Ashes 2019, 4th Test: Here is why the match was played without any bails on the stumps during Day 1

The bad weather conditions at Old Trafford in Manchester forced the first day’s play of the fourth Ashes Test to cut short. The wind and rain interrupted the game on few occasions resulting in only 44 overs bowled on the opening day.

In the 32nd over of the Australian inning, objects like beach-ball and chips packet gained access to the pitch due to strong winds. The powerful winds also knocked off the bails, causing frustration and delay.


The wind is so gusty that the helmet on the ground behind (Jonny) Bairstow is rolling around. The bails have come off. It is chaos,” said BBC commentator Daniel Norcross.

The on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus took the call to dispense the bails and continue the game. This unusual sight was within the rules of the games.


As per Law 8.5, “The umpires may agree to dispense with the use of bails, if necessary. If they so agree then no bails shall be used at either end. The use of bails shall be resumed as soon as conditions permit.

Specsavers UK, who had their branding on the bails, tweeted, “Hi, @ICC. Can you make sure the bails don’t blow off again. We’ve paid money for this branding and sponsorship.

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