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Controversial no ball decision that saved Chris Woakes

Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes of England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Bangladesh vs England second Test attracted controversy on the second day when the third umpire declared a Sabbir Rahman delivery on which the batsman Chris Woakes was caught a no ball. Woakes who was batting on 38 when he got the reprieve played a crucial knock of 46 bailing his team out of deep trouble as they struggled against the spin attack from the Bangladesh bowlers.

His knock and the partnerships he stitched in help England gain a 24 runs first innings lead. It was the 2nd delivery of the 73rd over when Rahman bowled a full toss; Woakes could place it anywhere but picked the midwicket fielder and hit it straight to him. He was walking but the umpires stopped him and went up to the TV umpire to check if it was above the waist height.

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While it appeared that the ball had started as high as the batsman’s eye-line but was on a dipping trajectory. The third umpire Chris Gaffaney had a good look with a number of replays and passed a message to the on-field umpires that it was above the waist height and thus a no ball.

The decision was in accordance with the Law 42.6.2, that plays as a guide for the high-pitched full toss. As per the ICC playing conditions the law states: “Any delivery, which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is deemed unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.”

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“(i) Any delivery, other than a slow paced one, which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.

“(ii) A slow delivery which passes or would have passed on the full above shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.”

The decision definitely reminded most of another waist height no-ball decision that went against Bangladesh in the World Cup 2015. It was Indian opener Rohit Sharma who was declared not out and the Bangladesh players, fans, BCB officials and even the prime minister wasn’t really impressed by the decision. In this case, the HawkEye replays showed that the ball would have hit the base of the stumps.

Woakes’ brother David also felt that it was a tough call and tweeted. “Have to say, I wouldn’t have given no ball for that one. But the others in Sabbir 1st over were. Keep going boys, great effort.”

Also read- Cricket Australia security chief flies into Dhaka to inspect security arrangements

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