On-field umpires are reportedly set to be relieved of their duty to call front-foot no-balls. The task set to be transferred to the television umpire in international cricket. The development has taken place in the wake of the first Test between England and West Indies in Southampton.
During the game, three wickets were overturned by the third official after the official checked the bowler’s front foot. According to English news outlet The Independent, the ICC is now set to hand the duty of calling front-foot no-balls to the TV umpire during the leading tournaments.
The governing body had previously used the front foot no-ball technology at this year Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia. It was the first use of such a technology at a major ICC event.
Before that, the ICC had allowed the third umpire to exclusively call the front-foot no-balls for the first time during the T20I series between India and West Indies in late 2019 and the limited-overs series between West Indies and Ireland in the Caribbean in January 2020.
Later, the governing body of the game had announced the trials were initiated in 12 matches and out of the 4717 deliveries bowled, the third umpire called 13 no-balls (0.28% of total deliveries).
Front-foot no-ball technology to be used in next WTC cycle:
As the playing conditions for the current World Test Championship (WTC) have already been agreed, the status quo will prevail in that form of the game for now. The report further stated that the powerful ICC Chief Executives’ Committee, however, will consider the reform before the next WTC cycle begins in mid-2021.
However, the ICC has given the green light for the technology to be used in the inaugural World Cup Super League – the two-year ODI competition which was set to begin in May before Covid-19 put it on hold. This amended playing condition will also apply for the next men’s T20 World Cup which was scheduled to take place in October-November this year but is likely to be postponed.
Under the front-foot no-ball system, the TV umpire monitors the front foot with a Hawkeye freezeframe then a super slow-motion replay, signalling to the central umpire, through a buzzer when the bowler breaks the line. At that point, the on-field official signals the no-ball.