JLT Sheffield Shield 2018-19
No-ball error could force Shield re-think
Playing conditions to be reviewed after NSW took a wicket off a no ball in the final against Victoria
Dave Middleton at Junction Oval
28 March 2019, 04:54 PM AEST
Cricket Australia will review the playing conditions for the JLT Sheffield Shield that left the third umpire powerless to overrule a missed no-ball on a wicket-taking delivery in today’s opening day of this season’s final.
Controversy erupted on the opening day of the 2018-19 season decider when Trent Copeland's sizeable overstep of the popping crease on the delivery that claimed the wicket of Victorian Seb Gotch was missed by standing umpire Paul Wilson.
Copeland had Gotch well caught by Jack Edwards at third slip, moving sharply to his left to snare the grab that had the Victorian on his way for two.
Fox Cricket is broadcasting the Shield final on its subscription service – as well as live-streaming on Kayo – under the terms of the broadcast rights deal signed ahead of this summer, and replays aired after Gotch had departed showed Copeland had overstepped by a sizeable margin.
"Did it get him for pace, that extra inch and a half?" Victorian commentator Robert Quiney quipped on air.
Third umpire Gerard Abood saw the replays but under the playing conditions in force for this tournament, found his hands tied and unable to act.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: "There are no provisions for match officials to review on field decisions for the JLT Sheffield Shield in the Cricket Australia Playing Conditions.
"This incident will be followed up in Cricket Australia's general match review process and feedback will of course be taken on board."
The options available to the third umpire are listed in Appendix D of the 2018-19 JLT Sheffield Shield Playing Conditions.
They include processes for ruling on run outs, stumpings and hit-wicket decisions, fair catches, and boundary line issues (eg, whether a fielder gathered a ball cleanly before contacting the rope).
The third umpire can also be called into action if there's any appeal for obstructing the field, or to adjudicate on which batter is out if they are both at the same end during a run out.
There is no third umpire for Shield matches during the regular season, which are live streamed on cricket.com.au and do not feature cameras side-on to the pitch that can help adjudicate on no balls and run outs.
Wilson, the umpire standing when Copeland overstepped, had this week been awarded CA's Umpire Award as the game's best official for the summer for the second successive year, and is on the ICC umpire's panel.
A CA statement on Wednesday recognised his achievements that included standing during men's ODI series in India, New Zealand and the West Indies, as well as the domestic JLT One-Day Cup and Shield finals., and was elevated to the ICC's Emerging Panel of Umpires in May 2018.
Known as 'Blocker', the former first-class bowler with South Australia and Western Australia played one Test in Kolkata in 1998, wearing Baggy Green cap 376.
Copeland, who also claimed the key wicket of Will Pucovski in a concerted fightback during the opening day's second session from NSW, was quizzed about the incident as the players walked off for tea.
With no big-screen in use at Junction Oval, Copeland had no idea he had overstepped.
"No, I wasn't (aware) but thankfully Blocker was asleep on that one," Copeland said on the broadcast.
Gotch's wicket fell in a passage where NSW claimed 3-21 in 11 overs, before Victoria responded with an 80-run partnership between Matt Short and Marcus Harris.