ICC news April 4, 2013

ICC adopts no-ball Law after Finn problem

ESPNcricinfo staff
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The ICC has introduced a largely-anticipated new playing condition to international cricket with a no-ball set to be called when a bowler breaks the non-striker's end stumps in the delivery stride.

The MCC had already announced a change to the Laws of the game from October 1 and the ICC has taken the initiative to introduce a new playing recognition for Tests, ODIs and T20s from April 30.

Previously, when the non-striker's end stumps were broken in the delivery stride a dead-ball was called, following an initial warning, regardless of the outcome of the delivery. The new regulation provides clarity on what had been an issue of controversy.

The change was prompted by England bowler Steven Finn who repeatedly broke the non-striker's end stumps against South Africa in 2012. In the Headingley Test, Graeme Smith complained that he was being distracted and the umpires decided to begin calling a dead-ball. Smith was subsequently caught at slip when Finn had broken the stumps and a dead-ball was called.

ICC's General Manager - Cricket, Geoff Allardice, said a change in playing conditions was necessary because the current solution of a dead-ball was inadequate. "The MCC recently decided to address this issue by introducing a new no-ball Law. The ICC cricket committee noted the MCC's decision and recommended that a playing condition, mirroring the new Law, be introduced to international cricket as early as possible."

The decision was ratified at the ICC chief executives committee meeting in Dubai. "The ICC has decided to introduce this playing condition five months prior to the MCC changing the Law because there is a lot of important cricket to be played before October 1, including the ICC Champions Trophy in June," Allardice said.

"The introduction of this playing condition will now provide greater certainty for all involved when a bowler breaks the wickets during the act of delivery."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY kitten on | April 4, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    In all fairness, since it is the bowler's fault, it was a shame that batmen lost the runs scored when this happened in the past. This is the right way to go about it, and I am sure Finn will correct it as fast as possible, or risk the wrath of Alistair Cook and the rest of his team mates. He is a brilliant bowler, and I am sure he will rectify his action/stride, and continue to take wickets.

  • POSTED BY shrtlg on | April 4, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    It's not a dead ball if you JUST breach the return crease, or if your front foot is JUST over the front crease, likewise it should not be a dead ball if you JUST touch the stumps. There has to be boundaries for the bowling approach, and having the penalties even on every side is fair and appropriate.

  • POSTED BY on | April 6, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    Seems strange how quickly the ICC can act on somethiong as insignificant as a dead ball/no ball revision.. yet something as ridiculous as exists with the current DRS Regulation, remains unsolved.. I wonder if Finn had been an Indian bowler would the BCCI have supported this move...

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | April 6, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    @ Wyper. In that case, what about ball slipping out of hand and bowler stop midway of runup? who can judge it deliberate or not? I still remember a video of England bowler Darren Gough who stuck his tongue out in his bowling? But the case is different here - the stumps must be static when a bowler bowls. That's crystal clear rule.

  • POSTED BY HRZV on | April 5, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    A bowler who doesn't know where his hands are must be punished in this way. Good decision from ICC.

  • POSTED BY GermanPlayer on | April 5, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    This rule will have no effect on those bowlers who try to get as close to the stumps as possible. Bowlers like McGrath, Stuart Clark, Philander never disturbed the stumps. Even in Finn's case, the ICC waited for Finn to correct it. But when he didn't correct this seemingly simple problem, they had to intervene. Since Finn didn't rectify his action in time, he has to do it now or else its a no ball. Other bowlers can go about their business without worrying if its a no-ball or not because even when it wasn't, it never affected their game and they haven't lost any advantage.

  • POSTED BY swarzi on | April 5, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    ibanny, a delivery in this context is only a "No-ball" if the bowler in the said motion of completing a delivery to a batsman (the striker), that bowler disturbds the wickets at his end. Hence, the ball must be delivered to be a "No-ball". So, the non-striker cannot be "Run Out" in such cicumstance involving that moment of the action of the delivery. If however, in the motion of delivering a ball, the bowler discovers that he has disturbed the wickets and was able to abort the completion of the delivery, but in doing so, he discovered that the non-striker is out of his ground (if even it was not intentional in the first place), he may appeal for a "Run Out" against the non-striker and is "Out" according to law.

  • POSTED BY swarzi on | April 5, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    I feel honoured that the ICC has implemented this change which was first suggested by me. But full credit would have been given to the person if this change was first suggested by a "big wig" eg: Botham or Gower. Anyhow, I'm not seeking any self praise on the matter, I'm only glad to see common sense prevail. I'm the first person also who suggested that it be called the "Finn Law ". I would really be honoured if it is being so called. Let me also clarify "ibanny's" concerns: ibanny, the ball is only a No-ball if it is delivered by the bowler in the same motion when he disturbed the wickets at his end. Hence, the batsman at that end cannot be run out when the ball has been delivered in that said motion. But, if in the motion of delivering a ball, the bowler discovers that he has hit the wicket before he completes that delivery, and finds the non striker out of his ground when he hit the wickets with that aborted delivery, he may appeal for a RUN OUT; and the batsman is "OUT" by law!

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    So will there be a free hit for the "Finns ball"?

  • POSTED BY Gun79 on | April 5, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    Then what will happen to the mankad dismissal ??

  • POSTED BY kitten on | April 4, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    In all fairness, since it is the bowler's fault, it was a shame that batmen lost the runs scored when this happened in the past. This is the right way to go about it, and I am sure Finn will correct it as fast as possible, or risk the wrath of Alistair Cook and the rest of his team mates. He is a brilliant bowler, and I am sure he will rectify his action/stride, and continue to take wickets.

  • POSTED BY shrtlg on | April 4, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    It's not a dead ball if you JUST breach the return crease, or if your front foot is JUST over the front crease, likewise it should not be a dead ball if you JUST touch the stumps. There has to be boundaries for the bowling approach, and having the penalties even on every side is fair and appropriate.

  • POSTED BY on | April 6, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    Seems strange how quickly the ICC can act on somethiong as insignificant as a dead ball/no ball revision.. yet something as ridiculous as exists with the current DRS Regulation, remains unsolved.. I wonder if Finn had been an Indian bowler would the BCCI have supported this move...

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | April 6, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    @ Wyper. In that case, what about ball slipping out of hand and bowler stop midway of runup? who can judge it deliberate or not? I still remember a video of England bowler Darren Gough who stuck his tongue out in his bowling? But the case is different here - the stumps must be static when a bowler bowls. That's crystal clear rule.

  • POSTED BY HRZV on | April 5, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    A bowler who doesn't know where his hands are must be punished in this way. Good decision from ICC.

  • POSTED BY GermanPlayer on | April 5, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    This rule will have no effect on those bowlers who try to get as close to the stumps as possible. Bowlers like McGrath, Stuart Clark, Philander never disturbed the stumps. Even in Finn's case, the ICC waited for Finn to correct it. But when he didn't correct this seemingly simple problem, they had to intervene. Since Finn didn't rectify his action in time, he has to do it now or else its a no ball. Other bowlers can go about their business without worrying if its a no-ball or not because even when it wasn't, it never affected their game and they haven't lost any advantage.

  • POSTED BY swarzi on | April 5, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    ibanny, a delivery in this context is only a "No-ball" if the bowler in the said motion of completing a delivery to a batsman (the striker), that bowler disturbds the wickets at his end. Hence, the ball must be delivered to be a "No-ball". So, the non-striker cannot be "Run Out" in such cicumstance involving that moment of the action of the delivery. If however, in the motion of delivering a ball, the bowler discovers that he has disturbed the wickets and was able to abort the completion of the delivery, but in doing so, he discovered that the non-striker is out of his ground (if even it was not intentional in the first place), he may appeal for a "Run Out" against the non-striker and is "Out" according to law.

  • POSTED BY swarzi on | April 5, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    I feel honoured that the ICC has implemented this change which was first suggested by me. But full credit would have been given to the person if this change was first suggested by a "big wig" eg: Botham or Gower. Anyhow, I'm not seeking any self praise on the matter, I'm only glad to see common sense prevail. I'm the first person also who suggested that it be called the "Finn Law ". I would really be honoured if it is being so called. Let me also clarify "ibanny's" concerns: ibanny, the ball is only a No-ball if it is delivered by the bowler in the same motion when he disturbed the wickets at his end. Hence, the batsman at that end cannot be run out when the ball has been delivered in that said motion. But, if in the motion of delivering a ball, the bowler discovers that he has hit the wicket before he completes that delivery, and finds the non striker out of his ground when he hit the wickets with that aborted delivery, he may appeal for a RUN OUT; and the batsman is "OUT" by law!

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    So will there be a free hit for the "Finns ball"?

  • POSTED BY Gun79 on | April 5, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    Then what will happen to the mankad dismissal ??

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    Ridiculous. It does no harm, it doesn't distract the batsman (mostly they don't even notice), all it does is penalise the fielding side slightly by making it harder to compete a run-out at the bowler's end. The new rule will discourage bowlers from getting in close to the stumps in their delivery stride, which I thought was supposed to be a good thing.

  • POSTED BY 158notout on | April 5, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Will this rule become known as "Finns law"?

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    I support this being a no ball but I am hoping they will soon reverse to allowing an injured batsman a runner. If not then fielding substitutes should not be allowed unless the player is taking no further part in the game.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    At last, sanity prevails. good decision.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    non striker wouldn't be run out, the bowler is already in his delivery stride when he breaks the stumps.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | April 5, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    Fair ruling, although Finn and Co. do not do it deliberately. Bowlers deliberately stopping before the delivery (e.g., Ashwin, Hafeez, Ajmal) should be also called a no-ball.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    will there be a free hit the next ball?? the ball after an above waist no ball is not a free hit.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | April 5, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    @ saikarthikg - no ball is better.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | April 5, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    @ ibbani - good observation. It seems there would still be some confusion prevailing in the scenario you stated.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    yes this is very good decision for cricket .

  • POSTED BY ibbani on | April 5, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    This would not be a free hit, I hope the non striker is not runout if he is out of the crease when the bowler hits the stumps which actually means a runout. Why has ICC not thought on it?

  • POSTED BY Surajrises on | April 5, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Its a very good decision by ICC. Along with a No Ball, it should also be made the Free Hit in One Day & T20 formats. In Test, let it be only a No Ball. A No Ball in Test might not be that crucial but in T20 & One Day, it can hurt a team big time.

  • POSTED BY BozoSri on | April 5, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    So will it be a free hit the next ball then?.. But this is the right way to go about it, bowlers cant dislodge the stumps, or push an umpire in their delivery stride it is ridiculous...

  • POSTED BY jackthelad on | April 5, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Find it hard to understand how a professional bowler, who has presumably honed his action over years, can regularly run into the stumps. Certainly it should be penalised, but more to the point Finn needs a bit of bowling coaching - eg, 'Them sticks are the stumps but THERE is where you bowl from'

  • POSTED BY Wyper on | April 5, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    So will they also no-ball the likes of Ashwin and other "slow" bowlers who deliberately use a stop-start run up in an attempt to confuse the batsman? Will they attempt to prevent batsmen moving around in the crease in an attempt to confuse the bowlers and call a dead ball - similar to when no leg byes are awarded when no stroke is played? Knocking off the bails by the fielding side, which includes the bowler, was already covered in the laws - it should never have been deemed a dead-ball, and certainly not a no-ball; when the bails are off and the ball is live the advantage is to the batmen as the fielder has to remove the stump with ball in hand to achieve a run out, so the penalty is already in place. If the batsmen is looking at the stumps rather than the ball leaving a fast bowlers hand he's in trouble in any event - changing this law is not required.

  • POSTED BY saikarthikg on | April 5, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Call it - "The Finn" and give two additional runs along with what the batsman has scored in that particular ball.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | April 5, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    Needed ... puts such tactics to bed from Finn and takes the spirit of cricket from put to dispute before going out of hand .After all sportsmanship and spirit of the game are bigger than anything else.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | April 5, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    Correct decision by ICC. Lot of readers including me suggest it as aNO-BALL during England Vs India ODI series. In an ODI game in India, some got fours and it called as a dead-ball which is unfair to the batsman. It is a bowlers mistake and you cannot deny the runs for the batsman. Finn go the wicket of Raina (I guess) on a dead-ball in a game, where England (and fans) appealed for it. But how can they appeal for it when the dead ball will not bring runs! So, ICC made it clear that either you have to rectify your action or just bowl NO-BALLs . But there will not be any free hit, i think.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | April 5, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    I hope they call it "Finning", in honour of the great vinoo mankad.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    So in ODIs and T20s, will there be a free hit with the following delivery?

  • POSTED BY Sandeep.M.J.D on | April 5, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    The law should have named after Finn... Poor guy.

  • POSTED BY Enrico1973 on | April 5, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    Agree that it is a good law and rule. Knocking the non-strikers wickets and dislodging the bails can be a distraction to the batsman and so needs to be curtailed and controlled.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | April 5, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    No brainer. The batsman must be allowed to score off this ball and more importantly the bowler must be able to be punished. Theoretically Finn (or any other bowler) could use the tactic of hitting the stumps to set batsmen up with additional bouncers or other tactics without fear of being dispatched. Now there is no advantage to be had for the bowler, but the batsman is protected.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    A bowler who keeps hitting the stumps as much as Finn deserves to be have this rule...

    As for being hit 4 or six... Add one to that. Jus as if it was another no ball...

    Finn needs to adjus or get a new bowler... Good rule. After all, samules was banned! Banned! From the game for this bolo wing action shyt...

    I'm jus happy England is on the receiving end of the controversy ..

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    Now to just bring back the possibility of Mankading the non-striker and to allow runners.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    Finally. I always wondered why it was called a Dead Ball, specially at an instance in BBL when a smashing six got cancelled out due to a bowler's mistake. I am glad this has been picked up before we had last ball thriller that caused the batting team a victory.

  • POSTED BY on | April 5, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    @rajithwijepura They get the runs, ball rebowled, just as with a regular no-ball.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | April 4, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    Good job. It was obvious that it should have been a no ball, not a dead ball, as a no ball implies a fault of the bowler while a dead ball implies no fault. Clearly, this is a case of fault by the bowler and hence it should be a no ball.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    so will it be a no ball straight away or will the bowler get an initial warning?

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    About time too. There's been at least one instance of a boundary having been hit off a delivery from Finn that was then signalled dead ball. This was unfair on the batsman, who was penalised for something which was the bowler's fault. This change to the rules will put the penalty where the fault lies.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    How about a FREE HIT for this??

  • POSTED BY segga-express on | April 4, 2013, 22:44 GMT

    It's a bizarre change to a rule that has been unaltered for decades. Pollock was a notable example of a bowler who frequently broke the stumps while bowling but no change was made then. Batsmen have commented that they aren't distracted by the stumps being broken (Raina said he was unaware it had happened). The bowler already was constrained in where his leg could land (between the return crease and an imaginary line joining the 2 middle stumps). That said, no ball makes more sense than dead ball. I'm just making the point I disagree with anything being altered by the accidental removal of bails.

  • POSTED BY Batmanian on | April 4, 2013, 22:16 GMT

    @Farwad Asrar Qureshi, I think that's going to be a no-ball too.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    This was needed but will be remembered as being a rule/law change due to the actions of one player. No sympathy for Finn; a part of me believes he went from innocently knocking the stumps over every so often to doing it wantonly as part of an overall strategy to put the other team off.

  • POSTED BY Batmanian on | April 4, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    @rajithouijaboarda, if it's a no-ball, you can score of it.

  • POSTED BY markatnotts on | April 4, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    Wow, another knee jerk emotion based decision by the ICC. As probably the biggest fan of the great Shaun Pollock in the whole of England watching him bowl many a time in County cricket and for SA so find this an odd decision. He did break the stumps less frequently than Finn, but break them he did from time to time. This was never an issue. Indeed it was never an issue until the first incident in the Eng SA series last summer. Why is it such a distraction to batting now?

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    I find it concerning that this issue was not adressed at an earlier stage of Finn's career.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | April 4, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    This is sensible. The dead ball playing condition made no sense at all.

    For all the talk about Finn, I'll bet anything you like Finn is way down the list when it comes to the total number of no-balls each bowler delivers. Finn has a relatively short delivery stride and rarely bowls a front-foot no-ball. A couple of no-balls per series for breaking the bowler's end wicket is nothing much. In the second test between England and SA last year, Finn bowled no front-foot no balls and Imran Tahir bowled 9! The number of times Finn broke the bowler's wicket isn't listed, but my memory is that it wasn't anywhere close to 9.

    @davidpk: the MCC, which drafts the Laws, said a few weeks ago that breaking the bowler's wicket would become a no-ball in the Laws. The ICC, which governs playing conditions for international matches, has adopted the new Law as a playing condition. The Laws and playing conditions aren't always the same- the DRS, for example, is nowhere to be found in the Laws.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    I dont expect Steven Finn to change his run up rather he would abort the delivery mid way once he makes a contact with the stumps.

  • POSTED BY rajithwijepura on | April 4, 2013, 21:05 GMT

    What if batsman hit 4 or 6 to that ball?

  • POSTED BY green_jelly on | April 4, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    This is a good rule. After all, if the batsman knocks the bails down during the delivery, he is out! So if the bowler does it, best to make it a no-ball.

  • POSTED BY eatamango on | April 4, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Poor Finny... he will now have to adjust his run up

  • POSTED BY couchpundit on | April 4, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    @Narkovian - First Referral system needs to be sensible, like third umpire when referred should give all information he has seen in monitor to umpire including noball, if a fielder is moving,if the fielder catches the ball cleanly(god save us if this is referred to ricky ponting and Michael clarke)...well when it comes to hawk eye,eagle eye, my eye and your eye...thats a whole different story.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    How many times did Finn break the stumps since the new law was proposed in October?

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | April 4, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    sorry i thought it was already decided it was a no ball. six weeks ago

  • POSTED BY Narkovian on | April 4, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Wow ! A good decision by ICC. Amazing how fast they can act over some things, and how pathetically slow they are on others. viz the ridiculous Umpires referral system, where some teams use it and some don't.... Gerrit sorted ICC.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    this no ball may be expected in some matches only... not interesting....

  • POSTED BY SarfBD on | April 4, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    Fair. After a very long time ICC has done a meaningful change in rule. Finn should be proud (!) that he alone forced ICC to this new playing condition

  • POSTED BY PakCricketistanLover on | April 4, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    I meant to say it SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A FREE HIT, as free hit is only for over stepping.

  • POSTED BY PakCricketistanLover on | April 4, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Fair ruling. It should have always be a no ball, and should be considered a free hit, as free hit is only for over stepping. With Finn clipping the wickets, will do no harm to English 4-1 victory over Aussie this summer!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on | April 4, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Fair Call! An ordinary bowler now made to look too silly if he continues to kick wickets. Aussies will have few more runs in their kitty, at least 1 extra run per over when Finn comes to bowl. Counting on Aussies, This summer would be fun! Bring it on.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    will this no ball be followed by a free hit?

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    More Restrictions for bowlers.... Poor Bowlers...

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    ..now this new law should act as a determent :)

  • POSTED BY Jay.Raj on | April 4, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    Fair rule. I dont think many noballs are going to be called for that reason.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    I was waiting for it.Finn was bowling poor too.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    I was waiting for it.Finn was bowling poor too.

  • POSTED BY Jay.Raj on | April 4, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    Fair rule. I dont think many noballs are going to be called for that reason.

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    ..now this new law should act as a determent :)

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    More Restrictions for bowlers.... Poor Bowlers...

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    will this no ball be followed by a free hit?

  • POSTED BY Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on | April 4, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Fair Call! An ordinary bowler now made to look too silly if he continues to kick wickets. Aussies will have few more runs in their kitty, at least 1 extra run per over when Finn comes to bowl. Counting on Aussies, This summer would be fun! Bring it on.

  • POSTED BY PakCricketistanLover on | April 4, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Fair ruling. It should have always be a no ball, and should be considered a free hit, as free hit is only for over stepping. With Finn clipping the wickets, will do no harm to English 4-1 victory over Aussie this summer!!!!!

  • POSTED BY PakCricketistanLover on | April 4, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    I meant to say it SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A FREE HIT, as free hit is only for over stepping.

  • POSTED BY SarfBD on | April 4, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    Fair. After a very long time ICC has done a meaningful change in rule. Finn should be proud (!) that he alone forced ICC to this new playing condition

  • POSTED BY on | April 4, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    this no ball may be expected in some matches only... not interesting....