Underarm – The Ball that Changed Cricket

This stunning documentary revisits the Australian cricket team’s decision to bowl underarm, and give sport one of its most cowardly moments.

Underarm – The Ball that Changed Cricket

Underarm – The Ball that Changed Cricket
Channel 7


Using archive footage, interviews and re-enactments one of themost infamous and controversial events in cricket is dissected in this groundbreaking documentary.


The underarm bowling incident is a sporting controversy that took place on 1 February 1981, when Australia played New Zealand in a One Day International cricket match, the third in the best-of-five final of the 1980–81 World Series Cup, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

With one ball of the final over remaining in the match, New Zealand required a six to tie the match. To ensure that New Zealand were unable to achieve this, the Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed his bowler (and younger brother) Trevor Chappell to deliver the last ball to batsman Brian McKechnie underarm along the ground. Trevor Chappell did so, forcing McKechnie to play the ball defensively, meaning Australia won. This action, although legal at the time, was nevertheless widely perceived as being wholly against the traditional spirit of cricketing fair play.

The outrage caused by the incident eventually led to an official amendment to the international laws of cricket to prevent it from ever occurring again.


Series Details

2018, 1 x 1 hour


International Distribution

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