In modern day cricket, the issue of front foot no-balls has been a contentious issue with the on-field umpires missing several no-balls, be it in any format. This issue has forced the ICC to take cognizance of the matter and all this will change during the India vs West Indies Twenty20 Internationals and ODIs which will begin from December 6 onwards. In a statement released by the ICC, it said the front foot no-ball will be decided by the third umpire and not the on-field officials. The technology to call front foot no balls will be put to trial in it.
The statement read, "Throughout the trial, the Third Umpire will be responsible for monitoring every ball bowled and identifying whether there has been any front foot infringement. If there has been an infringement on the front foot, the Third Umpire will communicate this to the On-Field Umpire who will subsequently call a no ball. As a result, the On-Field Umpire will not call a front foot no ball without the advice of the Third Umpire. If a late no ball call is communicated, then the On-Field Umpire will rescind a dismissal (if applicable) and call no ball. The On-Field Umpire will remain responsible for other in-game decisions in the usual way. The outcomes of the trial will be used to gauge whether the system has a beneficial impact on the accuracy of no ball decisions and whether it can be implemented while minimising disruption to the flow of the game."
The decision to make third umpire the adjudicator of front foot no balls was taken in August this year. The system was first trialled in the ODI series between England and Pakistan back in 2016. The ICC decided to test it again after its Cricket Committee recommended its use in as many limited-overs matches as possible.
Recently, the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians was poised on a knife-edge with AB de Villiers batting brilliantly. Jasprit Bumrah bowled two brilliant death overs, conceding just five runs in two overs while Lasith Malinga conceded a six in the first ball of the last over. With seven runs needed off one ball, Malinga bowled a low full toss and Shivam Dube, the batsman missed out and Mumbai Indians won the game by six runs to register their first win in this tournament.
However, when the players were shaking hands, replays showed that Malinga had overstepped and this led to sharp criticism regarding the standard of umpiring from both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the captains of both the franchises. Kohli was furious when he said, "We are playing at the IPL level. It's not club level, the umpires should have their eyes open. That was a big no-ball. We should have done a better job with the ball after they were seven down. The last few overs were brutal for us. Bit of a mistake from me to take Bumrah on at that time. Bumrah makes a hell of a difference in any team," Kohli said.