In cricket, a beamer (less commonly beam ball) is a type of delivery in which the ball, without bouncing, passes above the batsman's waist height. Such a ball is often dangerously close to the batsman's head, due to the lack of control a bowler has over high full tosses. Worse, the batsman is expecting the ball to pitch on the wicket and therefore may not pick up the flight of the ball and may be struck by it.
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This type of delivery can result in injuries to the batsman, and the penalty is an immediate no-ball and, in Twenty20 and one-day matches, a free hit. The use of beamers is governed under Law 41.7. The bowler is then given a warning by the umpire for dangerous bowling. Repeated or deliberate cases may result in the bowler being barred from bowling again for the remainder of the innings (or match), as happened with Waqar Younis in the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Fast bowlers, particularly younger players yet to fully refine their techniques, are likely to bowl such deliveries more often than other bowlers, albeit accidentally. A beamer may not necessarily be bowled with intent. It may be due to sweaty hands or a wet ball causing a slipped release from the hand. It is also possible that the bowler attempts to bowl a Yorker which will goes askew.
A bowler can legally target the batsman with a ball aimed at his head that bounces, called a bouncer. These are easier to play or avoid than beamers.
Abdur Rehman, a Pakistani spin bowler, bowled three consecutive beamers in the 2014 Asia Cup against Bangladesh, and was banned from the match without actually bowling a single legitimate ball, despite giving away 8 runs. This was the first time this happened in the history of cricket.
- "A deliberate beamer is just throwing a punch by proxy", Mike Selvey, The Guardian, 3 August 2007
- "What is a beamer in cricket? .. Why does it happen?", Shubham Khare, Sportskeeda
- "Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur: Abdur Rehman barred for three illegal full-tosses". ESPN Cricinfo. March 4, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2016.