I have had yet another bad experience with umpires signalling to each other after the FOURTH ball.
This time I was scoring and they had counted correctly but afterwards one of the umpires apologised for miscounting two overs! I had noticed him looking nervous at the end of a few over.
I find that, with the Fourth ball signal, you have to remember for two balls that it has been done. On at least two occasions now, colleagues have indicated four, followed by No Ball or Wide, a fair delivery and then Over!!!
There does seem to be more miscounting in TV matches now than there ever used to be - or is it just that commentators are more alert?
I much prefer the five as you are then primed to say "over" rather than thinking further ahead.
I also spotted a pair of umpires who were signalling so dramatically that, several times, the scorer could have mistaken it for No Ball !
Please do it discretely - I prefer five fingers spread on the trouser pocket, with a similar small hand movement in response if correct.
If wrong, then I reply with EITHER two (or more) fingers spread on my upper arm so that they are distinctly visible to my colleague OR the washout signal to indicate end of over.
I use use five fingers for fifth ball rather than one ball remaining and I reserve 1 finger for out!
One advantage of checking the over count on the fourth ball is that it is easier to sort out a miscount without anyone really noticing. It is much simpler for the two umpires to sort out a count disagreement at this point in the over. The common one will be one umpire signalling two to go, his colleague indicating one to go; there is time at this point in the over for a mental review without holding up play. If one umpire thought five deliveries had been bowled and the other six, you would have to sort it out there and then before allowing play to continue. The other advantage of "two to go" rather than one, is that one umpire may be preoccupied with other matters and the usual signal may be missed; there is still time to confirm after the next delivery, the fifth. In my part of the cricket world "two to go" is pretty much the universally accepted signal, and rarely is the cause of a subsequent miscount. Beyond that, I totally agree with Colin on the importance of keeping the communication subtle and minimal.
On balance I favour the 4th ball signal allowing one extra ball to sort out a misunderstanding (or simple forgetfulness). It seems worth adding that two fingers laid across the upper arm and a trailing single finger after the 4th and 5th balls respectively aren't too obvious and certainly shouldn't mislead the scorers. Having said that, last Saturday my colleague miscounted because, having signalled the 4th ball I called a no-ball on the 5th from square leg (keeper coming in front). This underlines the need to only click a counter or (in my case) transfer the coin when you know the delivery was valid.
I also favour the 4th ball signal these days, with two fingers spread across the upper arm. After this, I keep the counter in hand for the 5th ball, then click through to zero, and put the counter in my pocket. The next valid ball marks the end of the over.
I check on the fourth, then if I am at the striker's end, I take out my card after the fifth ready to complete the details. If I am at the non-striker's end then after the fifth I get the bowler's cap/jumper ready to hand back. This usually means we get it right most times.
Post by duncanfrancis on Jul 29, 2013 13:20:57 GMT
I've just come back from watching my son play in the under 13's county festival at King's Colleg in Taunton. I scored the first game he played in and the umpires in that game were signalling on 1 ball to go. In a 31 over innings the other scorer and I counted 5 x 7 ball overs and 4 x 5 ball overs. Not good !
duncanfrancis One could explain one or perhaps two seven-ball overs on missed no-ball calls, and a similar number of five-balls on scorer lapses (sorry - no aspersion being cast) but this is a ridiculous 29% of all overs. Clearly the umpires weren't paying attention and were not liaising properly - the organisers ought to know about this.
Going back to the original point I find that having coins (pre-decimal so reasonably weighty) rather than a clicker makes it easier to remember that there are two (and then one) balls to go. When four balls have gone I have one coin in each hand as I transfer from left to right when the ball becomes dead.
I think it would be good practice to re-signal if there's a no-ball or wide on the 4th or 5th delivery - in the same way as we compare notes on the number of balls left when a wicket falls.
There was a miscounted over in the World Cup match on Sunday 23rd June 2019 between South Africa and Pakistan at Lords.
It was in the 14th over, in which Chris Morris delivered five dot balls and only two single runs - according to the ball-by-ball audio commentary! Pakistani batsmen Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman were at the crease with umpire Joel Wilson at the bowler's end and Kumar Dharmasena at striker's end. The third umpire was Chris Gaffaney.
I would be interested in seeing some footage. I guess they exchanged a fourth ball signal. Was that at the correct time? Did the mistake occur before or after that signal? Has anyone still got a video copy?
The match was also noteworthy for the disputed catch in Morris's previous over - 11.2 - when Fakhar Zaman struck a delivery towards deep mid-wicket where Imran Tahir attempted a ground catch close to the pitch of the ball, which was referred to TV umpire.
PS I was not impressed with some of the umpires waving two fingers in the air as their fourth ball signal. I would strongly recommend that the signal is discrete enough so that it is visible only to your colleague and does not confuse the scorers.
PPS In Hong Kong when there is only one umpire and with small grounds, it is common practice for the umpire to confirm the fifth ball with the scorer(s).