Who Invented Googly in Cricket?

Who Invented Googly In Cricket?

In sports, an advance in training methods inevitably leads to further skill polishing but some techniques remain useful even though they were invented decades ago. Googly is a perfect example, as a technique that was invented a century ago and, with certain evolution, remained relevant up to these days. Even today, it is a quintessential tool for many players, so we have no other option but to dig a little bit and find out who invented googly in cricket. Let’s cut the talk and get on it: 

What is Googly?

Before we start the history lesson, let’s give a quick explanation of what this technique is all about. It is a tricky delivery, which is used to confuse batsmen and as you may presume, it’s about a specific spin. In this case, that spin leads the ball moving in the opposite direction compared to a more typical leg break. So, the ball actually spins from off to leg. From a batsman's perspective, that could be a huge problem, because it's much harder to predict the ball’s trajectory.

The way this technique works is that the bowler starts by holding a typical grip, similar to a classic leg break. However, the catch is in the wrist twist that needs to be done the moment before the ball is released. In that way, the spin goes in the opposite direction, which makes the ball deviate unpredictably. Finally, the most important part – a good bowler must know how to hide this throw, how to disguise the googly, because that’s the thing that leads to catching the batsmen off guard.

That aspect of unpredictability, some would even say mystery, is what makes the technique special. That’s what forces batsmen to struggle. It’s all about confusing the batsman and once bowlers master that mimicry, this old-school technique becomes a lethal weapon.

Key Aspects of Googly:

  • Spins unexpectedly in the opposite direction compared to a leg break
  • Requires a deceptive wrist action at the point of release
  • Disguised to appear like a leg break until it deviates off the pitch
  • Challenges batsmen's ability to predict the trajectory
  • Adds mystery and unpredictability to spin bowling
  • Considered a potent weapon in a spin bowler's arsenal
  • Revolutionised spin bowling tactics and strategies in cricket

Who Invented Googly in Cricket?

OK, it’s time to reveal the inventor of this useful technique. This brings us back to the early 20th century, when an English cricketer, Bernard Bosanquet delivered this throw for the first time. He was the guy who introduced this technique to the world and soon after, it was adopted by so many other bowlers. 

Bosanquet himself was a talented player and an all-rounder. His career is mostly related to Middlesex and England but he remained best known for that delivery that, for the first time, perplexed the batsman with its unexpected deviation. 

Just like today, back then, it was a technique that was mostly about wrist action. And, Bosanquet knows that very well. He was the one to start by twisting the wrist at the point of release, which spun the ball in the opposite direction, with unexpected deviation as the final outcome. Consequently, batsmen found a new challenge, so picking delivery became way harder. 

Obviously, this was a revolutionary invention. Bosanquet added a completely new dimension to the bowlers' game and just like today, it was all about the mystery, about hiding the throw and making it look ordinary. Soon after, this became a potent weapon, with bowlers from different parts of the world accepting it.

Today, more than a century later, this technique remains an important piece of weaponry for so many bowlers. Naturally, the technique evolved over the years, with every generation perfecting it. With all that in mind, it’s legal to say that Bosanquet’s innovative technique made one of the most significant impacts on the game, which completely changed its dynamics.

Who Invented Googly in Cricket?

About Bernard Bosanquet

Naturally, such a significant person deserves a little more information, even though it is a brief look at his life and cricket career. Born in 1877, Hove, Sussex, England. Obviously, Bosanquet is most widely recognized for his googly and his work as a cricketer but was he really all about cricket? The player studied at Eton College and acquired an education at the University of Oxford. However, let’s put that discussion aside and focus on his cricket career for the moment. As I already mentioned, Bosanquet’s career began at the end of the 19th century and ended at the beginning of the 20th. He was an all-rounder, and one can see how versatile the individual was. The most positions held by the player were right-arm off-spin bowler and lower-order batsman. It is relatively safe to assume that his more productive years began in 1898 when he made his debut for the Middlesex County Cricket Club MCC. In the same year, he was selected to represent England's national team in test cricket. Naturally, the googly is his legacy. But as I said, the player achieved a lot more, including serving as a soldier in the British Army during World War I. For 17 years, he worked as a bachelor of law. In 1936, Bernard Bosanquet died but left a permanent mark as a sports pioneer.

Key Facts About Bernard Bosanquet

  • Born on October 13, 1877, in Hove, Sussex, England
  • Attended Eton College and the University of Oxford
  • Made his first-class cricket debut for Middlesex in 1898
  • Invented the googly, a deceptive bowling technique, around 1900
  • Represented England in Test cricket
  • Served in the British Army during World War I
  • Pursued a career in law after retiring from cricket
  • Passed away on October 12, 1936


The moment Bosanquet presented his new technique to the cricket world, it was obvious that this could be a fantastic weapon. Logically, other players started adopting and perfecting it. And with the generations to come, it evolved in such a way that every bowler had its own variant of the technique, as a kind of unique, personal weaponry.

And when we talk about evolution, it’s hard not to talk about one of the most important key points – the refinement of the wrist spin. Bowlers developed new techniques, with unique grips and all that made the technique even more effective.

Things went even further when googly became an international thing, as players from other cricket nations started adopting it and applying their own technical approaches, with different angles, speeds and trajectories, all in order to outsmart batsmen as much as possible.

Even today, bowlers are working hard on further perfection of the technique and with every new achievement, the technique becomes even more challenging for bowlers. Once a trick, googly evolved into a mastery of the art spin, effective only when practised by the most talented bowlers.

  • Techniques were refined: Spin bowlers improved their wrist action and grip to make the googly more effective by using deceptive and unreadable spinning action against the opposition. 
  • Spin bowlers’ input: Players from different cricketing countries also contributed to the evolution of the googly by exploring different angles, speed, and flight, which promoted the development of more complex and mysterious ways to deliver the ball. 
  • Training methods and technology improvements: The development of training methods and technology allowed players to improve their skills and understanding of how to perform the googly, leading to the creation of a new delivery technique and its further perfection. 
  • Integration into the arsenal of deliveries: The googly is used along with leg-spin and off-spin to ensure that the spinner could leave the opposition in constant doubt about the direction or spin trajectory. 
  • Innovation: Currently, the spin bowlers develop new ways of using the googly by making various modifications to the original way of delivery.


Famous Players That Used Googly Technique

Most of them are so legendary that they are already used or still rely on this delivery. Most definitely, they used this kind of leg break and designed it in such a sophisticated manner and proved how effective it is, which only reinforced the permanent footprints it left in the history of cricket in people who practise it today with something to learn for the next generations. The list includes:

  • Shane Warne: The scumbag of the Australian team is one of cricket’s best bowlers ever. Warne used this or that about articulation and timing of googly to befuddle many of the opposition’s cricketers. Players irrespective of the tie-quality and conditions of pitching almost every batsman was troubled with some variations in bowling, which produced a diverse possibility.
  • Anil Kumble: One of India’s best spin bowlers ever, Kumble was renowned for control and precision during the game. Throughout his career, a leg-break bowler was irritated and troubled using a widely googly-been weapon vs batsman.
  • Abdul Qadir: The sharply tonguing leg-spinner from Pakistan was an incredible bowler with flames around. Qadir can turn the ball at the pace of love. It can reshape the googly and push the batsman to lands of bafflement.
  • Mushtaq Ahmed: Another Pakistani leg-spinner, Mushtaq was good at using the googly. Ahmed got a small bag and used slow or quicker motion to provoke the bowler against them.
  • Imran Tahir: The South African leg-bearded whirlwind gave the Prima donna glitz and a good googly. My broken tongue can turn the ball to three countrymen, and you know that his nerve is hard.

Googly in Modern-Day Cricket

In today’s cricketing world, the googly has retained its place as one of the key weapons in the armoury of spin bowlers playing all formats of the game. The coming of age of the sport and its various additions in terms of coaching and technology have allowed spinners to master the art of the googly, which has furthered the difficulty of piecing it together for the batsmen. A point of interest regarding the delivery in current-day cricket is its multiple uses by spinners. 

Other than using it as a delivery to deceive batsmen, the round arm leg break bowlers and wrist spinners may use the ball to simply keep the batters under check. The deceitful tricks cause batsmen to second guess their shot choices, which puts undue pressure and induces errors. T20 cricket also sheds light on the googly with the importance of the variant increasing in the modern day. In today’s game, where scoring quickly is the order of the day, spinners bank on the element of surprise for wickets. The sudden surprise helps disrupt the comfortable flow of strokeplay, leading to wrong shot choices by the aggressive batsmen. 

Also, the current players have introduced variations of faster googlies such as the slider and the flipper that make today’s cricket tough for batters. The spinner’s array of surprise googlies makes the bowler a handful for many batting sides. Generally, the googly continues playing a large part in modern-day cricket games, with the mystery of the delivery remaining a bug for the batsmen to fit into their cricket.


To sum up, this technique not only testaments the innovation from a century ago. It remains an important part of the skillset even today. But, from its early days and Bosanquet’s invention, a lot of things changed and googly evolved a lot. Still, despite the technical perfection and further refinement, it never changed its original nature, the power that comes with that surprising spin. Cricket evolves, and googly evolves too, but it remains one of the most creative and skill-demanding tools in the sport of cricket.