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County Championship 2022

Did a series of back-foot no balls get missed during a pivotal County Championship passage of play?

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Lancashire were reduced to 14-4 in their 2022 County Championship clash with Essex, but two wickets came off Sam Cook deliveries that were seemingly back-foot no balls missed by the standing umpire.

Cook repeatedly flirted with the return crease during his spell, but has not been judged to have bowled a single no ball during Lancashire’s innings so far. According to the MCC clause 21.5, which pertains to the back-foot no-ball, “For a delivery to be fair in respect of the feet, in the delivery stride, the bowler’s back foot must land within and not touching the return crease appertaining to his/her stated mode of delivery.” A bowler should, thus, have his feet within the return crease when their back foot lands during delivery, and a no ball shall be called if their foot touches the or is judged to be above the white line on landing. This is different to a front-foot no ball, where there must simply be some part of the foot behind the line, even if the majority of the foot is over the popping crease.

During Cook’s spell, available to watch on YouTube, his back foot seemingly crossed the return crease repeatedly. However, he escaped unscathed and proceeded to dismiss Keaton Jennings and Luke Wells lbw.

With the 2022 County Championship not having a third umpire in place, the onus of calling all no-balls rests with the on-field umpires.

Essex managed 395 in their first innings, led by a fine 116 from Dan Lawrence, with Shane Snater pitching in with a counter-attacking 80 at Old Trafford. At stumps, Lancashire had slumped to 39-5 in the rain-affected clash.

The match could be a pivotal one in the Division One title race, with Lancashire unbeaten in five games so far and pushing for top spot. Essex, with only one win in five, are fourth from bottom at the time of writing.

Watch the wickets tumble here:

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