ICC to trial TV umpires on front-foot no-ball calls
The ICC will soon empower TV umpires to take a call on front foot no-balls on a trial basis, the world body’s General Manager (Cricket Operations) Geoff Allardice said. The ICC will test the new system in a few indentified limited-overs series over the next six months and if the experiment pans out to be a success, on-field umpires could lose the right to call no-balls for overstepping in future.
“Broadly, yes (the same technology as 2016 will be used,” Allardice, 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.” The system was put to test before in the ODI series between England and Pakistan in 2016.
“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 ICC’s decided to test the system again after its Cricket Committee recommended to use it 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.
“We just need to understand all the challenges before implementing this across all matches,” Allardice said.
The ICC official said the world body needs to implement the system in all its official matches.
“Can this technology be implemented consistently across the 80 venues that hosted ODIs and T20Is last year? There are different levels of television coverage across these matches, so it will be easier to implement at some matches than at others,” Allardice said.
“We now have 104 members who play T20I cricket and many of their matches are not televised, so what do we there? Thinking through all of the implications of introducing this is the exercise for us over the next six months.”