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TV umpires to call front-foot no-balls in new ICC trial

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

The ICC is set to trial a new system wherein television umpires will be allowed to call front-foot no-balls during international games.

“The idea is the third umpire will be presented an image of the front-foot landing within a few seconds,” Geoff Allardice, ICC’s general manager for cricket operations, told ESPNCricinfo.

“He would communicate to the on-field umpire that a no-ball has been delivered, so every delivery on the field would be played as a fair delivery until called otherwise.”

A similar system was set in place in August 2016, during Pakistan’s tour of England, when the five-match ODI series had four side-on cameras being used to form a split screen for the TV umpire to make a decision.

“Broadly, yes [the same technology as the one in 2016 will be used]. The footage is shown on a slight delay, it goes to super slo-mo as the foot approaches the point of landing, and then it freezes. The routine works well, with the third umpire judging the no-ball off a picture that is not always shown on the broadcast.”


A similar technology was used during the 2016 England-Pakistan ODIs

The Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee suggested the move, also proposing that the new system be applied across all ODIs and T20Is. Allardice, however, is vary of the logistical obstacles that would hinder such an extensive change.

“In 2018, there were about 84,000 balls delivered around the world in those formats in men’s international cricket. So to monitor the no-ball on each of those deliveries at all of the different venues is a big exercise. We just need to understand all the challenges before implementing this across all matches.

“Can this technology be implemented consistently across the 80 venues that hosted ODIs and T20Is last year? There are different levels of television coverage across these matches, so it will be easier to implement at some matches than at others.

“We now have 104 members who play T20I cricket and many of their matches are not televised, so what do we do there? Thinking through all of the implications of introducing this is the exercise for us over the next six months.”

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