London: The sight of England fast bowler Steven Finn knocking over the stumps in his delivery stride has led MCC to draw up a new no-ball rule that will take effect in October, it was announced on Thursday.
From October 1, if the bowler breaks the stumps at his end during the act of delivery, a no-ball will be called and signalled by the umpire, said a statement issued by Lord’s-based Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which has worldwide responsibility for cricket’s Laws.
At present, there is no specific provision for what officials ought to do when this happens, although the Laws allow the umpire to call and signal “dead ball” if the on-strike batsman is distracted.
The 6ft 8in (2.03m) Finn, who has been working to eradicate his habit, returned fine figures of one for 33 in his maximum 10 overs after coming in off a notably shorter run-up as England beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the second One Day International in Napier on Wednesday. He will again test out the new run-up in the deciding ODI in Auckland on Saturday.
Finn has already been denied two international wickets, when the umpire has ruled “dead ball” rather than raise his finger after the Middlesex paceman disturbed the bails with a kink in his knee as he approached the stumps.
The issue first came to light when Finn knocked over the stumps during last year’s second Test between England and South Africa at Headingley.
MCC’s Laws sub-committee, which includes Australian former international umpire Simon Taufel and International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson, discussed the issue and upon their recommendation the full MCC committee approved the law change during a meeting on Wednesday.
However, matches at international level take place under playing conditions approved by the ICC.
And in the interim period, until the official Law change comes into effect on October 1, the MCC said ICC “may consider introducing a playing condition for international cricket to state that a no-ball should be called if the bowler breaks the stumps during the act of delivery”.