Explained: Why umpires only called two out of 14 no-balls bowled by Ben Stokes in the Gabba Test

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  • Ben Stokes bowled 14 no-balls during the second session on Day 2 of the first Ashes Test.

  • Umpires only picked two out of 14 no-balls, including one of David Warner's dismissals.

Explained: Why umpires only called two out of 14 no-balls bowled by Ben Stokes in the Gabba Test
Ben Stokes bowled as many as 14 no-balls during 2nd session on Day 2 of Gabba Test (Image Source: @Newscorpcricket)

During the 13th over on Day 2 of the ongoing first Ashes Test between Australia and England at the Gabba, Ben Stokes cleaned up David Warner but on a no-ball.

As Stokes was celebrating the wicket with his teammates, the on-field umpire asked for the assistance of the third umpire. It was revealed that Stokes had overstepped, giving Warner a valuable lifeline to stay in the middle.

Later, the host broadcaster Channel Seven shared a video clip on their official Twitter handle observing that Stokes, in his first five overs, had bowled as many as 14 no-balls, with only two of them being called by the umpires – one by the on-field umpire and the other one which featured the wicket of Warner by the TV umpire.

However, it explained that the technology that was supposed to monitor a bowler’s front foot landing for every delivery had gone down before the beginning of the contest. In such a scenario, the Gabba Test was being played as per the old playing conditions – which states that only the delivery where the bowler picks up a wicket is checked for no-ball.

Notably, in December 2019, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had tested the technology to monitor every single ball for front-foot no-balls. It was then used for the first time in the red-ball format when England faced Pakistan in 2020.

According to the ICC, playing conditions for the World Test Championship (WTC), the third umpire monitors the bowler’s front foot and lets the on-field umpire know whenever a bowler delivers a no-ball.

“The third umpire shall review television replays of the bowler’s front foot landing and, if he/she is satisfied that any of these three conditions have not been met, he/she shall immediately advise the bowler’s end umpire who shall in turn immediately call and signal no-ball,” ICC playing conditions for WTC states.

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