Cricket regulations that could do with a tweak

Go back to the back foot

That'll reduce the number of illegal deliveries bowled, improve over rates, and give umpires more time to spend on the important decisions

Ian Chappell

December 22, 2012

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting is caught off a no-ball, Australia v South Africa, 1st Test, Perth, 3rd day, December 18, 2005
There has been a massive rise in the number of illegal deliveries since the no-ball law was changed to the front foot © Getty Images

In 1962 the no-ball law was changed to a front-foot one from one that previously used the back foot as the guide. This was the administrators' answer to the perceived problem of dragging, where bowlers occasionally delivered the ball with their front foot in advance of the batting crease while still adhering to the back-foot regulations.

Prior to the law change, in 529 Tests there had only been 15 instances of 20 or more no-balls (not scored off) bowled in a match. There have been more than 1500 Test matches since that momentous change and no less than 803 instances where the no-ball count has reached that same level.

A company would be delighted with such a percentage increase in sales, but all that cricket administrators have done is diminish the game.

The front-foot no-ball law has added considerably to the number of illegal deliveries without ever looking like eradicating the problem. Apart from the fact that they should never have adopted the front-foot law with all the evidence and expert opinion opposing it, the administrators have shown little inclination to revert to the eminently more sensible back-foot adjudication.

By going back to the back-foot no-ball law, there would be a number of positive side effects on the game.

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

The front-foot law detracts from the time the umpire has to focus on the striker's end for a possible decision. A return to the back-foot law would allow umpires more time to focus on the decision-making process, which should bring improved results.

Because of the awkward angle from which the umpire views the bowler's front foot, the current law creates no-balls. With the advent of increased television scrutiny the umpires are also forced to watch the front line closely, which must surely decrease the time left for focusing on the business end when fast bowlers are operating. All this scrutiny for a bowler overstepping by a few millimetres, which is generally the case, has virtually no effect on the delivery at the batsman's end.

If a back-foot no-ball law were adopted, television would have little reason to focus on the front-foot placement. The side-on run-out cameras could then be used to monitor footage and ensure that draggers aren't gaining a foothold in the game, thus eradicating the only objection I've heard to the reintroduction of the back-foot no-ball law.

However, please don't hang by the neck waiting for this law change to occur.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 25, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

But that brings dragging back in to the equation.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2012, 3:04 GMT)

This is a law to which I have not paid much attention, but it appears to strike a nerve with many. As a relatively impartial observer, I think that the purpose of the rule is to ensure that all deliveries are made from the same distance from the batsman - with some percentage tolerance either way. The back foot version leaves greater leeway from bowler to bowler depending on the bowler

Posted by   on (December 24, 2012, 1:24 GMT)

you don't have to change the rules again because a few fools don't understand they have keep a portion of their truck tray behind the line!!!!they have been practising this for their whole lives and come match day they still overstep!!!it's simple .... don't overstep or you'll be called.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 24, 2012, 0:42 GMT)

@Stuart Davy To refer to the rules of cricket laws whatever its origin is pompous and the term implies it has backing of the legislature and judiciary which clearly it doesn't. Lord Hawkes's seems to have a Utopian view of the world where rules are broken but change the name to laws and cricketers won't break them.

By straining to gain a perceived advantge of a fraction of a millimetre and thereby overstepping is easily remedied by the bowler - make sure the front foot lands on or behind the line. I don't think there are any cricketing 'laws' that refer to bowlers owing the crease so that would merely be a commentator's opinion rather than a bowler's right.

Posted by mican on (December 23, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

It will be well worth it if channel 9 loses broadcasting rights to cricket so as to never hear Chappelli whine abt the damn no ball rule ever again. Easily the most tedious topic in cricket today. And to Alan Thomas. I've checked the no ball stats on the 58/59 series. In matches Rorke played Australia were no balled more often than England. Overall the no ball stats were negligible for the whole series, numbering fewer than 20 from both sides over 5 tests. Looks like Eng didn't get a raw deal after all eh? You'll have to find another excuse as to why your "team of the century" got blotted 4 nil.

Posted by vasisht_d on (December 23, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

@wellrounded87-bowlers have to actually concentrate more on their bowling than landing their foot.And bowling is more of an art like any sport rather than a mechanical body action.In an art,people get carried away with their spontaneity. Its not always a bowler predetermines every action of his and tries to get it right.For example,trying to bowl in a crunch situation,there is an automatic increase in the adrenalin and effort which may make the bowler still land his back foot in the same area but his front foot might drag to much more length than it was during normal situations.Hence,we need to encourage the free flowing art and not restrict them.It is one of the reason I feel there is a lot of sense in the back foot rule.Having bowled fast bowling myself,I think that till the bowler lands his back foot,the whole process can afford the mechanical approach.But to be a good bowler and produce a good ball,one need to allow the natural instinct to flourish.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

It would also encourage a side-on bowling action

Posted by Jonathan_E on (December 23, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

What bowlers actually need to learn is to keep their foot behind the line *in the nets* as well as on the pitch.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

The Gordon Rorke fiasco in 1958-59 was not a failure of the back foot no-ball rule, it was more of a case of the umpires not doing their job. The back foot no-ball rule required the bowler to have his back foot behind the bowling crease line when he bowled, of course this meant that some taller bowlers could stretch their front foot up to twelve inches beyond the popping crease (gaining an unfair advantage) but this was allowed by the rule.

On the other hand Gordon Rorke frequently had his BACK foot several inches over the POPPING crease when he let the ball go which meant that his front foot was around a quarter of the way up the pitch. Now that is clearly a no ball, yet the Australian umpires in that series were not no balling him. Yet the same umpires were no-balling Trueman and Statham who were metronomical in their run up and delivery and were hardly ever no balled before or since.

The question is, can umpires be that incompetent?

Posted by   on (December 23, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

Sorry, it'sthewayyouplay, but you're incorrect there. Lord Hawke was the first to describe cricket's 'rules' as laws on the ground that rules are made to be broken whereas laws are not. The manual for the 'rules' of cricket as issued by Lord's are titled 'The Laws of Cricket'. Chappell referring to Laws is quite correct.

As to the no ball law, I disagree. There may not have been many no-balls in the day, but I've seen lots of old footage, and with the back foot rule, with the drag, bowlers where delivering the ball a foot beyond the batting crease, which is why the law was changed in the first place. I agree with one commentator, I can't recall whom, that the bowler should 'own' the batting crease so it should only be a no ball if the foot is beyond the front of the crease, rather than the behind. That is, if the bowlers foot lands on the line, it is a legal delivery.

As you see, itsthewayyouplay, a legal delivery. Legal to the Laws of Cricket, that is.

Posted by Punters_Mate on (December 23, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

Free hit off a no ball has all but eliminated the no ball in limited overs cricket. Bowlers are lazy in the longer form where there been no penalty until DRS has saved a few batsman.

Posted by kharidra on (December 23, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

In the case of back foot rule being implemented the free hit off the immediate succeeding ball in the limited over formats can perhaps be done away with. Because the early call given through back foot rule should be adequate penalty. How much is the impact on the bowlers to readjust their thinking and execution with back foot law implementation. With bowlers at the receiving end the laws promoting bowling efficiency is generally to be welcome. By doing away with free hit deliveries the bowler will be given the incentive to be able to capture wickets with ball succeeding the no ball and the no ball itself is the penalty ball through an early call.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2012, 0:49 GMT)

I salute you Sir! At last we have a great player who shares this opinion! After all, we require the batsman to have only his back foot behind the crease to avoid a stumping. And it is time that the bowler got back 2 lost advantages: the extra 2 yards down the pitch and the front foot rough at a good length. Let us also allow LBW decisions regardless of the points of pitch and impact. Further, at least in T20 games, let us have (1) the batsmen run all their runs; if they hit a boundary they must still be required to actually run the runs (WG Grace ran every one of the first half his 50,000-odd runs before the laws allowed boundary hits to be simply tacked onto the scorecard, without the batsmen having to actually run them). (2) a fielding powerplay when 2 extra men are allowed to field in addition to the playing 11. It is time that bowlers got some advantages!

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (December 22, 2012, 23:43 GMT)

The sub-heading is called 'Rules that ...' and then Ian Chappell goes on to talk about no-ball law. Laws are rules by governments and enforced by the courts. As far as I'm aware laws of cricket are neither made by any government nor enforceable by any court so the first thing I'd change would be to call the rules of cricket, rules.

Moving on to the the no-ball issue, I have no sympathy for any bowler who oversteps the crease. They are paid very well and should be bowling day in and day out in the nets of in matches, and yet are unable to ensure that at least part of their foot is on the line is inexplicable.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 23:28 GMT)

Agreed, it was unwise in the first place to revert to the front foot rule. The rule was introduced because of a perceived problem by very few draggers, chiefly Gordon Rorke whose career had basically finished by the time of its introduction. Also as it stands there is little chance of a batsman "punishing" no balls with front foot rule. The slightly extra time f,or batsmen to punish the fewer no balls bowled would bring extra escitement as well as punishing no balls delivered

Posted by ygkd on (December 22, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

I read the comments first and then the article. I thought the two didn't seem to match. Chappell, who I'm no particular fan of, didn't say all that much to cause such an uproar. His suggestion would get rid of the silly necessity for Free Hits for starters. How many times do we have to see in limited overs a batsman have a free swipe for a no-ball bowled to his partner (his partner having taken a single or a 3)? What a gift, especially early in your innings! Any problems arising with dragging, as Chappell said, can be covered by the cameras and third umpire and it would make it easier on the on-field umpires - the blokes we expect to get every decision right. As for some young modern so-called 'batsmen', they have so much in their favour, as @Hammond says, that they can hardly whinge about this one. However, as Chappell says, one shouldn't wait for the ICC rules committee to make a move. In short, it'll never happen, but if it did, the game wouldn't suffer at all. Quite the contrary.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

Sorry, Ian, this is one of the rare occasions I disagree with you! While the statistics are impossible to argue with, the difficulties come with the effects you describe. You mention over rates but the contribution front foot no-balls make to reducing these pales in comparison to slow interchanges, fiddling around in the field, and prolonged decision reviews.

Could not coaches encourage bowling from six inches further back? Or is that just too simple?

Posted by whoster on (December 22, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

'Perceived' problem of dragging? If a fast bowler drags his back leg to the extent that he bowls the ball a yard or two in front of the batting crease, how on earth is that not a problem - and how on earth is it fair? So what if there have been more no balls since the front foot law came in - the fielding side still get penalized. Also, I haven't noticed the number of no balls being much of a problem in regard to the flow of a game. No balls are part of cricket, and when a wicket is taken off a no ball, it's a great moment of drama. @Bobletham - that's a good piece of research; but does an average of about 3-4 no balls per day during the England - SA series constitute much of a problem? Many more important issues for international cricket to focus on.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (December 22, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

I don't agree, bowlers should just learn to get there foot behind the line. As Chappele said there's no real advantage to being a few centremetres forward so why push for it? why do fast bowlers seem to aim for the front heel to land on the line instead of the front toe? why is that so hard?

Posted by AvmanM on (December 22, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

The "new" rule has worked well for 50 years. Enough said.

Posted by vasisht_d on (December 22, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

Just as we allow only 1 or 2 bouncers to the bowlers,why cant we allow 1 to 2 no balls per over as long than it is within half a feet(15 cm).This way bowler don't get undue advantage and neither are they penalised for such a small margin of error.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 22, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

@notquickbutsudden on (December 22 2012, 04:27 AM GMT), the LBW law regarding pitching outside leg stump is to prevent bowling negative lines. If the batsman can just pad the ball away if it's pitching outside leg stump then spinners in particular can't simply keep putting it there and packing the leg side field.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 22, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

@bobletham on (December 22 2012, 12:21 PM GMT), could it not just be that the front-foot law was new and the bowlers weren't used to it? To be honest, I don't really care if there are a large number of no-balls. Keeping your foot behind the line is a fairly basic requirement of a bowler and if they can't do it then they deserve to be penalised.

Posted by Hammond on (December 22, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

@ Bill Cairns- considering you must be at least 80 years old don't you think that a little tweaking back in favour of the bowler would be a good result? The batsman have enjoyed rule changes for too long (from a long suffering bowler)....

Posted by bobletham on (December 22, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

Posted by Bill Cairns on (December 22 2012, 13:35 PM GMT) I was an umpire in the days when we changed from back foot to front foot and I feel that it was one of the greatest improvements to cricket since overarm bowling. Modern players have no conception at all of the problems of "dragging".

Agreed. There is a photograph in the 1960 Wisden of Gordon Rorke, who played for Australia in the 1958-59 Ashes series. He is delivering the ball (the best description as he was throwing it) from at most 18 yards, with both feet beyond the batting crease. This was by no means untypical (the delivery point more than the throwing).

Posted by SDHM on (December 22, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

No, no and no. This is no fault of the rules - it's the bowlers who can't do something as simple as keep their foot behind the line. I wonder if Mr Chappell would be suggesting this if Australia's young bowlers didn't seem to struggle to do so.

Posted by jkaussie on (December 22, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

@centaur64 what era are you from? "Thuggish bowlers" sound like your from the times of WG Grace where batsman were seen as the important players, bowlers just there to do a job. Considering that players such as Harold Larwood, SF Barnes, Fred Spofforth, Wes Hall, Ray Lindwall, Keith Miller all operated under the backfoot law and the game still produced batting luminaries such as Bradman, Hutton, Compton, Sutcliffe, WG, Trumper et al, your argument re overstepping the front line hods little water. For too often the balance of ball and bat has been marked well in favour of the batsman, robbing the game of its quintessential contest and inflating the batting averages of too many. If a back foot no ball rule, as well as taking way the stupid one bouncer per over rule, helped redress this, then well and good.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

I was an umpire in the days when we changed from back foot to front foot and I feel that it was one of the greatest improvements to cricket since overarm bowling. Modern players have no conception at all of the problems of "dragging". A good "dragger" (Neil Adcock was one of the best) would be able to plant his right foot behind the crease and yet only release the ball with his front foot a couple of yards down the pitch. The poor umpire (me) would be constantly telling the bowler to move back by drawing a line for his back foot. The poor batsman just suffered. So there are more no balls now? I don't think that proves anything except that the bowlers used to get away with a lot more than they do now.

Posted by Hammond on (December 22, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

@Centaur64- oh how terrible that a bowler might gain some advantage from the laws.. with DRS, switch hitting, huge bats, roped of boundaries and shirt front pitches where does a bowler get a break? I would love to see a tall bowler operating with the proper (read original) no ball rule in place. There is a reason why it is called the "bowling crease" after all. Would love to see the chocolate soldier modern batsman jump!

Posted by Gizza on (December 22, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

The easiest way to reduce no-balls is to penalise them more. One comment suggested increasing the number of runs to 5 which is a bit extreme but you could make it a 2 run penalty. Or like in T20's and ODI's add the free hit rule. No-balls will drop massively. But having said that, I don't see anything wrong with having a few no-balls in the first place. It is quite an interesting moment in the game when a bowler takes a wicket on a no-ball. If you're supporting the batting side, you get a big wide grin on your face!

Posted by rmurison97 on (December 22, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

@Alexk400 The only problem about using sensors is that some bowlers deliver the ball with their heel off the ground, but some part of the foot is still in the air even though it is not touching the ground, thus making it a legal delivery. Sensors would have to be able to pick up the exact position of the entire foot, including parts that are not touching the ground, at the exact point of delivery, for that kind of system to be succesful

Posted by andysviews on (December 22, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

Not much of a problem with the front foot noball in T20 cricket. Maybe it's because the free hit happens the ball after! Perhaps it is this law change that needs to be adopted.

Posted by bobletham on (December 22, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

Following a brief random survey I have found the following figures, which lend support both to Ian Chappell and to some of those who have commented.

Under the back foot law 1961 England v Australia 1 no ball in the series 0.2 no balls per Test

Under the front foot law 1963 England v West Indies 41 no balls in the series 8.2 no balls per Test 2012 England v South Africa 46 no balls in the series 15.33 no balls per Test

I confined these to English conditions for a closer comparison. The 1961 and 1963 bowling attacks were roughly similar, and covered both laws, whereas the 1962 Pakistan attack was different.

It supports Chappell's argument that more no balls occur with the front foot law. It also points to support for the idea that bowlers are pushing the envelope more.

Posted by Centaur64 on (December 22, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

How festively appropriate that Mr Chappell, from the comfort and safety of his retirement armchair,l should have dragged this old chestnut out the fire just a few days before Christmas. Another glass of port, perhaps?

Ashish514 has hit the nail on the head. If we reverted to the back-foot version, this would mean that a very tall bowler (or any bowler with very long legs) could be releasing the ball much farther down the wicket. That would make for considerably more than 'a few milliimetres' of difference, especially facing the likes of Mohammad Irfan, never mind Joel Garner. And we already see too much of thuggish bowlers thrusting their heads into opposing batsmen's faces, without making it easier for them. Leave well alone, Ian!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

The back foot no ball sounds much more sensible because of the extra time for umpire and batsman. Sure dragging could be dealt with in the modern game the same way the bowlers bent elbow is.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

I am missing something here. Apart from Ian Chappell, who is actually talking about no balls being a problem. Love the selective statistics, how long did that take? 20 no-balls in 4 test innings over 5 days and up to 450 overs? That's 4 no balls per 90 overs, my god it's a massive problem lol! . No balls are caused by individuals, normally a serial offender rather than the whole team. It's not difficult to keep your foot behind the line, but bowlers want to live on the edge and gain a half yard of pace. Would it be any different using the back foot, of course not. The rest fo the advantages are guesswork, I'm not sure umpires calling a 90mph a fraction earlier will change many shots and umpires have DRS to back them up if a mistake is made (India excluded).Here's a point, why not Hawkeye the front foot like they do in tennis for a faulty serve? Give a beep when the foot lands over the line. It'll be quicker than the no ball call and the umpire can concentrate on the LBW's.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

in my opinion, the best way to deal with it is.... if ur front foot touches the front crease, its a no ball. it made sense then that part of foot should be behind the crease as umpires made the call then. now u have technology to assist. keep it simple. make better use if technology.

Posted by Hammond on (December 22, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

@Dark_Harlequin- if you actually look at cricket footage of the back foot no-ball, not only does the umpire have time to see the no ball, he has time (before the ball is delivered) to call no-ball, and early enough so that the batsman has time before the ball is delivered to register the call and have a lash with the bat. The umpire probably has 10 times more time to see the no-ball and look up at the wicket than they do with the current system. This was one of the main reason why Don Bradman (amongst many others) vehemently opposed the law change.

Posted by Stuart_online on (December 22, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

So if the problem is really just a few millimetres and this makes no difference to the delivery, then bowlers can just move their mark back a few millimetres and learn to plant their foot in the correct legal zone. As if. Bowlers these days go as close to the line as they dare, more so than in the early days. There will be just as many no-balls with a back foot law. If you want to encourage bowlers to bowl fewer no-balls, make them worth 5 runs. Then the regular offenders will either adapt or disappear.

Posted by Harlequin. on (December 22, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

This reminds me of a time at school where the umpire looked down for the no-ball, then forgot to look back up again. He then gave out our batsman (I was non-striker) without seeing the delivery because 'it seemed like a confident appeal' from the fielding side...

Posted by sifter132 on (December 22, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

"The number of illegal deliveries would be significantly reduced" I wonder if this is based on the numbers Chappell has quoted or there is a particular reason why bowlers would comply with a back foot line, but not a front foot one. I can't think of what that reason might be. My guess for those low historical numbers of noballs is that bowlers back then didn't 'push the line' like the current bowlers do, bowling at max pace all the time and trying to measure their run ups to the centimetre. I'd be interested to hear what spinners would think of a noball rule, as with a shorter stride they are the ones who will be penalised more, pitch length wise.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 22, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

For me i can make it real simple. There is one thing you want to use technology is No ball line call automatically using sensors. This one free up umpires concentrate on LBW , Caught behind decision more and get more accurate decisions. I don't umpire spend time on No ball call which is turning your head an angle , too much work for every ball. Its tiresome. One of the reason umpire makes mistake is they spend too much time obeserving the foot.

Posted by Hammond on (December 22, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

@Nutcutlet- why can't we just make it so the back foot has to land behind the bowling crease (just as before) and leave it at that? The rules are so heaving skewed towards the batsman these days that it would be one small way to even it up. Just as an aside, doesn't that make batsman pre 1962 seem like supermen? No helmets, terrible uncovered pitches scarred by bowlers dragging marks, and fast bowlers a foot closer to the bat than today? How did they get the results they did? Makes the mind boggle..

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 22, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

Surely having to watch the back foot rather than the front foot would make it more difficult for the umpire to get his head and eyes in position to make a decision on an appeal against the batsman. Given that bowlers obviously push the limits of the front foot rule then what reason is there to believe that they won't push the back foot rule? I still say that bowlers simply need to move their mark back. If 6" won't do it then make it a foot. It's only certain bowlers who have consistent issues so obviously those bowlers have inconsistent run ups. They need to make their run up long enough to accommodate the maximum, not the average. It is that simple.

Posted by ashish514 on (December 22, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

The suggestion sounds like removing the petty thefts from the list of punishable crimes and then saying the crime has reduced since we changed the rules. The point of release of a ball is somewhere nearby the perpendicular line starting from the front foot landing, so it's only fair that a bowler's front foot is regulated. The old rule gives unfair advantage, however minuscule, to a tall bowler. The difference it will create in the release points of a Fidel Edwards and a 6ft 10in Pakistani bowler will not be that minscule.

Posted by Rocketman1 on (December 22, 2012, 4:35 GMT)

" All this scrutiny for a bowler overstepping by a few millimetres, which is generally the case, has virtually no effect on the delivery at the batsman's end." - Not really. If the bowler doesn't overstep by a few millimetre then the point of release would be 'a few millimetres' earlier, which would result with the ball pitching 'a few millimetres' shorter and after landing on the pitch the ball could do something totally different to what it would have done had the bowler overstepped by 'a few millimetres' i.e bounce higher or lower upon reaching the batsman.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

Intresting....never knew about this law. but i think it would cause some difficulties to the current bowlers or next generation to adjust accordingly as they are used to bowl according to front foot law

Posted by asraruwant on (December 22, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

Backfoot No ball to Front Foot No ball and Now Mr Chappel You want to Go back to BackFoot. Changes are good for the Game i Agree, But reverting back to Old ways isn't the way to go Forward in Modern World and Cricket. Yes Change is needed for sure and to me the change Should be to give the line to the bowlers when bowling and Also give the line to the batters in Stumpings and Run-Outs. If a bowlers foot touches the line then its should NOT be a No-Ball and if the batter touches the line either via his bat or leg then it shouldn't be given out. Just follow what Tennis does , Out side the line means its OUT Touching the Line means In. SIMPLE.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

I think Ian Chappell is perfect right in revival of back foot No Ball. No doubt a millimeter overstepping has no effect on the delivery at the batsman's end. It will decrease the burden on Umpire, the television networks and bowlers. Hence, teams will be free of penalties and Free Hits and ultimately time saving in the end.

Posted by notquickbutsudden on (December 22, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

Totally agree. Also let's change the LBW rule; the outside the leg stump deal. Why?

Posted by   on (December 22, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

Ian, for those who don't remember cricket before 1962, could you tell us how the back-foot no-ball law was adjudicated?

Posted by kk777 on (December 22, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

Mr. Ian Chappell Sir, I usually like your logical derivations, today not being one of those usual times... "a bowler overstepping by a few millimetres, which is generally the case, has virtually no effect on the delivery at the batsman's end"...The very basis of your argument is wrong. From my personal experience as bowler I have felt that the difference between a dead yorker and a smashable overpitched/full toss delivery is very much dependent on(among other factors) a few millimeters of difference in your front-foot landing...For further clarifications please ask Malinga and Agarkar(the two opposites in controlling the length). Also people keep mentioning various batsman friendly rules in cricket so much so that they even suggest to make it possible for bowlers to 'cheat' a bit(dragging your foot would amount to cheating)...But they all forget-a batsman can only commit a mistake once, a bowler...(well? exactly!!)

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Ian ChappellClose
Ian Chappell Widely regarded as the best Australian captain of the last 50 years, Ian Chappell moulded a team in his image: tough, positive, and fearless. Even though Chappell sometimes risked defeat playing for a win, Australia did not lose a Test series under him between 1971 and 1975. He was an aggressive batsman himself, always ready to hook a bouncer and unafraid to use his feet against the spinners. In 1977 he played a lead role in the defection of a number of Australian players to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which did not endear him to the administrators, who he regarded with contempt in any case. After retirement, he made an easy switch to television, where he has come to be known as a trenchant and fiercely independent voice.

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Alex Bowden: Why do people think players who get up in the opposition's faces also have aggressive approaches in their cricket?

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44 balls, 16 sixes, 149 runs

Stats highlights from an incredible day in Johannesburg, where AB de Villiers smashed the record for the fastest ODI ton

Kohli at No. 4 - defensive or practical?

It seems Virat Kohli is to not bat before the 12th or 13th over to strengthen the middle and the lower middle order. It suggests a lack of confidence in what was supposed to be India's strength in their title defence: their batting

'The definition of a cricketing genius'

Twitter reactions to AB de Villiers' record-shattering 31-ball ODI hundred

Why cricket needs yellow and red cards

David Warner's repeated transgressions tell us that the game has a discipline problem that has got out of hand

On TV it looks uglier than it actually is

Often reasonable arguments on the field look nasty beyond the boundary and on camera

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