Zing bails became a talking point in season 12 of the Indian Premier League after refusing to fall on more than one occasion. In a format that is heavily tilted in favour of the batsmen, it is the bowling side that is let down when the bails light up but do not get dislodged.
In IPL 12, there were three such close shaves:
CSK captain MS Dhoni was the first one to get away with it, after he inside-edged a Jofra Archer delivery. While the ball did roll on to the stumps, the bails were in no mood to come off. At that point, Dhoni was yet to open his account and then went on to make a match-winning 75 not out off just 46 deliveries.
The second occasion also involved Dhoni, but this time he was at the receiving end. This was after one of his trademark back-flick lightning-quick throws found KL Rahul inches short of his ground. But much to the amusement of everyone on the field, the bails again refused to budge. Rahul did go on to make 55, but Chennai won the match by 22 runs.
Chris Lynn thanked lady luck when he inside-edged a Dhawal Kulkarni delivery onto the top of leg stump. The bail lit up but remained in place. The ball then raced away towards the fine-leg boundary. Lynn went on to score 50 off 32 balls and led KKR to an eight-wicket win.
Prithvi Shaw and Faf du Plessis had similar escapes when the ball brushed the stumps but the bails refused to fall.
What the rule book says
According to the ICC, Law 29.1.1 is very clear on what constitutes a dismissal. “The wicket is put down if a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps, or a stump is struck out of the ground,” it states.
‘I might go to a casino now’ – Lucky Lynn tells Gurney!@lynny50 rode his luck on his way to a Fifty for the @KKRiders while @gurneyhf admits he was nervous before his splendid debut show! By @Moulinparikh #RRvKKR
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 8 April 2019
What are Zings bails
Zings Patented Electronic Cricket Wicket System are designed and manufactured in Australia and they are being used in several T20 leagues across the world.
They work on a simple principle that if the connection between the bails and stumps are broken, then the LED light in the bails will flash. The light glows within 1/1000th of a second.
The bail comprises of a microprocessor which can detect when both the spigots are completely dislodged from the groove of the stump. However, since they are several components to it (low voltage batteries, LED, a microprocessor), the weight of the bails increases which is believed to make it less likely to be dislodged when the ball brushes the stumps.
Interestingly, Ajinkya Rahane has a unique suggestion to solve all the confusion.”It’s already so tough for the bowlers in T20, and in such a situation, a ball can maybe be declared a dead ball,” he has suggested.