Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has critically questioned match officials for missing a number of no-balls during the opening Test between England and the West Indies.
Jason Holder’s men claimed an impressive victory in Southampton on Sunday, but the encounter had a high number of no-balls not called by the umpires causing many social media concerns over the new use of local officials.
But, Hussain, on air as a member of the Sky Sports Cricket commentary team, highlighted a missed no-ball after West Indies fast-bowler Shannon Gabriel overstepped on the morning of the final day, with England in dire need of some extra runs to post a respectable target.
‘Got to keep an eye on these no-balls,’ Hussain said.
‘This wasn’t called, and it’s runs isn’t it? You know if you get a wicket they’ll have a look at it but there are runs that you miss out on that might be needed by England later today.’
Hussain also raised concern over the same problem at the beginning of the year when the umpires missed a total of 12 no-balls in a single session during a Test match between England and South Africa.
It has become evident that a lot more no-balls are being picked up on wicket deliveries, which was also the case on Sunday when Ben Stokes overstepped after getting rid of Shane Dowrich.
Stokes, who captained the team in Southampton, on the other hand defended the decision to select Mark Wood ahead of the experienced Stuart Broad.
Broad was surprisingly left out of the team when play got under way last Wednesday with many former players and pundits questioning the decision.
‘If I was to regret that, it sends the wrong message to the other guys I picked. We’re in a fortunate position that we’re able to leave somebody out of Stuart’s quality and I thought the interview he gave the other day was actually fantastic, the passion that he showed in that interview.
‘I’d actually be very worried if he didn’t show that desire and passion towards not being selected. Someone who’s played that many Test matches and got that many wickets – to still see that desire and emotion is fantastic to see, you know, as a senior player in this team,’ said Stokes.
The second Test will start on Thursday at Old Trafford in Manchester.