A system where the third umpire is responsible for the calling of front-foot no-balls will be trialled during the upcoming England-Pakistan one-day series, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Saturday.
The standing umpire at the bowler’s end is currently responsible for both checking for front-foot no-balls and then adjudicating on whether a batsman is out at the other end, all in a matter of seconds.
This already difficult task has become more complicated in an era where the bowlers’ end umpires stand further back from the crease than ever before, in fear of being hit by hard-hit shots.
The issue became a talking point once again in February when Australia’s Adam Voges was given not out (on seven) during a Test against New Zealand in Wellington. Replays showed later, that the no-ball was called incorrectly by English umpire Richard Illingworth.
Voges went on to score 239 in a match-defining innings.
In the trial system to be adopted for the five England-Pakistan ODIs, from August 24 to September 4, the ICC said the standing umpire will not call any front-foot no balls without the third umpire’s advice, unless the side-on cameras are unavailable.
The ICC also said the third umpire will be able to judge a no-ball “within seconds” of delivery and will communicate a decision to their on-field colleagues by means of a vibrating pager.
If the pager system breaks down, the third umpire will relay his decision to the men in the middle by their standard radio communication system.