The IPL Governing Council is planning to have an umpire assigned specifically to check “no balls” after a number of howlers in the past few seasons led to heightened concerns about quality of Indian match officials.
The GC chaired by former Test batsman Brijesh Patel met at the cricket headquarters to discuss a slew of issues including FTP window, availability of foreign players, FTP of Indian team and possibility of franchises playing friendlies abroad. However the talking point was having an exclusive umpire to check on the contentious front-foot and height no balls.
“If all goes well, during the next Indian Premier League, you could see another umpire apart from the regular umpires just to “observe” no-balls. The concept sounds weird, but this was among the issues discussed in the first IPL Governing Council meeting which was held here,” a senior GC member told reporters after the meet. “We want to use the technology. We are having another umpire for only observing no-balls. There will be an umpire, who will be focused on no-balls only. And he will not be third or fourth umpire,” the influential member said.
Meanwhile, the Governing Council has temporarily shelved the proposal of multiple franchises wanting to play a “mini-tournament” or “friendlies abroad” as it would require more detailed study of ICC’s Futures Tours Programme (FTP).
It has been learnt that at least two franchises Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have long been exploring the possibilities of cashing in on their popularity amongst the Indian diaspora. While the matter came up for discussion, a senior IPL governing council member said that “it’s been discussed and the matter has been filed”.
“The issue of allowing IPL franchises to play ‘frendlies’ was also discussed in the meeting but a final call would be taken only after seeing the ICC Future Tours Programme,” he said. However another GC member added that as of now the IPL constitution doesn’t allow franchises to play against each other on a foreign location.
“IPL franchises can play a friendly against Somerset, Durham or Middlesex or Adelaide Strikers. That provision is there but there is no provision for two IPL teams playing friendlies abroad.”