CHENNAI: THE next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) might see a dedicated umpire to check ‘no balls’. A proposal in this regard was discussed at the IPL governing council (GC) meeting held at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Tuesday.
“We saw that (howlers while spotting no balls) during the previous edition. We plan to observe no balls specifically from this edition. A plan will be chalked out in this regard and presented in the next meeting for recommending it for approval,” a GC member told this newspaper.
The league in 2019 witnessed a few debatable decisions as far as front-foot no balls were concerned. India skipper Virat Kohli, also captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore, even had a heated argument with umpire S Ravi for failing to spot a no ball bowled by Mumbai Indians’ premier fast bowler Lasith Malinga. Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma was also critical of umpiring decisions in the match.
However, it remains to be seen whether the third umpire will be assigned the responsibility or a designated person will be deputed to discharge the duty. At present, the third umpire is called upon to check for a no ball only after dismissals.
As per laws, a match is officiated by two on-field umpires. It also has a third umpire on the sidelines and a match referee, who looks into disciplinary issues.
The third umpire uses TV replays to rule on run outs, stumpings, whether a ball has hit the ground before being caught or when it is not clear whether the ball has crossed the boundary. He/she, however, can only make a decision if asked to do so by on-field umpires.
The GC members expect the move to improve the quality of decision-making. There were calls to give more responsibility to the third umpire after the 2019 IPL was marred with controversies related to bad decisions made by on-field umpires. “Technology can be used for minimising the error and we plan to do it from the next edition,” added the GC member.
The meeting chaired by former India international Brijesh Patel, however, didn’t discuss the much-hyped ‘Power Player’ concept of substitution during IPL games. “No, it was not discussed,” the member said.
Possibility of allowing franchises to play international friendlies during the off-season was also discussed in the meeting. The GC members also spoke on reducing day matches and having more day-night contests from the next edition. If implemented, the move might see the league stretching a bit more than usual.
Auction on Dec 19 in Kolkata
The GC also decided that the players’ auction for the next edition will be held on December 19 in Kolkata. Unlike 2019 wherein every franchise was allotted `82 crore, `85 crore has been earmarked for each team for the 2020 edition.
The auction will be the last one before the franchises disband and get ready to assemble new squads from 2021 at a mega auction.