Technology problems: Stokes’ exceedance exposes the Ashes problem

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Ben Stokes of England bowls on the second day of the first test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at The Gabba

There was a blatant misstep by Ben Stokes who cost England a wicket on the second morning of the Ashes and gave Australian opener David Warner some respite when he was 17.

It soon emerged that Stokes, who bowled in a friendly for the first time since March, had broken the bend in his previous three deliveries and had not been called to a no-ball by the referees.

Australian Ashes broadcaster Channel 7 later announced that Stokes had crossed the front line 14 times in the opening session on Thursday and was only called twice for a no-ball.

The missed opportunity on Warner was a problem for Stokes and England. The changed decision: no ball. Warner has to continue playing.

One run was added to the total – in the “Miscellaneous” column – and an additional delivery had to be rolled over.

But it pointed out a bigger problem for the match officials.

Cricket Australia said a technology problem with the gabba resulted in the third umpire, Paul Wilson, being unable to check the TV replay of each delivery to see if the bowlers crossed the line and leaving it to the umpires on the field to make the calls.

Former Australian test captain Ricky Ponting described it as “pathetic officiating” during the game commentary.

The International Cricket Council is responsible for implementing this system which allows the TV official to check for no-balls.

Before a change in rules last year, it was common practice for referees on the field to notify bowlers when they were about to cross and signal a no-ball.

England captain Joe Root said during a break from play with Fox Cricket that the lack of a chance against Warner was “frustrating”.

“The fact that we are creating a lot of chances is really gratifying,” he said.

“We need to remain confident … continue to trust what we are doing and believe that we will get the rewards.”

England were dumped for 147 on the first day of the series on Wednesday, a record the Australians passed with the loss of a wicket.