The front foot no-balls in the upcoming three-match Test series between England and Pakistan will be called by the third umpire, the ICC announced on Wednesday. The decision has been taken after the ICC decided to make the job of the on-field umpire easier in the ongoing Cricket World Cup Super League, which kickstarted with the England and Ireland three-match ODI series.
The front no-balls will be called by the third umpire in the ODI Super League and the same would be done in the upcoming Test series. The decision to hand over the responsibility to call no-balls by the third umpire was taken by ICC after the recommendation from Cricket Committee in August this year.
“Performance of the technology in these Tests will be reviewed before any decisions taken on its future use in Test cricket,” the ICC said in a tweet. “Front foot no-ball technology to be used in ICC World Test Championship series featuring England and Pakistan, with the support of both teams.”
Meanwhile, the third umpires had also called the front foot no-balls in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which took place earlier this year. In fact, the same was exercised during the England and Pakistan five-match ODI series back in 2016.
Furthermore, the decision to call front foot no-balls was left to the third umpire in the ODI series between India and the West Indies in 2019.
The ICC has confirmed that the benefit of the doubt would go to the bowlers for the front foot no-balls. The on-field umpire will need to cancel the decision if the late no-ball is called by the third umpire.
Meanwhile, it is a prudent decision which is taken by the governing body. It is never easy for the umpire to first concentrate on the front foot line to check the no-ball and then quickly give attention to the ball, especially when a fast bowler is bowling.
Furthermore, there are three reviews now in the Test matches and two reviews in the limited overs format. The first Test match between England and Pakistan will take place at Old Trafford, Manchester today.