so that the umpire can give it to the bowler.

In the latest episode of the embarrassment involving defrocked minister of education, Ruel Reid, Caribbean Maritime University President Fritz Pinnock, and a number of others who keep popping up like blackheads as the pressure increases, the cops swooped down on the houses of the two subjects at the break of dawn.

They spent so much time at the venues that they easily could’ve been charged rent. In the end, under the full light of day, Reid, Pinnock and the others were escorted by the agents of the Major Organised and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), Financial Investigations Division, and Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch, charged, and made guests of the Government.

Indeed, they came in like Nicodemus, no, not the DJ who sang Suzie Wong, although an attorney of her ethnicity turned up. Rather, it was the man of biblical fame, who appears three times in the Gospel of St John, although not at the three venues targeted by MOCA, et al.

Despite the drone footage, it is unclear what type of vehicles were parked in the garage. However, it is Justice Minister Delroy Chuck who blew his horn.


Whatever kind of fuel might have given him a turbo boost, his daring to utter even a single word was so stunning that I stood motionless like a deer transfixed by the headlights. True, he has apologised, but withdrawing a spoken word is as impossible as ‘unsleeping’ with someone you shouldn’t have bedded.

In fact, carrying the analogy to its logical conclusion, if the sex, like the diatribe, is performed without the necessary restraint and precaution, the consequences can be long-lasting and fatal.

Intemperate loose tongues epitomise the Jamaican maxim, ‘cock mouth kill cock’, but the analogy ends here. Chuck might not have committed a crime, but he could easily have blown his career.

Since the rumours began about Reid and Pinnock being ‘bench and bench’ in a scheme to use the public resources for corrupt purposes, my position has been constant that we must not jump to judgement and we must let the legal system work.

Known for having crossed the line in criticising judges and sparking rebukes of perceived interference, Chuck ought to have known better.

It also did not help that his daughter was the attorney who turned up on the scene for her clients.

Thus, while I implore the cops to accept his apology, I have to rebuke him for seeming to cast aspersions in their direction.

Police need the same kind of prejudicial respect that accused persons have and not be subject to what looks like prejudiced outbursts from their political leaders.

Now, the logic for the cops arriving at that time, or months after the accused were aware that they were under scrutiny, is a logistical question that the law officers have to reveal themselves. And any reasonable man would ask, why so late and why that time of night? However, those are operational matters and political directors must press the mute button, especially in public.

With the Corruption Perception Index remaining unflattering and the election-swinging Jamaicans remembering that a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government comprising many of the present executive embarrassed the nation over the non-extradition of a JLP-associated drug ‘kingpin’, the last thing it needs is more examples of the party interfering in the judicial process.

An election is near enough for us to smell. The party, still licking itself over the failed Rise campaign within the Opposition People’s National Party, must remember what happened a year later.

But perhaps we can’t teach some people new tricks.

- Dr Orville Taylor is head of the Department of Sociology at the UWI, a radio talk-show host, and author of ‘Broken Promises, Hearts and Pockets’. Email feedback to and