No-ball or not? Cummins’ wicket sparks debate


A big debate was sparked on the opening day of the Gabba Test when third umpire Michael Gough allowed Pat Cummins‘ dismissal of Mohammad Rizwan to stand, ruling there was no conclusive evidence to call a no-ball on replay.

After Cummins found Rizwan’s edge in the 55th over, the dismissal was sent to the TV umpire, Gough, to check for the no-ball. Numerous slow-mo replays were used, which did not appear to show any part of Cummins’ foot behind the line but, eventually, the wicket stood.

While the convention in the game has been that the benefit of doubt goes to the batsman for line calls, in the scenario of no-balls being checked by the third umpire the ICC instructs umpires to give the benefit of the doubt to the bowler.

“I’ll look at the scoreboard, it says a wicket. It’s the closest one I’ve had. Not sure what happened,” Cummins told Cricket 360. “I never like that feeling when they go upstairs after a wicket. Marnus [Labuschagne] said ‘that’s fine’, I wasn’t that confident but 100 metres away from the screen it’s hard to tell sometimes. I was a little nervous before they put the finger up.”

Waqar Younis, the Pakistan bowling coach, acknowledged it was a tight decision but came down just on the side of Cummins having overstepped. “It’s a tough one, it’s hard to say it was or wasn’t a no-ball. Touch and go, could have gone to either side. When you look at it closely it might be just over the line. To be fair I think it was a no-ball.”

The view in the commentary boxes was that Cummins had got away with the decision. “I think that’s the wrong call. I think it’s a no-ball and should be recalled,” Jason Gillespie said on ABC Radio.

On Channel 7, Ricky Ponting said: “I had a look at a lot of replays and I could not see any part of his foot land behind the line. Glenn McGrath‘s beside me with his fast-bowler hat on saying there’s definitely just a millimetre behind the line. I couldn’t see it. It has not landed behind the line. Anyway, I’m obviously seeing things.”

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