India v England, 4th ODI, Mohali

England need Finn to kick the habit

Steven Finn's habit of knocking the stumps at the non-striker's end as he delivers cost England a vital wicket against India

George Dobell

January 23, 2013

Comments: 140 | Text size: A | A

Steven Finn celebrates after getting Rohit Sharma out, India v England, 4th ODI, Mohali, January 23, 2013
Steven Finn celebrated Rohit Sharma's wicket but was less happy a few moments later © BCCI
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An irritation that has plagued England for months flared up once again as Steven Finn's propensity for dislodging the bails in his delivery stride cost his side an important wicket - who knows, perhaps even the series - in the fourth ODI of the series against India.

Finn thought he had dismissed Suresh Raina only to see that the umpire, Steve Davis, had signalled dead ball on the basis of Law 23.4(b)(vi), which states that the batsman should not be dismissed if he has been distracted while preparing to receive a delivery.

It was one of the defining moments of the game. Raina was on 41 at the time and India, with four wickets down, still required another 80 runs to win. He went on to contribute an unbeaten 89 and help India to a five-wicket win which secured a series victory with one game left to play.

England may feel they have been unfortunate. Certainly precedent suggests that umpires will allow Finn one such indiscretion before calling dead ball for the second occurrence in a game, a policy which was introduced during World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.

That was a point that Alastair Cook, a none-too-happy England captain, made to Davis in the immediate aftermath of the incident. England might also have good cause to enquire whether a dead ball would have been called if Raina had hit it for four, or if any other bowler other than Finn had been responsible.

Davis explained that a warning had been issued that Finn would be called immediately, a warning which it later transpired had been issued by Andy Pycroft, the match referee, after the opening ODI in Rajkot. A warning which had previously been presumed to apply to the same match now seemed to have a longer lifespan, a test for cricketers' memories everywhere. This regulation seems to have a life of its own.

Cook still sounded bemused. "There was a little bit of confusion," he said. "Apparently we had been told that because he knocked them over twice in one of the previous games he was a 'serial offender' and that he was going to get called straight away. The umpires were pretty clear that they had told us so I must have been deaf when I was listening to them.

"Do I think it's fair? At the moment, with emotions running quite high, probably not. I know umpires have a tough job but it's obviously frustrating."

It is worth noting that it was Davis who called dead ball in the Headingley Test in August when Finn thought he had Graeme Smith caught in the slip on 6. He went on to score 52. Australia had earlier complained about Finn dislodging the bails during the one-day series against England last June.

In the aftermath of the Smith incident, the MCC, the custodian of the Laws of the game since their formation in 1787, admitted the episode had highlighted a grey area in the Laws and stated that they would review them. At present Law 23.4(b)(iv) states that either umpire should call and signal dead ball when: "The striker is distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery. This shall apply whether the source of the distraction is within the game or outside it. The ball shall not count as one of the over."

The Laws could be clarified. If all such incidents resulted in umpires automatically calling a no-ball it would remove any element of doubt or argument. It would also end the injustice of a batsman being denied a boundary following a bowler's error. No runs can be scored off a dead ball.

From an England perspective there is an even more simple solution: Finn has to stop dislodging the bails in his delivery stride. Just as bowlers have to learn the discipline of not over-stepping or pushing the ball down the leg side, so he has to eradicate the fault from his game.

To do it once or twice might be forgiveable, but to continue to do it in important situations several months after the problem became apparent appears unnecessarily profligate. Finn and England really only have themselves to blame.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by maddy20 on (January 26, 2013, 20:51 GMT)

@bobmartin First up its hilarious that you are defending an international cricketer, who cannot get his basics right, despite of being warned many times in the past. One would hope that the English are putting as much effort into fixing his flaw rather than pouncing on the the umpire who makes the decision. Secondly what do you want them to do ? How do you expect the umpire to judge whether the batsman is distracted or not? What if the batsman argues that he was distracted/lost his concentration due to the sound of the knee hitting the stumps(remember there is mic in the stump)? In an era where we have some controversy or the other nearly in every game, we could certainly do with a little less, uncertainity, by means of a fixed rule. If you overstep, no-ball, if you knock the stumps in your delivery stride deadball. Period! if Mr.Finn can't take it, then he can go back to playing FC cricket, where you can have whatever rules you like.

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 26, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

@Lee Gray: That has to be one of the most ridiculous comments ever made here. Firstly the noise the crowd makes is not targeted at the batsman - it is for all the ppl on the ground, including the crowd. As for the bug, batsman often back off at the very instant when a bug comes to his face or in the eyes. I am sure you would have seen it happening plenty of times. Not only this, batsmen also hate it when someone makes any sort of distraction or the slightest of the movement around the sight screen when the bowler is running in or about to deliver. Heck we have seen umpires declaring it a dead ball even if the batsman backed off very late right when the bowler was about to jump into his delivery stride.

When a bowler is in his delivery stride, that is the moment of reckoning for the batsman - he has to face it as it would be too late to back off.

If the bowler himself breaks the stumps then he is the guilty on there, not the crowd or the bug - so why should he not pay the price?

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

on the basis of Law 23.4(b)(vi), which states that the batsman should not be dismissed if he has been distracted while preparing to receive a delivery, then surely thats the case if the crowd are distracting the batsman too or if a bug flies into his eyes at the critical moment and he misses the ball and it uproots tye stumps. This is such a stupid ammendment to the laws it needs to be ousted. Its a mistake from the bowler and professional bowlers should not be doing it I've never seen it in the grass roots game.

Posted by BULTY on (January 25, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

I am a regular watcher of cricket matches telecast live on TV and I very well remember that this was not the first that Finn did it. When he did it on previous occasions, there was the argument that he should be debarred from bowling further in that innings, fair enough for a habitual offender. This is done when a bowler is warned twice for running on to the good length spot of the pitch. The Umpires were right when the ball delivered was called "dead ball" and even if the batsman had hit it for a six, the runs would not be counted as happened when Sehwag hit the ball over the boundary when just one required for victory and just then the umpires called it "no ball" denyhim the six runs and also his century. What do you say for this? It was a deliberate "no ball" bowled by the bowler and he was penalised straight away. I opine that the umpires did the right thing in this case. l

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 25, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

@UK_Chap. If you are that much old, do not forgot that WI has the better winning rate over some country s just because they played well in 60s and 70s. But check the performances of country s for the last 10years or so. That will give you an idea how good they are.

Posted by bond4urisonly on (January 25, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

You may bowl over the wicket or round the wicket, not through the wicket.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 25, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

@KiwiRocker. Funny to see you cannot look beyond the English batsmen given out!Why the double standard? Go thru the commentary section of cricinfo to see ----------------- 5.3 .G Gambhir c †Buttler b Bresnan .He walks back in frustration, as he didn't really get a bat on that. Second umpiring error of the day. ----------------- 31.1 RG Sharma lbw b Finn gets hit on the knee roll and Steve Davis raises his finger. -----------------

So you are a more expert that cricinfo commentary team?? And FYI, India has an umpire exchange programmes with SA and hence Indian umpires officiate first-class matches in SA too. read this :

this will show your expertise! Do some homework before you comment.

Posted by simonviller on (January 25, 2013, 3:11 GMT)

I hope that MCC doesn't change the rule to suit Finn ,but rather revise it to be called a" no-ball ". If a batsman is given out by disrupting the stumps by whatever means ,in an effort to make a stroke , similarly , a bowler should be called for a no-ball for a disruption of the stumps . Mr Finn has to correct this problem ,or try bowling around the wicket ,but not to expect a rule change because of his actions .

Posted by ultrasnow on (January 24, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

Bowler tall, gangly runs in brushes stumps while in delivery stride, bails fall off, batsman straight drives, bowler gets hand to ball, stumps uprooted at non-strikers' end, non-striker caught outside his crease, umpire rules no-ball, appeal for run-out, non-striker complains that bowler disturbed his concentration as well and that made him forget to ground his bat...........

Posted by bobmartin on (January 24, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

The whole situation is crazy... Finn is not the first bowler to do it and I doubt if he will be the last... So what has changed from when it happened prior to the complaint by Smith in the Eng V SA test..when no-one appeared to be affected and it was never called... The answer is... all that has changed is that the umpires have unilaterally decided that it will be a dead ball irrespective of what the batsman thinks. On what basis do they decide if the batsman was distracted on every occasion... Did the ICC write a new playing regulation and why ? It's only when a wicket is taken and dead ball is called that the furore starts.. But as was shown in the SA test, more balls delivered after Finn had disturbed the bails were dispatched for runs than resulted in a wicket.. So where is all this talk of strikers being distracted suddenly emerged from.. One complaint from a canny skipper who wanted to get into Finn's mindset. It's a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Posted by UK_Chap on (January 24, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

pitch_curator : I maybe mistaken in thinking your an England fan, but no matter, If you are an Indian fan, then you are right India has had the better of Oakistan in one off games in ICC tournaments. You dtill seem to very young or selective in what you choose to remember. Pakistan has a very good record of ODI series winns against India. Check the records. By the way this discussion was about Finn`s Stump shenanigans....... Not about beating each other up about who did what to whome and when.

Posted by UK_Chap on (January 24, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

pitch_curator : Really... You must very young or at least very selective in your memory about the matches and series you want to remember. How about the 1992 World cup final.

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 24, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

@UK_chap -- England got walloped in tests and Pakistan in ODIs. As simple as that. So when Pakistani supporters try to give us non sense about how to play ODIs based on one series (after losing every match in world cup to us) then they need to be shown their place. Fact of the matter is that in current world cricket barring south africa the rest of the teams are more or less at the same level especially in ODIs. And even South Africa have lost to NZ at home !! So, to see some of the guys talk demeaningly about other teams make me show them reason. lol

Posted by me54321 on (January 24, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

I still don't understand why this is even an issue. There have always been bowlers knocking the bails off in their delivery stride. Shaun Pollock was a particularly notable example. It's ironic that Smith, who captained Pollock on many occasions, started this whole dead ball thing off. It has never been a distraction to batsmen before and it isn't now. When Finn was doing it every other over it was getting a bit silly, and perhaps a fine for time wasting or something could have been introduced as an encouragement to fix it, but if he's now doing it only once a match, it shouldn't be an issue.

Posted by Gazzypops on (January 24, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

The main problem that Finn has is not so much that he knocks the bails off at the non-striker's end but that he than takes a wicket at the other end. He needs to concentrate on taking wickets only with unequivocally legal deliveries and leave the four-balls for the times when he invokes a dead ball...

Posted by UK_Chap on (January 24, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

pitch_curator : Do you really want to go down the road of who got walloped in the UAE... . Seriously, English fans need to put their bias aside and need to support whats`s in the best interest of cricket, It should be a No- Ball. End of Story.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 24, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

Talking about the pause, Umpire Asrani did not pause for a single second to give Cook out. Cook looked in complete control until he was given out. Gambhir was clearly out as side on replays suggested an edge and so was Raina! England or any other team can not win in such conditions in India. India has increasingly started to look a team desperate to win somehow!Indian umpires are incompetent and even Indians know that hence SA and Pak umpires are being asked to officiate in Indian domestic circuit. BCCI will never implement DRS as tough calls against India's so called gods and walls will go against them! Indeed few decisions have also gone in England's favour and so was case in Pak series but both England and Pak have been on receiving end! Dhoni went on to score 72 and cost England match!Raina scored 89 and while Cook was denied twice! Same goes for Pieterson! On Balance,almost all decisions have gone in India's favour so argument that its tough and noisy for umpires does not hold up!

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 24, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

Why don't you people (English Fans) simply accept that you are a poor ODI side. After each and every defeat coming up with lame excuses doesn't do any good for your team. Instead you can work out on better team composition who can win them matches outside England too.

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (January 24, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

This knocking the stumps over is a very grey area. I recall that a South African pacer - either Pollock or Fanie De Villiers - used to regularly knock the bails off with the bowling arm when in delivery stride. Those were never seemed to be called dead-ball. I am not sure why it has become a distraction with Finn all of a sudden. Having said the law was in place, applied and so Finn should have learnt.

Posted by voice_of_reason on (January 24, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

There have been many instances in the past when bowlers have clipped the stumps with their bowling hand in delivery and nobody ever got worked up about it. Surely that must be more distracting than the knee clipping the stumps as the batsman would be concentrating on the ball, not the bowler's knee.

Distractions depend on concentration levels. Amongst the cheers of thousands of home supporters, I don't for a moment believe that Raina realised Finn had clipped the stumps with his knee. On the other hand, in 1976 at Old Trafford, Brian Close asked Clive Lloyd to calm down the West Indies supporters who were madly cheering Michael Holding as he ran in to bowl his famously hostile spell. Unthinkable and laughable now but times have changed.

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (January 24, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

@heartbreakerz, regarding Ashwin's "pause" right now he himself seems to be the only one distracted by it. At the end of pause he seems to have absolutely no idea what he is supposed to bowl. I have never ever seen him take a wicket that pause.

Posted by embu on (January 24, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

There is no warning for bowling no-balls,so what is the point of one warning when hitting stumps while bowling.What next?

Posted by shripadk on (January 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

@heartbreakerz Not really. What Finn is doing is disturbing wickets. There are 2 problems with it. 1. He is disturbing the hardware that plays important role in dismissal of batsman. 2. The bails and stumps can be in same reference plain where ball pitches and comes up. It can be distracting as human eye and brain automatically tracks movement of objects in their line of sight.

In case of bowlers like Ashwin, batsman is free to pull out if he feels he is getting distracted by pause. As per cricketing rules, there is no set of rule that controls the time to completion of action / delivery stride. It is on the same page as batsman giving predetermined charge to bowler or reverse sweeping the bowler. That is completely their choice and valid as well as legal. There have been instances of calling dead ball because bowler's handkerchief or towel fell during delivery stride. It is same logic. Sometimes batsman can get distracted. So 1 simple universal law of no ball / dead ball is needed.

Posted by slasaus on (January 24, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

Yeah and the saffers were 160+ for 1 chasing NZ's total so would have won anyway. This was Eng last bite at the cherry (Cook deciding to let Finn bowl out), maybe 10 balls from Finn at a new batsman, Dhoni messing up another bad ball from Dernbach, u never know what might have happened. I never see batsmen get distracted by umpires shouting "no ball" and therefore change their original shotselection and/or look silly (no time for that, once u noticed it happened u are already through ur shot), maybe ocasionally with a spinner stepping over the line. Clearly Raina got not distracted and therefore the umpire got it all wrong by not reacting to a certain situation but already anticipating before it happened. Like Bumble says often enough: get on with the game! Not every batsman is the same, some always see ppl moving around in their eyesight, others dont.

Posted by on (January 24, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

This really is a no-brainer for me. Just as the bowler needs to bowl from within the crease, he should also not go close enough to the stumps to dislodge the bails. If he does, it is a no-ball. I don't see there should be any other way to deal with a repeated offender like Finn.

Posted by 270380 on (January 24, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

The law states that if the bowler breaks the stumps while delivering the ball, it is a dead ball. Unless the law is changed it remains effective. Finn should remember this and avoid knocking the stumps. To say India would have lost the match is not right. India could have won the match in spite of this incident. The laws are important. All the players need to follow them.

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (January 24, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

@heartbreakerz ashwin pauses..are technically a change in his bowling action, not distracting... and the crowd around the stadium...there have been incidents when the crowd has been calmed down before a match could be commenced.... in-fact the fielders around the batsmen are actually quiet when the ball is being bowled... isn't it easier for Finn to change his delivery stride, than to actually debate and change the actual rule...

Posted by WalkingWicket11 on (January 24, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

The whole cricket world is aware of Finn's habit. What does he need a warning for?

Posted by gbqdgj on (January 24, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

Let's face facts, Finn shouldn't do what he did and the law needs changing. Raina should have been given out, Davis got his interpretation of the guidelines wrong but India were the better side again and deserved to win and frankly Raina's wicket wouldn't really have made a huge amount of difference. Conversely, the BCCI need to either accept DRS (or similar) or stop giving matches to, (and I'll be kind here given what many people are saying on other forums about appalling home umpiring decisions in India) incomptetent home umpires. Can you imagine the Aleem Dar (whom I'm believe the be the best umpire around at the moment) given the Cook, Pieterson and other dire decisions this series?

Posted by heartbreakerz on (January 24, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

isn't Ashwin's "pause" during his bowling action a deliberate attempt to distract the batsman..??

and isn't the batsman distracted when he is facing d fastest bowlers with "50000 people shouting at the top of their voices" ??

Posted by Haleos on (January 24, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

India would have easily won even if Raina had got out. What is the fuss al about? On another note. Ashwin needs to be given a break. He takes his place for granted. Being the main spinner he is outperformed by Jadeja in almost every single match that they play together. Bhajji at his peak was 10 times better than this overrated cricketer.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 24, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Finn has a real bad habit of doing this.We had already seen this in test series and previous ODIs. Any mercy or let-offs could have been considered only if the bowler does this occasionally and not to those who are having a habit of doing this repeatedly. And in no-case it would have affected India's run chase, as Fin was in his 9th over by then, and leaving Finn, there was no one to worry India.Also the, RR required was around 5, so any new batsman could have taken time to get set would have saw India through.

Posted by Udendra on (January 24, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

Yes. I think it's a wrong decision by umpire. He (Finn) should have been NO BALLED!

Posted by SouthPaw on (January 24, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

The bowler should be penalized by calling a "no ball", just as a batsman is given out when he hits the stumps (& the bails come off).

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 24, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

@ pull_shot -- please note that the bowler has the right to STOP delivering the ball if the batsman has switched hands or altered his batting stance before the ball has been released. The bastman would be warned a second time and in the third instance penalised. If I remember correctly KP had been wanred in the Eng-SL series doing it. So, the laws are not all that skewed. It is just that the bowlers want to keep pushing the limits of the laws to gain maximum advantage (possibly due to lack of assistance from modern pitches).

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 24, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

@ k3k3k3 -- good point about morne morkel. But morkel falls down AFTER the ball has been negotiated by the batsman (remember it takes less than 0.5 sec for the ball to reach the batsman). Therefore he would not have distracted the batsmen before or during the course of negotiating the ball. If he falls down before delivering the ball and STILL bowls the ball lying on the ground then it can be considered as deadball.

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 24, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

@ exiledtyke -- Ridiculous comments. A hundred thousand bowlers have played the game before Finn and have been able to bowl by not breaking the stumps at the bowlers end. He has been warned repeatedly. The rules do not change for one single person who is unwilling to adjust his habits. Who are you to decide whether the batsman has been distracted or not?? The bowler has to be punished for not changing. Would the same leeway be given to a batsman if he keeps wandering down the pitch even if his intention is not to take a run??

Posted by pull_shot on (January 24, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

this game is too batsman friendly. bowlers cant do any thing to distract batsman while batsman can even reverse the stance. i think in same manner they should ban reverse sweep,reverse paddle,switch shoot etc as only 4 fielders r allowed outside the circle this rules r very hard especially on asian countries

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 24, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

@ PkZindabaad -- Another frog in the well. You seem to forget that the English team have wallopped u in UAE in the ODI series. Wake up.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

this is unfair if there is a rule that bowler disturbed the batsmen before he bowls it should be a NO ball,not a dead ball.

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 24, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

@ Kiwirocker -- Ok. Noted. Let the ICC decide what to do and also in which countries to play. lol.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 24, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

@KiwiRocker- thanks for pointing umpire faults agaist England only. I will point out which were against India.1) G Gambhir - no nick 2)RG Sharma - above stumps. Against pakistan, Australian umpire gave out incorrectly to Dhoni, yuvraj and denied a caught behind against Akmal and a strong appeal against Younis Khan too denied due to which India cost 1st match and in the second match he gave wrong decisions against Gambhir and Raina which cost India the series. When BD toured Pakistan, Pakistan umpire turned down 2 catches and 4 LBW shouts of the last paki wicket so that you won that test by 1 wicket. There wasn't any pakistani umpire in the Elite panel due to biased umpiring when Venkataraghavan was in ICC panel. Later Alim Dar got lot of matches in India - thanks to BCCI - and he entered in the panel.

Posted by Rags57 on (January 24, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

While I agree that Raina was lucky I don't agree that the lucky break he got was why India won. If he had got out then, Dhoni may have continued with Jadeja to win India the game. May be we would have seen Ashwin and Bhuvanesh Kumar show their skills with the bat to win India the game. The author is forgetting the fact that India needed only around 5 runs an over at that stage to win the game and to get 70 odd runs with 5 wickets in hand would have been no problem at all.

The author needs to understand that England were lucky to win the first game - India almost beat them there. Then they go through two comprehensive defeats and yet the author believes England may have won the series if Raina had been given out. I understand it is tough for Englishmen to accept this series loss (especially after winning the test series) but they need to know how to give credit where it is due. India have been clearly the better side in this series and Dhoni deserves credit for that.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (January 24, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

while there is a discusion happening about laws of the game so it might be time that ICC takes some notice of blunders by Indian umpires in this series and against Pakistan. Younis Khan was given LBW in 2nd ODI while he had edged ball. Pak fortunately won.Shoib Malik got a bad LBW call in 3rd ODI and it cost match, but one must also admit Younis Khan had a favourable decision in earlier match so umpirs make mistakes ( only Indian ones though). In England series, Cook got a bad call in 2nd ODI while Dhoni was given not out at 6 and scored 72. Yuvraj got a bad call at 32 but should have been out at 7. Pieterson got a bad call in 3rd ODI when he did not nick. England inning in4th ODI lost moementum and scored 19 runs in powerply when Cook got another bad call when umpire Asrani gave him out while ball pitched miles outside leg. Indian wins in last 3ODI's are as hollow as Ashwin's bowling action. World cricket has moved on from biased umpiring and ICC needs to stop this farce immediately!

Posted by santosh.singh on (January 24, 2013, 3:13 GMT)

what warning ?can a batsmen get a warning when he accidently dislodges bails ? although his motive is JUST SAVE UR STUMPS. and bowler is disturbing it without any reason.

Posted by me54321 on (January 24, 2013, 2:34 GMT)

Finn isn't the first bowler to do this. I wonder how many people were calling for Pollock to be no-balled when he did it once or twice a match. The batsman clearly wasn't distracted, he didn't even know. Fair enough when Finn was doing it nearly every over it was getting a bit silly, and action was needed, and it was taken. However if he's only doing once every couple of matches, it's at the levels that certain bowlers have historically done it at.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 24, 2013, 1:59 GMT)

Some people seem to be under the misapprehension that there is some law that says that it's a dead ball if the bowler dislodges the bails at the non-strikers end. There is no such law. The issue is whether those bails being dislodged is distracting to the batsman. I would say that it's not and that, while within his rights, Graeme Smith was playing it up a bit. If the batsman is truly distracted then let him pull out of the shot. If the batsman goes through with the shot then he is acknowledging that he is not distracted, as Raina obviously wasn't. If he actually notices the bails being dislodged then let him back away and point that out as the reason why.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 24, 2013, 1:55 GMT)

@Gigster on (January 23 2013, 17:05 PM GMT), it's happened twice, this being the second time, and Raina didn't even notice that the bails had been dislodged so your theory holds no water.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 24, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

Several people here are talking as though Finn and others have just ignored the problem. Are you really that stupid? Of course he hasn't ignored it. Of course he has been working on it. He's already doing it less than he used to. I think that this was the only time it happened this innings. Very unfortunate that it happened on a wicket ball but there you go. He either has to change his action so his knee doesn't extend so far, which would be far from trivial, or bowl further from the stumps. Obviously he has been bowling further from the stumps but he still obviously wants to get as close as possible to get the best chance of meaningful movement. He's got to learn where that limit is as far as how close he can get. He's getting better but still has a way to go. Get off your high horses. I'm talking to you @gudolerhum.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (January 24, 2013, 1:32 GMT)

As others have stated I was suprised this isn't called a no ball anyway, it should be. India would probably have won regardless I believe, positives from the tour- Root, Tredwell (although he is not really one for the future) and hopefully the recognition Keiswetter and Dernbach aren't up to standard. I would liked England to have tried a few different options in view of champions league/world cup preperations but I guess how players perform on Indian pitches is not that relevant to English/Australian pitches. India have been better all round and seem to have found the verve that was lacking in the test series.

Posted by balajik1968 on (January 24, 2013, 1:02 GMT)

Finn has had his share of warnings, so no sympathy for the guy. He should have worked on this.This is becoming a problem for England which other teams will exploit. This could become a game-changer.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 24, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

This was obviously an accident waiting to happen. It's very unfortunate for England that (if I'm not mistaken) the one and only time Finn hit the stumps in this game was on a wicket ball. The funny thing is, the reason that this started being called a dead ball in the first place was because Graeme Smith complained that he found it off-putting. Before that it was no more than a curiosity. I'm not criticising Smith because he was quite within his rights but, since then, it has become accepted that a dead ball will be called. The thing is, Raina didn't even realise that the stumps had been broken so he was obviously not put off by it. From that point of view, it shouldn't have been called a dead ball because there was no disadvantage to the batsman. I can see that there needs to be some consistency on this matter though, so the obvious solution is for Finn to stop hitting the stumps. I do wonder whether it will be automatically a dead ball if another bowler does it though.

Posted by cricmatters on (January 24, 2013, 0:35 GMT)

"The Laws could be clarified. If all such incidents resulted in umpires automatically calling a no-ball it would remove any element of doubt or argument. It would also end the injustice of a batsman being denied a boundary following a bowler's error. No runs can be scored off a dead ball." <=== THERE IS THE SOLUTION.

Posted by MysterySpin on (January 24, 2013, 0:23 GMT)

'At present Law 23.4(b)(iv) states that either umpire should call and signal dead ball when: "The striker is distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery. This shall apply whether the source of the distraction is within the game or outside it. The ball shall not count as one of the over." '

Riiiight. Well in that case international batsman should always stand their ground when given out wherever they are in the world. Point out the noise from thousands of roaring fans or music from the Barmy Army or calypso drums as being a noise distraction from outside the game that is obviously louder and more distracting than the stumps being kicked down the other end and voila a not out decision.

World class batsmen should have learnt to block out all noises short of thunder, earthquakes and air strikes and to focus on the ball. Dump the rule or the ground's loudspeakers will have to tell everyone to shut up during deliveries.

Posted by shrtlg on (January 23, 2013, 23:44 GMT)

It's a simple solution really, apply a the philosophy of the "beamer" law: The first offence in a match should be deemed "accidental" and dead-balled. Second and subsequent offences in the same match should be deemed "deliberate" and no-balled.

Posted by deepoz on (January 23, 2013, 23:20 GMT)

I can not understand this argument of "warning" a bowler once before calling a dead ball. Finn has been doing this so often that it seems he is doing it purposefully. It is really upto the coaches to sort this mess rather than whining about it. It has happened far too often for English team to whine about it; something that is critical ONLY because Raina edged it. If it had gone for a four, I am sure Poms wouldn't complain!! This is similar to "mankading". I am convinced there is absolutely NO need for umpire or bowler to "warn" a batsman/non-striker even once. It is not a player or an umpire's role to REMIND another player of the laws of cricket. when you gets on the park, you better know rules it or learn it through hard knocks.....

Posted by slasaus on (January 23, 2013, 22:39 GMT)

@VickPower totally disagree. First u got some nice English ppl enjoying the cricket and watching Finn constantly knocking the stumps over and a batsman who complains abt it. Now u got Finn who clips the stumps for the first time in his ninth over, in front of tens of thousands of enthusiastic Indians (apparantly making so much noice the players need to shout towards eachother), and a batsman who is walking off, obviously not seeing but also imo not hearing "click" through the stump micraphone. A batsman can complain, why not, but if Dhoni goes to Raina and says: go complain to the umpire and he will deem it a dead ball it totally makes no sense. If all batsmen will complain prior to they will face Finn or after the first time he does it, that will be their choice and maybe in the spirit of the game (or not), and Finn has to do something abt it. The rules are imo selfsufficient enough and def not written to give these kind of not outs.

Posted by bobmartin on (January 23, 2013, 22:32 GMT)

@ VickGower and Maddy20... How distracted can a batsman be when he hits the ball to the boundary as has happened... And who is the umpire to say that the batsman is distracted. How does he gauge that. If you read my post, the point I was making was that the umpires have already decided even prior to the game that batsmen WILL be judged to have been distracted on every occasion it happens. Surely this is predetermination of an incident, not weighing up the evidence presented as it happens, which is what umpires are supposed to do before coming to a decision... The whole thing is a bag of worms. I agree that Finn should do something about it... but by the same token, since this is not a new thing, it's been going on for ages, there should be something more concrete in the Laws rather than this "If it happens then it's a dead ball" farce..

Posted by Love_Cricket_Not_Team on (January 23, 2013, 22:01 GMT)

All English experts are at this now! Just because the offender is an English player! Had it been from any other country it would have been fine. Now MCC will do all it can to clarify the law.. let bowler kick the stumps as long as he is from England... acceptable!

Posted by Chris_P on (January 23, 2013, 21:34 GMT)

I know personally, it frustrates me, so can really sympathize with the elite players about minor distractions like stumps being hit. Finn has been told about this & told what would happen if he he persisted, so not sure what else could have have happened. No ball maybe harsh, perhaps if a wicket was taken, but this should be addressed by Finn & the bowling think tank & cleaned up before too long.

Posted by __PK on (January 23, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

Hey, guess what I just heard. If you bowl a no-ball, the batsman can't be given out, either. Wow. I wonder if bowlers have been warned about that, too. Sheesh. Finn knew. Cook knew. They complained, anyway, in a very sportsmanlike fashion. How many warnings do you need!

Posted by tests_the_best on (January 23, 2013, 21:20 GMT)

Finn was having trouble hitting the stumps at the other end, so he did the next best thing and hit the stumps at his own end. Can't fault him lol.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 23, 2013, 21:20 GMT)

The world's fastest bowler certainly does stimulate a lot of debate. Most posters here fail to grasp that bowlers feel a just a small dose pride in knocking over the bails at the N-S end, most bowlers are taught 2 things from an early age: to keep you arm straight when you bowl and bowl wicket to wicket. Finn's run up is obviously marked out pretty exact and he's forcing his body at the point of delivery to exact good technique. Oh, and welcome back RandyOz, you must have switched your allegiance to an English fan - You haven't posted anything on the Australian boards for the for a while and seem to navigate towards the English one. Care to tell us why that is ol' boy? ;)

Posted by binu.emiliya on (January 23, 2013, 21:20 GMT)

@ James emmerson ,you are an umpire so i have question to you suppose the bowler knocked the bails and bowled the ball the batsman played a straight drive , that hit the bowler's hand and hit the no striker stumps and the no striker is out side the crease what will be your verdict on this ?

Posted by AUSinCH on (January 23, 2013, 21:03 GMT)

Oh, come on!!! Cook claims that his team "didn't know" whether Finn had been warned?! At international level, I would expect every bowler to know that it is unacceptable to dislodge the bails at the point of delivery. It's just plain common sense. Frankly, I'd expect international bowlers to have the basic skills to send down just 60 deliveries in an ODI and avoid hitting the stumps at their own end every time. And of course, Finn has been warned and penalised (mildly -- with dead ball calls) in several matches and series now. Finn is a recidivist -- warning him makes no difference to his behaviour.

I believe there should be an automatic no ball called for this offence. And why not throw in a free hit as well, in ODIs.

Posted by maddy20 on (January 23, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

@Bobmartin Can you tell me why the batsmen pay so much attention to the state of the sight screen? According to your logic, one guy standing infront of the sightscreen at a distance of 70 metres infront of a massive sightscreen should not be a big deal! But it is. Its true that the batsman would be watching the bowler's hand, but after that I think they would be watching the ball hit the turf before they can blink the eye and bails flying behind the ball or the rattling sound of the knees hitting the stump are a distraction. @Front-Foot-Lunge So you have conveniently omitted Cook, Bell, KP, Patel, Finn, Bresnan, Morgan etc., from the main England team? Why would you do that. I thought Cook was the best English(KP being the best of your WorldXI team) batsman and a good captain?

Posted by TheDoctor394 on (January 23, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

Good! As an England fan, I'm glad this happened. Now they might actually finally do something about Finn bashing the stumps.

Posted by Akshita29 on (January 23, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

Good series win for India and for Finn's own sake he needs to get rid of this. Cant blame Cook either as in most previous matches where Fin knocked down the stumps he was warned when he does that 1st time and then as he does it again it is declared a dead ball. But anyways Finn cant keep doing this. As for India really happy to see the youngstars doing so well. Hopefully this is a sign for good things to come .

Posted by AlexfromPessac on (January 23, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

Imagine the batseman is on 99. Finn knocks the bail off, the batsman hits the ball for four, prepares to celebrate his maiden hundred, then... dead ball. Still on 99. The next ball he is out.

I think NO BALL is the only sensible answer. How come this is not obvious to everyone? If anyone can persuade me otherwise I'd be very interetesd to hear their argument.

Posted by sweetspot on (January 23, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

If this was Finn's first such incident, I don't think there would be such a fuss over it from the legal angle. He might even have got a warning. People who say the batsman should be looking at the ball, not the stumps, should realize the sound of bails being knocked out of their place is a death knell for batsmen and they would most definitely hear it, before the ball reaches them. Arguing that Ashwin pausing before deliver is also a distraction is silly, because if that were his normal style, it would be accepted. Neither way of delivering is illegal. Being a professional cricketer, a fine bowler like Finn should just figure out how to bowl without this seriously dumb issue. It is just silly if he doesn't do this. As for India having to chase down another 80 runs if Raina had been out at that stage, Dhoni, Jadeja and Ashwin could motor home at less than a run a ball required. 258 was never going to be that much of a challenge for a batting line up like India's in Mohali.

Posted by emranjonty on (January 23, 2013, 20:39 GMT)

It was really disappointing to see finn hitting the bails in almost every match. He badly needs to eradicate this habit. Today it cost England series loss. It should be given as a no ball.

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 23, 2013, 20:12 GMT)

@exiledtyke: ECB level 2 Umpire (whatever it means, I got no idea if Level 1 is the highest or Level 9) and still talking like this?

And if your hand had dislodged the bail while bowling and the umpire did not notice it then well, that umpire too must have been an ECB Level 2 Umpire it seems.

Neither did the striker or the non-striker notice? Wow, what format cricket was it and was it for specially abled? Do you have some special abilities?

Posted by VickGower on (January 23, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

@bobmartin: "..when quite clearly there is no distraction"

Quite clearly to who? C'mon man, you don't know that. You can't look at a batsman's reaction and smugly conclude that. At the speed that ball comes when a Finn bowls, you have a fraction of a second as a batman to get in shape. You can't tell me the breaking of stumps directly in front of him is a non-issue. And regardless of what you might say based on Raina's reaction in slow-mo, you certainly can't guarantee that NO batsman EVER gets distracted by the breaking stumps. And because you can't say that you need to have one consistent rule for all such situations. The on-field umpire can't get into the business of launching a high profile investigation on whether the batsman was truly distracted or not.

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (January 23, 2013, 19:46 GMT)

Finn is really a good bowler; at least better than the likes of Gul and Dernbach, but he seriously needs to look into this matter of disturbing the wickets at non-striker's end.

Well I remember, an year (or so) ago Finn had a conversation with pakistani Legend Waqar Younis on how to ball closer to the wicket and seam the ball away. Since then Finn has started hitting wicket more often.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 19:34 GMT)

It is funny how badly these English Team wants to win at any cost, it was Flower in England and now it is Alistair Cook.They never stop arguing in spite of being aware of the Rules, Umpire's call is the final one and a dead Ball is A Dead Ball.The players are penalized so that they learn not to hit the stumps at the time of delivery. It is very well to implement new rules but should be used so that the player corrects his mistake and not keep on repeating again again,over after over, like a school kid. Little more discipline goes a long way and which the player can develop or lose out.

Posted by exiledtyke on (January 23, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

@IndiaNumeroUno: FYI, I did read the article and the comments. FYI, I am an ECB level 2 umpire so I know what I am talking about.

Posted by bobmartin on (January 23, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

I think a few people need to check up on the Laws before commenting. If the batsman is deemed to have been distracted deliberately, Law 42 (Fair & Unfair Play) applies. (One might argue that Ashwin's "stop" during his bowling action is a deliberate attempt to distract the batsman) However, Finn's knocking the bails off is not considered under this Law otherwise 5 penalty runs would be awarded when he does it. It is therefore deemed accidental and is dealt with under Law 23 3(b) (vi).(Dead Ball). In this case it's the umpires decision/opinion as to whether or not a batsman has been distracted. So it appears that the umpires have unilaterally decided, regardless of any other circumstances, and based on a complaint from the Sth African captain, that all such occurences are distracting, no matter what the outcome of the delivery is. A ludicrous state of affairs. Batsmen are being denied runs and bowler a wicket when quite clearly there is no distraction.

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 23, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

@RandyOZ: Cummins? The rate at which he gets injured after bowling 3 overs he should be called Goings and not Cummins. When did he last play for Aus btw?

Posted by tests_the_best on (January 23, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

This should be a no-ball or dead ball. There's a rule which prevents the bowler from bowling too wide of the crease so you can't be too close to the stumps either. Bowlers should stick to the allotted space.

Posted by pull_shot on (January 23, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

@PkZindabaad finn is a seam bowler like omar gul so he wont swing the ball please know the basics. ur team played 49 overs and scored 154 runs out of which 15 r extras in 3rd odi so name it

Posted by Arjun_CB on (January 23, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

it should be a no-ball and why fuzz around ?? its clearly mentioned in the article that " Law 23.4(b)(vi), which states that the batsman should not be dismissed if he has been distracted while preparing to receive a delivery. " It's mentioned SHOULD E DISMISSED ... so if a batsmen scored boundary it doesnt matter...

Anyway India won the series and became No.1 in ODI ... Champions.... way to go!!!!!

Posted by JG2704 on (January 23, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

Re this game ,Cook's dismissal was a poor decision but the same umpire gave KP N/O on a marginal one so I see nothing but human error there. Not sure if conditions got easier or whether our top order just made it look harder.I noticed little/no footwork - dropping the ball at the feet in an effort to get quick singles.Maybe I'm being harsh here (and I credit Indian bowling) but despite the quality of bowling I really can't see how quality batsmen can get so bogged down.Not saying they should be able to find the boundary until they're settled but I think it's poor that they can't push the singles and terrible to allow the maiden overs. Even KP looked mostly bad and only when Root joined him did he seem to come out of his shell.Cook looked by far the best until then.Shame also that we don't know when Morgan is going to fire.When on fire he's immense but he seems more miss than hit these days.Controversial call this but I wonder if Hales or Wright might come in for Morgan?

Posted by Narkovian on (January 23, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

I wrote on this site last year it was only a question of time until Finn lost a wicket due to kicking the stumps. Direct throw at bowlers end would not make a run out if he had kicked the stumps down, even if it was not called a dead ball.. Just get a grip FINN and stop doing it. No good whingeing.

Posted by shiv_mishra on (January 23, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

@James Emmerson - You are local league Umpire and still you are supporting an illegal activity here. Most fundamental fact is, that a batsman is adjudged out while he dislodges stumps during facing a delivery. Then why should a bowler not face penalty? Also Raina was denied a 4 in same series earlier in similar circumstances. Do you think that would have affected Raina at last moment? Cook showed an unsportsmanlike behavior arguing with Umpire.

Posted by slasaus on (January 23, 2013, 18:48 GMT)

I have seen birds fly over, irritating flies, sledging fielders, captains who make field changes at the last moment, distracting ppl around the screens ... and batsmen backing down after which umpires call dead ball. Watching this umpire calling Raina back after his dismissal coz he deemed that the striker is distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery... it just makes me laugh coz that is not what the rule states. Smith may have had a point, different game (finn constantly hitting the stumps ie), either change the rule in a no/dead ball rule or leave it and act accordingly. I totally understand Cook's frustration, I reckon he has been given out on 4 occasions since his centuries due to poor umpire's decissions and this was a rally important moment. I understood the umpire said prior to the series1 time after which it is a dead ball for the entire series? Why 1 and not 0? This precendent makes no sense imho.

Posted by Paras.Rishi on (January 23, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

Now why there is a need for an article on this? A no-ball is a no-ball and can happen at any point of time. I've seen a "wicket" falling on a no-ball so many times before. English writers should look out some other areas to blame on for their shameful losses!

Posted by PkZindabaad on (January 23, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

There is no doubt that these kind of balls should be called as No-Ball. Raina was lucky. However nothing more to read from this game as England and India are both mediocre team, which don't come in the class of Pakistan or South Africa. Moreover, Finn is an overrated player who does have pace and height as a boon. He should concentrate more on how to move the ball both ways as Junaid does. Maybe a stint with him or Wasim Akram can help him. Cogent comments from a well-wisher of Eng

Posted by SamNY2013 on (January 23, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

Isnt striker distracted by fan noise? this rule is really one sided.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (January 23, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

@exiledtyke - we are talking international cricket here and not village cricket. The umpire calling it dead is well within the laws of the game.. please have a read before you speak.

Posted by Selassie-I on (January 23, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

Should be a no ball, we can't continue having different interpritations of the rules.

Posted by screamingeagle on (January 23, 2013, 18:14 GMT)

The worlds fastest bowler deserves to get this ruling because he is not good enough to correct it, even after so many times of being called. He got an easy one off Rohit Sharma's wicket anyway, so nvm.

Posted by Ali_Chaudhary on (January 23, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

very simple solution. Call the ball No-Ball. Dont know why bumble and Botham were whinging over that dead ball in post match analysis on sky.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 23, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

Funny to read the comments defending Finn stating the batsman 'shouldn't be looking at the stumps'. Yet if a fielder changes position during the bowler's runup that is accepted as a distraction. Which is more in the batsman's line of sight, the stumps or the fielders?

England fans need to accept that Finn has brought this on himself. Other bowlers very occasionally brush the stumps, he regularly runs into them. It's up to him to stop doing that and bowl from a proper position.

Posted by khurramsch on (January 23, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

its is pretty regular fo finn now so england will have to suffer.

Posted by whoster on (January 23, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

It is infuriating that Finn keeps brushing the stumps, but I've got no problem with any umpire deadballing him - whether pre-warned or not. The point about "would the umpire have called dead-ball if it was hit for four?" is irrelevant. If that ball WAS hit for four, then the bowler was still at fault, and the batsman should be awarded four runs. Finn is a quality bowler who's getting better all the time - but we could really do with him ironing out this problem. However, none of this has anything to do with the fact that England's bowling attack, apart from Finn and the always-dependable Tredwell, is poor. That's the real reason for England's defeat. After the batsmen did a great job getting us to a competitive total, that's the real disappointment. Bresnan, Dernbach and Patel have all been given ample opportunities, and have all failed. No point complaining about Cook's dismissal either - that's the game of cricket (or at least it is with the BCCI's arrogant refusal of DRS).

Posted by kristee on (January 23, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

Using my common sense, any other dismissal than running out at non striking end is still valid. It's the fielding team that gets disadvantaged even then. Raina was fooled by the ball, simple.

Posted by exiledtyke on (January 23, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

If we go down this route, pretty soon the game will degenerate to the point where all the bowler does is lob the ball in a manner of the batsman's choosing so the latter can hit it.

The rule as it stands is fine and should not be changed. Any batsman that is distracted by the bail falling off at the other end during delivery is patently not paying attention and deserves whatever happens.

I too - as a bowler - have clipped the bail during delivery. It was so noticeable that I had to tell the umpire it needed replacing as I was the only person on the pitch that was aware it happened.

Posted by saintnz on (January 23, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Finn should not be allowed to get away with these deliveries. In doing so, and getting closer to the stumps than he naturally can, he is gaining an advantage by changing the angle of his delivery, bowling too straight on. No ball him every time he does it, just like a bowler would be no-baleld for bowling from too wide out.

Posted by kishore1221 on (January 23, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

England deserved it. All such balls should be called "free-hit" no-balls so the bowlers will practice harder at nets and avoid such things

Posted by bigdhonifan on (January 23, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

It should be called NO BALL.

Posted by howzzattt on (January 23, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

All England fans would say that it was the Umpire's fault and all Indian fans will say that it is the bowlers fault.

End of the day, India have been a far better side than England have been. England completely dominated India in the test series and thrashed India, it is only fair that India returned the favor to England in the most fitting possible way.

Just one decision may not have been sufficient to ensure an English Victory besides, Rohit Sharma was wrongly adjudged LBW. These things happen in the game and at the end of the day it is just a sport to sit back, relax and enjoy!!!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 23, 2013, 17:13 GMT)

The world's fastest bowler is entitled to be judged according to the laws of the game. Steven Finn was not. Umpires are required to enforce laws, laws of which are based upon precedent. The precedent being that one warning is given upon first occurrence of the bails being dislodged. Those on this site who have actually played cricket for club grade or higher will know that you watch the ball and not the knees. So many comments are left here from fans who have never played any competitive form of the sport, and it certainly shows. Well played India, well played England's youngsters. As the snow clears in England, the main England team should just be finishing off their bottles of champagne left over from the Test Series, and getting back into training. Their work was very much done last month. Now English fans have the prospect of back-to-back Ashes series to consume, safe in the knowledge that England's five-year long dominance over Australia looks set to continue apace.

Posted by skilebow on (January 23, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

It was the correct decision. Finn is going to be a world class bowler in all 3 formats but he has to get this sorted.

Posted by Gigster on (January 23, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

Some people are of the opinion that the bowler knocking off the bails should not distract the batsman in any way. Yet, in cursory observation it seems that an unreasonably large number of balls in which Finn dislodges the bails end up snaring a wicket. I am not in a position to pull up statistics for this, but it must be possible. If this be the case, there might be credence to the argument that the batsman was indeed distracted and in such case it is fair to call it dead, with or without warning, as the umpire deems fit.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 23, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

I begin to wonder what is the purpose of the existence of the ICC. Opinions on this issue of knee knocking stump are many & varied. I presume that the ICC executive & officials are highly paid. Perhaps they would care to justify their salaries & give a clear & unequivocal ruling on this nonsense - and then TELL all boards that DRS is going to be used in all international one day & Test matches, as the umpires are pushing the game into disrepute by their patently erroneous decisions. The umpires' input has tarnished this series as millions of viewers can attest. The captains' reports to the ICC at the end of the current series will, I'm certain, provide plenty of ammunition for the ICC to sanction necessary chages, if they have a genuine will to act in the best interests of the game. It is high time for them to justify their existence. Continued inertia is a condemnation of their effectiveness.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (January 23, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

It shud be no ball that's it.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (January 23, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

Glenn Magrath was a couple of inches shorter than Finn. But I find Finn have almost the same action of running in towards the stumps in the last 3 strides. Maybe he should start wider and end up 6 inches from the stumps. he will have to practice a lot but he will get OK. Today was most unfortunate for him. He is a great bowler and will destroy Australia in 6 months time.

Posted by Mohammad_Imran on (January 23, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

I agree that this should be called a no-ball & a free-hit should result 'cause if the batsman disturbs his bails with his body he is given out. Therefore, the bowler should also be penalized for this mistake instead of calling it a dead ball. Otherwise, Finn will not make an effort to correct his run-up.

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 23, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

Hilarious that Finn thinks he can get away with it. Maybe he should concentrate on getting his speed up near Cummins and pattinson instead.

Posted by aravindDL on (January 23, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

The question is if Raina genuinely got distracted because of the act? The umpire thought so and hence dead ball...In another occasion, if the umpire felt that the batsman is not distracted (could be a dot or boundary), then the umpire might not want to make the batsman pay for a bowler's mistake, hence a warning. Or if a batsman got distracted, but by mere coincidence, the ball hits the bat and goes to the boundary..its a dead ball becoz thatz is not how cricket shud be played. A classic example of a human judging, interpreting the situation and making a decision. Something that DRS cant do. A beautiful grey spot in cricket left for human interpretations..just like life..thatz why i love this game.

Posted by zoot on (January 23, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

Finn is obviously trying to get as close to the stumps as possible so he can bowl wicket to wicket. I agree that he should be no-balled for disturbing the stumps or bails.

Posted by Jimmyrob83 on (January 23, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

About time Finn was on the wrong end of this stupid habit. I remember not to long ago a batsmen hit a four only Finn broke the stumps and it was called a dead ball.

Posted by amanroy on (January 23, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

No debate here. The bowler has to be penalized for his error. Few matches back, Finn did the same but that time Raina hit him for four and still that was a dead ball too. No doubt that he is a very good bowler if not better than Anderson and Broad.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

Guys, as an local league umpire I can tell you Davis has got this seriously wrong. SA gamesmanship in the summer - complaining to put Finn off - has led to a ridiculous state of affairs where one bowler is being penalised because an Umpire himself got irritated having to replace bails and allowed himself to be swayed by batsmen quite obviously 'trying it on'. Graeme Smith made a fool of himself hitting those fours at Headingley after he'd complained - clearly not that distracted. If the bowler knocks the bails off, it inconveniences him and his team, and affecting run-outs becomes that much more difficult - so there is already penalty enough. This is a classic example of the ICC meddling with the existing laws, which simply leads to confusion and disputes at all levels. The law as it stands is perfectly adequate, it just needs to be applied properly and not because of an umpire's personal frustration at having to replace bails.

Posted by TobyTee on (January 23, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

At the point where Finn is dislodging the bails, his hand is delivering the ball from a height considerably above the bails and that's where the batsman's eyes should be focused, not on his knees. I seriously doubt that the batsman notices the bails and should not be distracted by it. The only disadvantage is to the fielding side as it makes run outs more difficult. The inconsistency between umpires responding to this is the problem and it stems back to Graeme Smith's gamesmanship last year. It should neither be a dead ball nor a no ball, let the delivery stand whether it be a wicket or a boundary.

Posted by kc69 on (January 23, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

Positives for English in this series are that they have found future of English cricket in form of Joe Root and Steve Finn.However it is also evident that Cook is one of the greatest English batsmen ever(Better than Strauss).However India ensured that Players like Gautam Gambhir,Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja will stay in team for few more years without being questioned.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Cook, the perfect gentleman in my opinion, blotted his copybook today, with his questioning the umpire!

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

why is it taking the ICC so long to act? why the umpires calling dead ball and not penalizing finn. the rule should be change immediately. it should be a no ball whenever a bowler disturb the stumps during his run up

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 16:23 GMT)

Finn is a fantastic bowler. Why can't he do something to avoid this silly fault? And, reap the full rewards for his superb talents?

Posted by AK47_pk on (January 23, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

It shud be a no ball as simple as that. He shud be punished for continuing this drama again nd again. Y batsman shud be denied a boundry if Mr finn isnt able to control his knees? This is becoming a joke with every passing day.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

Ever since,I saw this violation of the non-strikers stumps for the first time, I had been saying, at very opportunity, that it should be a no-ball and not a dead ball. A no-ball with NO free hit!

Posted by k3k3k3 on (January 23, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Morne Morkel frequently has hit the ground right after the delivery - should a "dead ball" be given by the umpire? A 6'3" guy tumbling while the ball is coming at the batsman should be more distracting than the bails flying about, LOL.

Posted by tickcric on (January 23, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Well I feel for Finn & the England team here. But I am sorry to say they kind of deserve this. It's happening time and again with Finn but it appears Finn & the England set up are not motivated enough to rectify it. Now we will see Finn actually getting rid of this habit! I too think calling no ball is the best option here.

Posted by V.Jammy on (January 23, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

Whenever a Bowler disturbs the stumps while bowling, it should be immediately called as 'No Ball'. Its the mistake of Bowler, so he should suffer. If the Batsman hits a boundary or a six, then he has to suffer when its called 'Dead Ball' even if its the Bowler's mistake!!

Posted by Tigg on (January 23, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

Even easier would be, rather than a no-ball, count the ball as live unless a wicket falls, in which case it is a dead ball. Batsmen get the runs, bowlers aren't punished for something that may or may not be distracting.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Good decision by the umpire. Let ICC change the rules at the earliest to declare it as no ball. Everybody forgot about another incident when Franklin was denied a boundary for the same mistake by bowler........Better late than never for ICC to wake up..

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (January 23, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

The sad thing is, Finn is a real class bowler. I really think he can be one of the best ever, but its really mystifying why he feels the need to come so close to the stumps. I would like to thump his coach to start with... it's HIS fault first!!

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

The NFL put a new rule in place just for Emit Smith taking out his helmet in the end zone after a touchdown. Right now no one in the NFL can take out his helmet to celebrate except if it comes out accidentally. ICC takes too long to act on critical issues that affect the game. A new rule should have been in place just for Steven Finn. The ball should count as a noball and not a dead ball (no warning) and everything else should favor the batsman except runout. Try that and you'll see how quickly he'll stop.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (January 23, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

@777aditya: He is absolutely right, it is a ridiculous flaw in his game. It should be called a no-ball every time. If Finn cannot stop doing this, then I'm sure Graham Onions will quickly point out he does not do it.

Posted by satmaestro on (January 23, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

Davis did it right!!! Shame on ICC... Amending unwanted rules but not which are necessary.. No warning. No dead ball. No ball upright. In that way, the batsman is nor penalized for bowler's mistake (suppose he hits a boundary or scores run).

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (January 23, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

I don't agree with the dead ball for knocking over bails/stumps by the bowler... it should be a no-ball with a free hit. ICC please amend the laws! Its ridiculous that a bowler of international level can't get rid of such a basic flaw... then the Captain goes and argues with the Umpire!.. so much for "spirit of the game".

Posted by PPD123 on (January 23, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

The no-ball option is the best route suggested. Finn should be penalised, it only then will he be forced to change his run up/action to avoid colliding with the stumps. Eng have only themselves to blame and Finn must be feeling miserable for letting his team down.

Posted by pb10677 on (January 23, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

I'm an England fan, but my reaction to this is "GOOD".

This has been a problem for some time now, it's actually getting quite embarrassing. David Saker, brilliant as he is, needs to work with Finn to get this fixed urgently.

And as for Cook enquiring about a warning - that's silly. Davis should have replied with "he's been warned since last summer mate". I think the umpires actually held discussions on how to handle it prior to the ICC Workd T20 - if that is the case, it should be a major source of worry for England.

The article mentions the Aussies complained last summer - no doubt they will definitely have something to say come the back-to-back Ashes series this year if it isn't resolved by then.

Posted by Sushrutdhakal on (January 23, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

poor Finn, denied a wicket which wold have won England the match. But who is to blame? He, himself.

Posted by gudolerhum on (January 23, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

I am so pleased that Finn has been denied a crucial wicket and it probably cost England the match and series. Maybe now the coach and captain will have a "word" in his ear and tell him to either get his act together or he can kiss his international career goodbye. It is absurd that he has been allowed to get to this level and to continue and still have this basic flaw in his technique that costs his team dearly. It does not say much for his coaches during his formative years, if this is the only way he can be effective then he is a very limited bowler. At least deliver from wider of the stumps - that seems basic!

Posted by sundersingh on (January 23, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

its not a matter to concern, these are basics of cricket that one should be aware of in the international cricket...............

Posted by luvcricket_new_gen on (January 23, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Stop bowling Fin, irritates with kicking the stumps.

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