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Front Foot No Ball Call Should Come From The On-field Umpire: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar isn't a fan of the no-ball calls being made by TV umpires. (AFP Photo)

Sunil Gavaskar isn’t a fan of the no-ball calls being made by TV umpires. (AFP Photo)

Earlier, the on-field umpire used to adjudge the front foot no ball but the ICC eventually introduced the technology to shift the decision-making with the TV umpire.

  • Last Updated:September 03, 2021, 18:54 IST
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Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar says he’s finding it hard to understand some of the new rules introduced by the ICC including the call for overstepping by a bowler new being made by the third umpire. Gavaskar reckons that it’s a bit unfair on batters since they end up missing out on a chance to rethink their shot and score runs should they come to know about the no-ball instantly.

Earlier, the on-field umpire used to adjudge the front foot no ball but the ICC eventually introduced the technology to shift the decision-making with the TV umpire. The idea behind this step was to eliminate on-field umpiring mistakes as an umpire has to simultaneously keep their eyes open on various things happening at the time of the delivery.

“Some changes that have come up are hard to understand,” Gavaskar said on air during the second day of the ongoing 4th Test between India and England at The Oval. “The no ball call has to come from the on-field umpire. This is a little unfair on batsmen; (At least) against the spinners, a batsman has some time to change shot (should they become aware of the no ball early).”

With the third umpire taking charge of calling front foot no-ball, the decision is usually made well after the delivery has been bowled and the batter has already played his shot.

Gavaskar says that even if the umpire commit mistake as far as overstepping call goes, they can always be made aware of the TV umpire and change their decision accordingly. “They (umpire) should be confident ‘never mind I will give the decision. Even if I am wrong, the TV umpire can tell me that my decision is not right’,” Gavaskar said.

In limited-overs cricket though, a no ball results in a free-hit for the batting team which in a way makes up for the lost chance. However, in red-ball cricket there’s no such provision.

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