Third umpires will be in charge of calling front foot no-balls with the help of television replays at this month’s Women’s T20 World Cup, the International Cricket Council announced.
The field officials at the World Cup will be told not to call any more no balls when the bowler oversteps the popping crease, which ensures that they can focus their attention on the batter rather than keeping track of the bowler’s foot.
The third umpire will be tasked to watch the bowler’s front foot through the TV and, if the bowler oversteps, he will have to instruct the on-field umpire to signal a no-ball at that instance.
This comes after the method’s three positive trials, the first of which was carried out in 2016.
There have been several high-profile incidents around the world in recent years where on-the-field officials have not called no-balls on the field despite replays showing that the bowler had clearly overstepped the popping crease.
In the first test of this Australian summer, Pakistan’s debutant Naseem Shah believed he had taken his maiden test wicket before a third umpire review found he had overstepped.
Subsequent replays showed that Naseem had overstepped the crease on multiple occasions, none of which had been called by the on-field umpire.
A similar instance occurred in the opening test of the previous Australian summer when India’s Ishant Sharma overstretched his foot several times but was called for no-ball only once, the third time after he had taken a wicket.
For white-ball cricket, the accuracy of no-ball calls is even more critical than in Tests, since the batting team is also given a free hit whenever a bowler goes over.
Although, on-field officials at the T20 World Cup will still be responsible for calling other types of no-balls, such as bowler bowls that are over waist height.
While no-balls will be awarded to the third umpires at the T20 World Cup, it remains to be seen whether the system will be extended to all international matches across all formats.
What do you think? Should technology be infused in cricket or the authentic way of judgment is the way to go?