IPL Governor Approves Fifth Umpire For No-Balls In IPL 2020

By Dhanu Delphi on November 6, 2019

The BCCI takes the Indian Premier League (IPL) very seriously as the IPL sets the standard for domestic T20 leagues around the world. The 2019 IPL was a success but there were a couple of games that received negative feedback from the press as well as on social media because the umpires clearly messed and got their no-ball calls wrong.

The no-ball rule in the shorter format of the game allows for a free hit of the next ball. A free hit is when the batsmen can have a go at the ball without any fear of getting out. Bowlers do their level best not to overstep the line and give away a no-ball in T20 cricket because they know that the consequences can be massive.

However, bowlers feel helpless when they are called for a no-ball due to a fault of the umpire. It also works the other way as sometimes umpires fail to call a no ball and allows the bowler to get away.

IPL Governor Approves Fifth Umpire

To avoid such errors from happening during IPL 2020, new IPL governor Brijesh Patel has confirmed that a fifth umpire will be present for all games during the upcoming edition of the IPL. The role of the fifth umpire will be to exclusively focus on no balls. This is to ensure that there are no errors.

This is an interesting development because cricket over the years has changed considerably with the addition of the third and fourth umpires. These umpires use technology to make the game better and prevent errors. The decision to bring on a fifth umpire might end up slowing the game down. But Governor Patel believes that it will help ensure no controversial decisions concerning no balls will be mixed.

The new role of the fifth umpire will be tested first at the domestic level. The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament starts on November 8. It will be used as a testing ground for the fifth umpire. There are plans to also use a fifth umpire during the upcoming Ranji Trophy games, which start in December.

Based on the results of these two tournaments, the IPL governing committee will make the necessary changes. Then, they will introduce the fifth umpire for IPL 2020.

IPL 2019 Controversial No Ball Incidents    

The two main controversial incidents in IPL 2019 involved captain Virat Kohli, who also captains the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and former captain MS Dhoni who captains the popular Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise.

Virat Kohli was visibly upset during a game against the Mumbai Indians. RCB needed seven runs of the last over and Shivan Dube only managed to get 1 run. However, Lasith Malinga bowled a no ball, so technically they should have had another ball to face.

Kohli complained about the standard of umpiring and pointed out that this was the IPL and not club cricket. He lashed out at the umpires and said they needed to have their eyes open and be more professional.

MS Dhoni decided to interrupt play when CSK was chasing down a total set by the Rajasthan Royals. A waist high full tossed was deemed a no ball by the umpire. But it was then overturned by the square-leg umpire, which frustrated MS Dhoni. He came on to the field in the middle of the game and argued with the umpires over the call and would later express his frustration because the two umpires contradicted each other.

MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli continue to be the two biggest names in Indian cricket. Therefore, the IPL Governor has taken their concerns into consideration. It remains to be seen whether the addition of the fifth umpire will reduce no-ball howlers during IPL 2020.