SPORT

Shepherd non-committal on ICC experiment

AMSTELVEEN, AUG. 21. Popular umpire David Shepherd, officiating in the Videocon tri-series, said he would have to `wait and watch' before commenting on the International Cricket Council's experiment of having the third umpire assisting the field umpires in the ruling of a `no ball.'

The triangular competition here is the first tournament where technology will help the field umpires in this regard. In addition to Law 24.5 — Fair delivery — the feet will apply — the third umpire will review live action from the television, monitoring the popping crease during the bowler's delivery stride.

One of the most respected members of his tribe, Shepherd said, "it is still an experiment." Talking about the advantages, Shepherd said, "the batsman will not be dismissed by an unfair delivery. This is important."

About the possibility of the batsman, if the call arrives from the third umpire, not being able to derive maximum advantage from the `no ball', Shepherd said, "in any case, with the front foot rule in force, and with so many fast bowlers operating, the batsman may not have time to hear the call and have a strike. It was during the days of the back-foot rule that the batsman could really have a go at the `no balls.' That is not the case now."

He added the sound from the aircraft, zooming frequently over the VRA Stadium, might also prove a deterrent to the batsman when it comes to hearing the `no-ball' call. — Our Special Correspondent