On-field umpires no longer bother to look at the front line to check for no-balls, believes former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
Ponting gave his views after India fast bowler Ishant Sharma bowled multiple no-balls on Day Four of the first Test between Australia and India in Adelaide with none of them being called by the umpires.
However, when opening batsman Aaron Finch was adjudged lbw and a subsequent review was taken, Ishant was seen to have bowled a no-ball.
Ponting believes umpires nowadays don’t look at the front foot as they know every wicket will automatically be checked by the third umpire for a no-ball. That, according to Ponting, is unfair to bowlers as they won’t know if they are consistently flirting with danger.
“I’ve said this for a lot of years; I honestly don’t think the umpires look at the front line anymore,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“Some of the ones we’ve seen today … he (Ishant) was 4-6 inches over the line. I don’t think the umpires are looking and I certainly don’t think they were looking at those ones because they were blatantly obvious ones. And as we know now, they’ll only ever look at them if a wicket falls, which as far as I’m concerned is not right.
“Part of umpiring is to get the no-ball decisions right as well. I’m not asking for everything to be spot on, but if you’re six inches over then surely you can call it.”
Ponting added India would have expected to be told about Ishant’s recurring problem in time, so as to take corrective steps in time.
“If I was the fielding team, I’d want to know,” he said. “If I was Virat Kohli and I knew that my bowler was bowling a no-ball more often than not, I’d want to know that so I could pull that back in line.”
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