Pat Cummins got a crucial breakthrough for Australia on Day 1 of their Test match against Pakistan at the Gabba when he got the wicket of Mohammad Rizwan. But controversy erupted as replays showed that the Aussie pacer had overstepped while bowling the delivery and the third umpire did not overturn the out decision against Rizwan.
Former cricketers, who were on air at that moment, could not believe that despite checking the replays, the third umpire Michael Gough, decided it was not a no-ball, although it looked like Cummins’ foot was on the line and not behind it.
“I’m trying to find something behind (the line) there but I just can’t,” Allan Border said on Fox Cricket commentary.
Jason Gillespie and Ricky Ponting agreed as well.
“I think that’s the wrong call. I think it’s a no-ball and should be recalled,” Gillespie said on ABC Radio.
In the commentary for Channel Seven, Ponting had no doubt that the wrong decision had been made.
“I couldn’t see any part of his foot land behind the line,” he said.
Also, the other Fox Cricket experts Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee opined that the umpire had made a wrong call.
“If I was Pakistan I would be disappointed with that decision because I thought there was clearly no part Pat Cummins’ foot behind the backline. So I thought it was a no-ball. I don’t think there was any doubt whatsoever. Talked about inconclusive and all that sort of garbage, it’s pretty simple for me. There was nothing behind the line. I’m feeling for Pakistan there, I think they were robbed.”
“Some part of your foot must land behind the line. You can clearly see there, as the rubber has landed, it’s all in the white zone. The white zone is owed to the batsman. The batsman owns that. Anything behind is the bowler. To me, that is an illegal delivery.”
“That is a no-ball. I can’t see anything behind the line, as much as I want to from an Australian point of view. I can clearly see there’s nothing behind the line. It looks like there’s half an inch.”
The ICC’s Playing Conditions for Test cricket state, in part, that “the bowler’s front foot must land with some part of the foot, whether grounded or raised.. behind the popping crease”.
In addition, it says the third umpire must have conclusive evidence of an incorrect decision in order to reverse a call made on the field.
Playing Condition 3.3.6 reads: “If despite the available technology, the third umpire is unable to decide with a high degree of confidence whether the original on-field decision should be changed, then he/she shall report that the replays are ‘inconclusive’ and that the on-field decision shall stand. The third umpire shall not give answers conveying likelihoods or probabilities”.