England vs Pakistan Test series: Third Umpire to call front-foot no-ball

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On July 30, the ICC board had passed on the responsibility of calling front-foot no-balls to the Third Umpire in ODIs (World Cup Super League) and T20Is. Now the England vs Pakistan Test series commencing today August 5 will witness use of front-foot no-ball technology on experimental basis confirmed the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier in the day.

The recently concluded England and West Indies Test series had seen a number of dismissals being overturned by the Third umpire when retrospectively checking the bowler’s front-foot. It was also found that the on-field umpires had missed calling out when bowlers over-stepped.

Confirming the development, the ICC board tweeted: “Front-foot no-ball technology to be used in ICC World Test Championship series featuring England and Pakistan, with the support of both teams.

“Performance of the technology in these Tests will be reviewed before any decisions taken on its future use in Test cricket.”

Under the technology system put into use, the television umpire monitors the front-foot of the bowlers as they deliver the ball with a Hawkeye freeze frame then a super slow-motion replay and signals to the umpire at the business end, through a buzzer when the bowler breaks the line. Then the on-field official unfurls their arm.

The technological move, which is likely to spare a few seconds for the umpires at the business end, was first tried out by the ICC when Pakistan toured England in 2016, then during the ODI series between India and West Indies in 2019 and finally during the ICC women’s T20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year.

The front-foot no-ball technology was highly successful in Women’s T20 World Cup and the move to get third umpires call the fore-front was taken by the ICC on the recommendation of its Cricket Committee in August this year.

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