By: Bryan Waddle | Monday, October 01, 2012 6:59 PM
While the constant breaking of the stumps at the non strikers end by English pace bowler Steven Finn didn't impact on the final result of the match against New Zealand, this continual practice is not only annoying but unfair.
Rather than the occasional accidental occurrence, Finn is now becoming a serial offender, creating an environment of discontent among players.
The problem initially emerged in the recent series between England and South Africa in the Headingley test when Finn was contentiously denied the wicket of Graeme Smith who had edged the ball to Andrew Strauss at slip when on 6. Umpire Steve Davis ruled the ball dead after the stumps were broken, Finn had twice previously broken the stumps in his delivery stride.
Law 23.4 says an umpire shall call and signal dead ball when the striker is distracted by any noise or movement while receiving. Tennis might consider a similar rule.
There is little evidence to support the claim that Finn's actions are a constant distraction for batsmen, but there is always that potential. It didn't seem to distract James Franklin too much in the game that New Zealand lost, but it did deny Franklin and New Zealand 7 runs which in a closer match could be significant.
What Finn is doing isn't against the laws of the game as such, but very much against the spirit and it's his job and the England coaching groups responsibility to remedy this irritant.
The defence of being allowed to bowl 'wicket to wicket' doesn't stand scrutiny. Sir Richard Hadlee, Terry Alderman, even Lasith Malinga have delivered from close to the stumps but all, seldom or never knocked over the stumps. Finn and the ICC need to take action.
Calling 'dead ball' penalises the batsman who should at least have a safety valve if the delivery takes a wicket. The bowler deserves the penalty in such circumstances and a no-ball provides both the safety valve and the reward for a batsman should he accrue runs through Finn's irksome actions.Finn is a fine bowler and shouldn't have too much difficulty in adjusting his delivery position to prevent transgressing again. It's his responsibility.