Australian vice-captain David Warner believes umpires deserve to have extra assistance in order to avoid the no-ball farce which is increasingly creeping into cricket.
During Australia’s one-day victory over Ireland on Thursday, Joe Burns was recalled after replays revealed Ireland paceman Craig Young had overstepped the mark – following a trend exhibited during the Ashes.
The issue came to a head on day two of the Oval Test, when both Steve Smith and Mark Wood were given lives after the third umpire noticed bowlers Steve Finn and Mitch Marsh had their front foot well over the bowling crease during the dismissals.
Finn had also erred at Trent Bridge, when he dismissed Chris Rogers only to have the decision overturned on review.
More worryingly, Sky Sports put together a lowlights package which showed Australian quick Mitchell Johnson had bowled eight no balls, all of which had been missed by on-field umpire Kumar Dharmasena, during a three-over spell.
“I think if the umpires start calling them a bit more (it will help). Through the Test series I think there was probably 30 or 40 no balls missed,” Warner said.
“There obviously has to be something there because if the bowlers are consistently bowling no balls they obviously might not be getting enough feedback.
“The umpires do give them feedback, you do hear them say you’re a bit tight, you’re tight but I feel that the game at the moment, the umpires should definitely keep track of what’s happening in front of them.
However, Warner argues the onus remains firmly on fast bowlers to not err in the first place, and has queried whether the third umpire could be called on to check no balls in play.
The theory being that the best deterrent is to punish bowlers throughout the game.
“I think with today’s camera-work … the third umpire, even if it’s a late call, they can say whether that was a no ball,” he said.
“I’m not saying that the umpires are in the wrong – the bowlers shouldn’t be bowling no balls at the end of the day.
“During Test matches it’s very difficult because that line (the crease) is worn away during the session.
“So it’s quite tough for the umpires to look down and at 150km/h you’ve got 0.4 of a second to react as a batter (so) it’s quite hard for an umpire to look down and look up (in time) as well.
“At the end of the day we’ve all got a tough job.”