TV umpires set to officiate front-foot no-balls in international cricket

TV umpires set to officiate front-foot no-balls in international cricket

The practice of TV umpires checking the front-foot no-ball has been a common feature ever since DRS was introduced to the sport in 2008.

Jasprit Bumrah's no-ball
Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Many questioned were raised over the umpires officiating the first Test between England and West Indies. In the much-awaited Test marking the resumption of international cricket, three wickets were overturned by the third official when retrospectively checking the bowler’s front-foot. West Indies eventually cruised to the triumph by hunting down the 200-run target on the final day of the Test.

With the inaccuracy involved in on-field umpires checking front-foot no-balls, the task is set to be transferred to the television umpire in international cricket. The technology was also used in this year’s Women’s T20 World Cup, where Australia emerged as winners by defeating India in the final.

ICC will consider introducing the technology in WTC next cycle

The transformed process involving television umpire checking front-foot no-balls will be adopted full time for leading ICC competitions. However, as the playing conditions of the World Test Championship (WTC) have already been set for the current cycle, the ICC will consider introducing the technology in the next cycle which begins in mid-2021.

The ICC had also applied the technology for the T20 World Cup 2020 scheduled for October in Australia. However, the showpiece event is on the verge of getting postponed amid COVID-19 debacle.

Under the new-age system, the television umpire monitors the front-foot with a Hawkeye freezeframe then a super slow-motion replay. He later signals the central umpire through a buzzer that the bowler has overstepped. At that point, the on-field umpire unfurls his arm to indicate about the no-ball, eight seconds after the delivery, well before the bowler is set to take the mark for hurling his next delivery.

The practice of TV umpires checking the front-foot no-ball has been a common feature ever since DRS was introduced to the sport in 2008. However, the shortcoming of the procedure was brought into the spotlight when Richard Illingworth incorrectly called Doug Bracewell for overstepping, giving Adam Voges a lifeline.

Voges later went on to make a series-defining 239 and questioned were raised over the episode. To add to people scrutinizing on-field no-ball decisions, 21 uncalled no-balls were sent down by Pakistan in the space of just two sessions against Australia in Brisbane last year.