Umpires admit to making mistake over final no-ball

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The Independent Online

Umpires Alan Jones and Peter Hartley have admitted they might have got things wrong after failing to call the last delivery of the thrilling, rain-affected final a no-ball.

Jim Allenby's waist-high full toss was dispatched for six over mid-on by Nottinghamshire's Will Smith. The big hit merely reduced Leicestershire's winning margin to four runs, but had it been called a no-ball then Leicestershire might not this morning have been able to call themselves the undisputed kings of Twenty20.

First because Nottinghamshire would have been two runs to the better and they would have had another ball to get the three runs needed for victory.

Losing coach Mick Newell said: "It should have been called a no-ball, but I won't be mentioning it to the umpires. It was a tough situation and if they don't see it, they don't see it."

But Hartley, the standing umpire, admitted yesterday: "I wish I had called a no-ball because I saw it on TV this morning and it was one, albeit a marginal one.

"The fact that it was hit to mid-on influenced my judgement. It is difficult to hit a high ball down the ground."

Jones, at square leg, added: "Looking at it on TV last night it was a no-ball. It was a tight one, but it was a no-ball."

But the Foxes deserved victory. They boasted Darren Maddy, who became the first to pass 1,000 runs in the Twenty20 Cup, and they also had the best bowler, Stuart Broad.

Broad regards himself as an all-rounder, backed up by a couple of first-class fifties this season, and he is tipped for great things, including suggestions that he is in line for an Ashes trip this winter.

But although just 20, Broad, the son of former England and Nottinghamshire opener Chris, has his feet on the ground, even if at 6ft 7in he could be described as having his head in the clouds.

"I would love a trip to Australia," said Broad, "but I am aiming for an A tour place. That would be a great experience for me."

His captain Jeremy Snape said: "He has a very bright future. He has a great cricket brain on a very athletic and agile body. He is 6ft 7in, bowls at 87mph, swings the ball at pace and has great control. In short, he is a captain's dream."

Newell said: "I think he has a chance of playing for England sooner rather than later. It would not surprise me if he got an Ashes call-up this winter. I think he is a tremendous talent."

Earlier, Surrey and pre-tournament favourites Essex both lost rather feebly, the former's only consolation being left-arm spinner Nayan Doshi setting a record of most wickets in a season, 21, passing the previous mark set by former Brown Hats captain Adam Hollioake in 2004.

In that match, England wicketkeeper Chris Read lost a false front tooth when the ball deflected off Jon Batty's hip and caught him in the mouth, and Smith, smiter of that final six, took four catches and pulled off a superb run-out to dismiss Mark Butcher.