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New Zealand v Bangladesh

Watch: ‘F***ing bulls***’ – Neil Wagner caught fuming on stump mic after controversial no ball call denies him Mominul Haque wicket

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Watch: Neil Wagner thought he had secured a breakthrough for New Zealand right before the second new ball was available in the first Test against Bangladesh, and made no attempt to hide his displeasure after it was declared a front-foot no-ball in a controversial call.

New Zealand’s bowling effort so far had been all about Wagner, the right-arm seamer bowling his heart out in trying conditions and taking the wickets of both the openers and Bangladesh’s No.3. But the Tigers have stood tall against some high class bowling to carve out a first-innings lead.

Their top score so far has come from captain Mominul Haque, but he was nearly forced to depart in single figures, with Wagner enticing an edge through to the keeper in the 80th over of the innings.  The umpire lifted his finger after the players appealed. However, the third umpire ruled that Wagner had overstepped, and the dismissal was chalked off.


The decision was a tight one, with some fans questioning whether the heel of Wagner’s boot was just behind the line when his foot made contact with the ground.

According to the MCC’s Laws of Cricket, a delivery is legal if:

21.5.2 the bowler’s front foot must land with some part of the foot, whether grounded or raised

– on the same side of the imaginary line joining the two middle stumps as the return crease described in 21.5.1, and

– behind the popping crease.

If the bowler’s end umpire is not satisfied that all of these three conditions have been met, he/she shall call and signal No ball.

After the over was done Wagner vented his fury as he walked back to take his cap from the umpire. “That’s not a no ball,” he was heard saying on the stump-mic as he recreated his front foot placement. “That’s f***ing bulls***.”

After Wagner’s on-field expletive, Black Caps limited overs player Jimmy Neesham felt it would be unfair if the fast bowler was to be fined for his conduct in what was essentially a conversation between the players.

The ICC’s Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel discusses usage of obscenity under its Article 2.3.

2.3 Use of an audible obscenity during an International Match.

Article 2.3 covers the use of words commonly known and understood to be offensive, obscene and/or profane (in any language) and which can be heard by the spectators and/or the viewing public whether by way of the stump-microphone or otherwise. This conduct may include, for example, swearing in frustration at one’s own play or fortune.

Watch Wagner’s reaction here:

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