Only 44 overs were bowled in Manchester as inclement weather impeded proceedings right through the day. Also, very strong winds kept creating havoc and they kept blowing the bails off, which forced the umpires to take off the bails and continue without lodging them back in the groove.The incident happened in the 32nd over of Australia’s first innings on the rain-hit Wednesday when strong winds led to a beach ball from the crowd invading the pitch as the bails kept flying off their grooves.
What do the rules say?
According to Law 8.5, “The umpires may agree to dispense with the use of bails, if necessary. If they so agree then no bails shall be used at either end. The use of bails shall be resumed as soon as conditions permit.”
This repeated blowing off the bails led to England pacer Stuart Broad getting really frustrated. Following this, on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus took the decision to carry on play by simply taking the bails off on either of the stumps.
This decision taken by the umpires was within the rules of cricket, and the first instance of it happening in an international game was in 2017 during a match between Afghanistan and West Indies.
“It was probably frustrating for everyone, ‘cause the one I pulled away I thought the bails fell off so I looked back and the bails were still on. Then I had to pull away when the chip packets kept coming past and the beach ball. It was probably just frustrating for the game in general. They’re just getting frustrated ‘cause we have to pull away ‘cause there’s stuff there and the bails, when they put the bails on you could just see the stumps shake and it was just a matter of time before they came off. It was very windy out there. I’ve never played a game where you’ve played with no bails, so that was very different. All in all, it was pretty tough conditions for bowling out there,” said Labuschagne.