Waist height “NO Ball” Rule by BCCI in IPL, IPL and Hawk-Eye join hands to end debate

Hawk-Eye has in its database the toe-to-waist measurement of all IPL batters, and the height of the ball is matched to that for each review

To remove the subjective element involved in adjudicating above-waist no-balls, the IPL, in coordination with Hawk-Eye, has introduced technology to measure the height of the ball as it passes the batter at the popping crease. That is then matched against the toe-to-waist height of the batter when in an upright position – recorded in advance. If the height of the ball is higher than where the batter’s waist is recorded to be, then it is declared a no-ball. Otherwise it’s a fair delivery.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come up with a new technology during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 to reduce the error element in height-related no-ball calls. Over the years, teams have suffered due to errors in decision-making from the umpires. While they are humans and are bound to make unintentional mistakes once in a while, it becomes frustrating for teams when the rub of the green doesn’t go their way in crunch situations.
On Wednesday, Mumbai Indians fast bowler Gerald Coetzee became the first to fall foul of this new system when his first delivery of the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad – the sixth of the innings – to Abhishek Sharma was deemed a no-ball.


While the on-field umpire immediately signalled it, the Mumbai Indians players, including captain Hardik Pandya and his predecessor Rohit Sharma, asked why it was not called a wide when the ball was nearly outside the mark.
Coetzee had delivered a high full-toss that was also way outside off stump. It was measured at 1.44 metres, 0.42 centimetres above Abhishek’s waist height of 1.02 metres. Both readings were showed on the left panel of the TV screen after Hardik reviewed the no-ball call. The no-ball call was upheld.
This year, the BCCI has introduced a couple of new rules to make the IPL 2024 even more intriguing. The introduction of the ‘Smart Replay System’ has made decision-making faster, more efficient, and more accurate. It is a new camera-based review system where eight high-speed Hawk-Eye cameras are positioned around the stadium. In addition to this, two Hawk-Eye cameras will be stationed alongside the TV umpire to offer real-time images and data for swift analysis. The TV broadcast director’s role of being an intermediary between the TV umpire and the Hawk-Eye operators has become obsolete.
The new system is expected to put an end to controversial decisions involved in adjudicating waist-high no-balls, like in previous IPL editions.
One such decision was taken by the third umpire in the 2023 IPL, which took place in Hyderabad, incidentally, in SRH’s match against Lucknow Super Giants.
In the penultimate over of the SRH innings, Avesh Khan, who was then with LSG, delivered what looked to the naked eye like an above-waist full toss to Abdul Samad.
The on-field decision was a no-ball. However, the third umpire deliberated for long as he studied the ball-tracking technology, and overturned the on-field call. The third umpire took into consideration the fact that Samad was crouching a bit when the ball passed him at the popping crease, and that at full height, the ball would have been below his waist.


One of the most debatable calls is the waist-high no-ball. The leg umpire checks the height of a full toss and deems it as a no-ball if the ball is above the waist of a batter during his normal stance. The third umpire is also called upon to decide in case of any doubts. Over the years, some decisions from the umpires regarding waist-high no-balls have caused quite an uproar.

“There are people in the BCCI’s team who are measuring the height of all the players in the IPL till their waist, with a measuring tape. This data will then be fed into the system used by the hawk-eye operators, who sit with the third umpire (from this season) to judge reviews of waist-high full tosses. This data will help in judging the waist-high full toss to a particular batsman better,” a source was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

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Also, the implementation of the second bouncer rule has been wholeheartedly welcomed by fans as well as experts as it enables a much better balance between bat and ball.