Explained: Naman Ojha No-ball reprieve

Chasing a modest 128 vs SRH, RR huff and puff before registering fourth straight win.

Written by Sriram Veera | Published: April 17, 2015 1:58 am

What happened? James Faulkner thought he had Naman Ojha with a bouncer but replays showed that it was a no ball. The foot landed on the front line on the bowler’s landing crease and then skidded out. No ball.

What does the rule say? Some part of the front foot , landed or raised, must be behind the front line. It can stretch outside after but the initial landing of the foot is where all the focus is. And the entire fuss, quite unnecessary if you believe the likes of Ian Chappell.

What’s the old controversy? The old back foot no ball law dictated that the back foot had to be behind the line on which the stumps are placed. The bowler can drag the front foot how much ever he wants as long as the back foot was behind that line adjacent to the stumps. It was changed much to the consternation of the likes of Richie Benaud, Don Bradman and Chappell.

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How did the back-foot law help? It gave umpires more time to view what is unfolding at the striker’s end which meant he could concentrate better on the lbw and all the real important stuff. It also allowed the batsman lot more time to change his shot and put the no ball away. And of course it allowed the extra luxury to the bowler. All he had to ensure that he didn’t cross the back line. Then he could drag the front foot, it didn’t matter.

Why was it changed? Because of the perceived problem of dragging. The bowlers would now and then deliver the ball with their front foot in front of the batting crease. This somehow created a big fuss. But if the bowler manages to drag ahead of the crease after managing to land his back foot behind the back line, what’s the problem? Richie Benaud, Bradman and Chappell have often sighed a lot about the needless change but there you go.

What’s Chappell point? “The number of illegal deliveries would be significantly reduced, but when one is delivered it would actually amount to a penalty against the fielding side. The extra time presented to a batsman by an earlier no-ball call, would result in some big hits – which would excite the fans and act as a deterrent to bowlers. The reduction in the number of no-balls would also improve over rates and hopefully eradicate overtime, which is a tedious blight on the game in addition to being a sore point with television networks.”

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