Come Thursday July 30, when Ireland take on ODI world champions England in their backyard, the TV umpires will call front-foot no-balls. The International Cricket Council (ICC), which had been experimenting with this technological move for quite some time, on Monday July 27 confirmed that henceforth the front-foot no-balls in ODIs and T20Is will be exclusively monitored by Third umpire rather than the on-field umpires.
ICC General Manager – Cricket Operations, Geoff Allardice confirmed the development citing the importance of free hit in white-ball cricket.
“It is something that will be used on Thursday (between Ireland and England) and for the series to be played.
“Certainly, there is the importance of the free hit in white-ball cricket and getting no-balls called accurately.That is considered to be an important feature. The Cricket Committee has recommended that and it’s in the playing conditions for the World Cup Super League,” Allardice said.Allardice said.
While the on-field umpires will continue to call over stepping by bowlers in Red-Ball cricket, their role in the limited-overs cricket will be to focus on the game. They also continue to monitor no-balls for height, when bowled full over waist height or when the ball above the shoulder height, in all the formats of the game, as earlier.
TV umpires officiating front-foot no-balls for a while
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 during Pakistan tour of 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.
Kyro Sports understands that it was the resounding success of the technological move during the women’s T20 that the ICC has decided in favour of using it in the inaugural World Cup Super League and the T20Is.
Moreover, there has also increased demand for the Third-umpires to take over the role in the wake of on-field umpires missing out on calling overstepping in the last few years.
Conventional wisdom in cricket believes that on-field umpires calling out front-foot no-balls in nick of time, allows the batsmen to go full throttle against the ball without the fear of being dismissed. However, the free-hit rule in ODIs and T20Is has given the batsmen an extra opportunity to throw the kitchen sink at the ball immediately after a no-ball.
The development had been first reported by The Independent after the first Test between England and West Indies.