Finn stumps problem to become no-ball


If Steven Finn needed any further incentive to drop his habit of kneeing the stumps in his delivery stride, it has been provided by the announcement that it will in future be called a no-ball. The change to the Laws, rubber-stamped by the the MCC Committee, has been brought about specifically in response to Finn’s persistent problem, which the England bowler is still trying to eradicate. The new ruling will come into effect from October 2013 but it is possible for the ICC to change the playing conditions for international cricket to immediately reflect the Law.
The issue came to wider attention during England’s home series against South Africa last summer, after a complaint from the batsmen that it was causing a distraction during the second Test at Headingley. Graeme Smith was caught at slip off a delivery that was called dead-ball by the umpires, as Finn had clipped the stumps at the non-striker’s end. At the time, the MCC announced that it would review the Laws. Although Finn has been working to deal with the problem in his delivery stride, the habit has seen umpires call dead-ball with regularity since last August and cost Finn another wicket during the ODI series in India, when Suresh Raina edged to slip. In his most recent outing, the second ODI against New Zealand, Finn trialled a new, shortened run-up, with four strides removed – but still clipped the stumps at one point during the match. Until now, umpires only had recourse to Law 23.4(b)(iv) which states a dead-ball should be called whenever a batsman is “distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery”.