Definition of bodyline in English:



  • [mass noun] Persistent short-pitched fast bowling on the leg side, threatening the batsman's body, especially as employed by England in the Ashes series in Australia in 1932–3.

    [as modifier] ‘bodyline bowling’
    • ‘It tells of a meeting with Harold Larwood long after the infamous bodyline series.’
    • ‘Anybody's list of cricket writers would include the formidable Marxist critic CLR James and the immortal Neville Cardus (here he is on the famous bodyline series).’
    • ‘At a time when the imperial relationship was strained by the financial consequences of the Depression, and especially the insistence by the Bank of England on Australian debt reduction, bodyline became an imperial controversy.’
    • ‘If bodyline bowling had not been curbed I have no doubt that it would have brought about a cessation of Test cricket and seriously jeopardised the future of the game itself.’
    • ‘It is astonishing to me that bodyline bowling has never been labelled for what it was: cheating.’
    • ‘In the event, Jardine and his men won the last two Tests to recover the Ashes by four Tests to one, but not until assurances had been given that there would be no more bodyline should Australia agree to tour England in 1934.’
    • ‘From the early days, through bodyline to today's record-breaking Australia team, it's much more than a simple book of statistics.’
    • ‘It was the final Test of the infamous bodyline series.’
    • ‘He showed that in its own way spin can be as aggressive as bodyline bowling.’
    • ‘The Englishmen were pitching a little short on a middle and leg line to the Australian captain - a form of bodyline without Larwood or the ‘leg theory’ cordon.’