Tech glitch blamed for 'pathetic' Ashes umpiring controversy

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Seen here, Ben Stokes looks on after bowling a no-ball on day two of the first Ashes Test.
Ben Stokes was at the centre of a no-ball drama blamed on a technology glitch at the Gabba on day two. Pic: Fox Sports/Getty

A technology failure has been blamed for an Ashes controversy that reared its ugly head on day two of the opening Test at the Gabba.

England's Ben Stokes found himself at the centre of the drama after clean bowling David Warner in the morning session, only to see the wicket chalked off because of a front-foot no-ball.

'WORST EVER': England star cops it over 'awful' Ashes gaffe

'PATHETIC': Ricky Ponting rages over Ashes umpiring 'farce'

It later emerged that the third umpire - whose job is to rule on front-foot no-balls - did not pick up on similar offences from Stokes in the three deliveries preceding the 'wicket' ball.

Stokes struck gold with his fourth delivery on Thursday, bowling David Warner for 17 early on day two of the first Ashes Test.

But a muted reaction from England's talismanic allrounder hinted at knowledge there was at least some risk he had overstepped.

Replays revealed a clear no-ball and third umpire Paul Wilson recalled Warner to the middle.

It soon emerged Stokes also overstepped while bowling all three preceding balls, raising the obvious question as to why they were not picked up by the third umpire.

The farcical scenes sparked widespread backlash from fans on social media, with former Australia Test captain Ricky Ponting describing it as "pathetic officiating" at the Gabba.

"If someone upstairs is meant to be checking these ... it is pathetic officiating as far as I'm concerned," former captain Ponting told the Seven Network.

A Cricket Australia spokesperson later explained that the technology that allowed the third umpire to check for no-balls and inform the umpire had failed on Wednesday and had not been in use at all during the Test.

Pictured left, Ricky Ponting and an umpire signalling no-ball on day two at the Gabba.
Ricky Ponting was furious with the umpiring after a series of no-balls went unpunished on day two at the Gabba. Pic: Getty

The International Cricket Council is responsible for the implementation of that system.

It means the onus has reverted to the on-field umpires to check bowlers' delivery strides, as was the case before the technology was introduced at the 2020 women's Twenty20 World Cup.

In Brisbane, only at the fall of a wicket when broadcasters have time to retrieve and replay footage, can a delivery be reviewed.

Channel Seven cricket analyst Trent Copeland pointed out the four no-balls from Stokes shortly after the England allrounder's first over.

Copeland later revealed on the network's broadcast that as many as 14 no-balls from England had gone unpunished.

David Warner punishes wasteful England

Before the umpiring rule tweak in 2020 it was common for on-field umpires to inform bowlers when they were on the cusp of overstepping the line.

That quick-fire demand proved extremely difficult for umpires though, prompting the ICC to introduce the new technology to ease the load on the on-field officials.

Stokes' error comes in his first match back since July, with rain limiting the amount of centre-wicket work that England could do in recent weeks.

England captain Joe Root, speaking to Fox Cricket during a break in play, was diplomatic about the "frustrating" reprieve.

"The fact we're creating a good number of chances is really pleasing. We've got to stay confident ... keep trusting what we're doing and believing we'll get the rewards," Root said.

Warner, who was dropped on 49, posted his half-century early in the second session on Thursday and he and Marnus Labuschagne settling proceedings after the dismissal of opening partner Marcus Harris for three.

Seen here, David Warner raises his bat after reaching his half-century during day two of the first Ashes Test.
David Warner raises his bat after reaching his half-century during day two of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba. Pic: Getty

Remarkably, Warner has posted four Test centuries after being dismissed off a no-ball.

That stretch includes a hundred in the Boxing Day Test of the 2017-18 Ashes, when he was dismissed on 99 by Tom Curran before the paceman was stripped of what would have been his first Test wicket.

Warner was on 94 at the tea break on day two, with Australia cruising at 3-194 and a lead of 46 runs.

England did have something to celebrate before lunch, having removed Labuschagne for 74 and Steve Smith for 12.

The tourists had their tails up when Ollie Robinson removed Warner (94) and Cameron Green (0) in consecutive balls early in the third session of the day.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting