Wrist spin is a type of bowling in the sport of cricket. It refers to the cricket technique and specific hand movements associated with imparting a particular direction of spin to the cricket ball. The other spinning technique, usually used to spin the ball in the opposite direction, is finger spin. Wrist spin is bowled by releasing the ball from the back of the hand, so that it passes over the little finger. Done by a right-handed bowler, this imparts an anticlockwise rotation to the ball, as seen from the bowler's perspective; a left-handed wrist spinner rotates the ball clockwise.
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The name wrist spin is actually something of a misnomer, as the wrist is not a vital part of the mechanism for producing the characteristic spin on the ball. A wrist spin delivery is released with the arm held in a fully pronated position, with the fingers on the inside of the ball (to the left for a right-handed bowler). If this pronated position is maintained through the release, the fingers will naturally cut down the side of the ball and produce an anti-clockwise spin. The great Australian leg-spinner Bill O'Reilly is famous for bowling legspin in this manner. Additional spin may be put on the ball through two other means: the active pronation of the arm from an initially supinated position just before the ball is released, and the extension of the wrist at the moment of release. Both techniques increase the effect of the cutting mechanism. The slower a spin bowler delivers the ball, the more actively he must attempt to impart spin onto it in order to maintain the same rate of revolution.
Although the biomechanical details of wrist spin are the same for right and left handed bowlers, such bowlers are often discussed separately, as the direction in which the ball deviates as it bounces on the cricket pitch is different: