Off The Field

TV Umpires to Call No-balls for Overstepping on Trial Basis

Written by Vishwas Gupta

ICC is planning to empower TV umpires become the sole adjudicators of front-foot no-balls in cricket matches and for this it will be conducting trials in the coming days.

Over the period of next six months, the world cricket body will identify number of limited-overs series in which it can implement a system where the TV umpire — instead of on-field umpires — will call no-balls for overstepping.

In the 2016 ODI series between England and Pakistan, the system was put into trial but it will be rolled out on a much broader scale this time.

“Broadly, yes (the same technology as 2016 will be used),” Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s general manager cricket operations told ESPNcricinfo.

“The idea is the third umpire will be presented an image of the front-foot landing within a few seconds. 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.”

During the previous trial in 2016, a Hawkeye operator was used who presented a still image to the third umpire independent of the normal broadcast.

“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,” Allardice said. “The routine works well, with the third umpire judging the no-ball off a picture that is not always shown on the broadcast.”

The move to conduct this trial has come after the ICC’s Cricket Committee wants this system to be used in as many limited overs matches as possible.

“The Cricket Committee recommended that we do it in all ODIs and T20Is. 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,” added Allardice.


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Vishwas Gupta