Front-foot no balls are a sin for a spinner. It is understandable that fast bowlers overstep as they want to generate more pace, but hey, nobody is buying the excuse.
And you know what’s worse than that?
To not signal a no ball. On-field umpires Sundaram Ravi, Chris Gaffaney failed to detect 12 no balls during Lakshan Sandakan’s 5-over spell in the first session of Day 4 of third Test between Sri Lanka and England.
40 per cent of Sandakan’s deliveries in that spell were illegal. Two of them were signaled no balls because he got Ben Stokes out twice (22 and 32) off them. He scored 42 runs in that innings. Later on they were checked by the TV Umpire and Stokes was given two lifelines. A total of 13 no balls were not detected by umpires Ravi-Gaffaney.
Had it not been for TV umpires, Stokes would have lost his wicket earlier. Moreover, England was robbed of more than 12 runs because of these no balls, which were crucial as they won by a margin of 42 runs.
One or two no balls change the fate of the game but these mistakes were in double digits during the third Test. Spinners do not tend to bowl too many no-balls when compared to fast bowlers but that does not give the right to umpires to ignore them completely.
Also, the fact that Lakshan took 7 wickets in the Test makes these no balls critically important.
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