Front foot no-ball technology to be used in Eng-Pak Tests

The three-match Test series between England and Pakistan will see the usage of front-foot no ball technology, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday.

“Front foot no-ball technology to be used in ICC World Test Championship series featuring England and Pakistan, with the support of both teams,” ICC said in a statement.

“Performance of the technology in these Tests will be reviewed before any decisions taken on its future use in Test cricket,” it added.

The third umpire will monitor the front foot landing position after each ball and communicate to the on-field umpire if the delivery was a no ball. The on-field umpires will not call any front foot no balls unless instructed by the third umpire, but will remain responsible for other on-field decisions in the usual way.

The benefit of the doubt will lie with the bowler, and if a late no ball call is communicated, then the on-field umpire will rescind a dismissal (if applicable) and signal a no ball.

The first Test starts between England and Pakistan starts at the Old Trafford from Wednesday, while the next two Tests – both at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton – will begin on August 13 and August 21 respectively.

Captain Azhar Ali and vice-captain Babar Azam will be among the players in focus for Pakistan, up against a side that last week completed its first come from behind three-Test series win on home soil since 1888, with players like Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad performing splendidly against the West Indies to make massive gains in the player rankings.

Azhar, presently 27th among batsmen, will be hoping to regain the form that lifted him to sixth in December 2016, while Babar will be hoping to progress from a career-best aggregate of 800 rating points. Babar is currently sixth after having occupied a career-high fifth place in February.

For England, Stokes displaced West Indies captain Jason Holder from the top of the all-rounders’ list during their last series and formerly top-ranked Stuart Broad rose to third position in the bowlers’ list, currently led by Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins.

Stokes is also England’s top-ranked batsman in fourth position, with captain Joe Root (ninth) and opener Rory Burns (17th) their next batsmen on the list. Dom Sibley (35th), Jos Buttler (44th) and Ollie Pope (46th) get a chance to build on recent progress in home conditions, as do fast bowlers Mark Wood, Sam Curran and Jofra Archer, ranked close to each other from 36th to 39th positions.