Cricket’s highest governing body, the ICC decided to make use of a new technology trial where third umpires would also get the authority to call front-foot no-balls during the T20I and ODI series between India and West Indies. The umpires of on-field in the series will remain responsible for other in-game decisions as usual.
“Throughout the trial, the Third Umpire will be responsible for monitoring every ball bowled and identifying whether there has been any front foot infringement,” the ICC said in a release on Thursday (December 5). “If there has been an infringement on the front foot, the Third Umpire will communicate this to the On-Field Umpire who will subsequently call a no-ball. As a result, the On-Field Umpire will not call a front foot no-ball without the advice of the Third Umpire.
The ICC has clarified that the benefit of the doubt will still lie with the bowlers and the on-field umpires will have to revoke a decision in case a late no-ball is called.
“If a late no-ball call is communicated, then the On-Field Umpire will rescind a dismissal (if applicable) and call no-ball. The On-Field Umpire will remain responsible for other in-game decisions in the usual way,” the release further stated.
India and the West Indies play each other in three T20Is and three ODIs, giving the ICC six games to try and gauge the impact of the system, and whether it can be implemented while “minimizing disruption to the flow of the game.”
Its application was brought to use last night in the T20I match between the two countries at Hyderabad when three front-foot no-balls against Kesrick Williams (2) and Jason Holder (1) were called by third umpire Anil Chaudhary which ended up helping India’s cause to chase down the mammoth total of 207 with eight deliveries left.
The move to get third umpires at the forefront was taken by the ICC on the recommendation of its Cricket Committee in August this year. The system has been trialed before in 2016, in the series between England and Sri Lanka, but the scale of application this time will be broader.
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