ICC won't change bails after World Cup wicket problems

Tanya Simon
June 13, 2019

"Given the frequency of the bails not coming off, the DRS should predict if the bails would fall or not even if the ball is shown to be hitting the stumps by Hawk-Eye in the lbw referrals", the official said, obviously being critical of the Zing thing.

They are the smallest piece of cricket equipment and yet the LED bails, stubborn and heartless (from the fielding team's perspective), in use in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales have sparked the loudest arguments. Close to two weeks into the World Cup and this has become a rather unexpected talking point in cricket's showpiece event.

"At this stage these can't be changed".

Seems like the Indian soil has done wonders to Team India and Virat Kohli, now playing the World Cup in England. Any change now would mean violation of that. The recent incident, of course, was in the match between India and Australia where David Warner got a second life after the bails refused to come off despite Bumrah's ball hitting the stumps at substantial velocity.

"Nothing has changed with the Zing system for years", David Ligertwood, director of Zing, said in emailed comments. It was the fifth such time in a dozen games in the World Cup this year. "They are no different now", said an ICC source speaking off the record. For example, the game doesn't want the bails coming off too easily (making it hard for umpires to place them without holding up play and meaning the wind may blow them off too often). It appears as if this is a bit of a coincidence that it has started happening in a number of matches.

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But you have to live with it and go forward. "I will give everything to help Real Madrid to win more trophies and titles". But you wanted to be part of the legend that is Real Madrid and you have fought hard to achieve it".

The fielding team nearly instinctively starts to celebrate, but they stop in their stride when they see the three stumps with their bails as cleanly stacked as a painting.

"Definitely. This is not something you expect at worldwide level", he told reporters. The lights come on and you know it's very precise.

Ligertwood said Zing is "currently monitoring the situation" and "reviewing all aspects and at the same time looking into whether there are some practical modifications that can be made in the future to make the bails come off easier". No team will like to see that, if you bowl a good ball and you don't get a guy out. "It's a bit unfair at times".

If indeed, that is the case, the ICC must prevail upon the makers of the LED bails - a wonderful innovation that adds to the spectacle, excites the fans and makes it easy for the TV umpire to come to a decision on when the wicket was actually broken - to improvise on their product so that life of the bowlers does not become any more hard than it already is. But I'm not sure what you can do.

"In this context it is important to also consider that with the Zing wicket system the third umpire can determine definitively from the footage in which frame the bail is dislodged, meaning, with run-outs and stumpings, the correct decision is always made, and batsmen dismissed when they should be".

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