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Australia v New Zealand Test series: Darren Lehmann calls for square leg umpire to make no-ball calls

National coach Darren Lehmann has put forward arguably the most bizarre solution yet to cricket’s no-ball problem – let the umpire at square leg make the call.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson called for technology to be used to rule on no-balls while other suggestions include the reintroduction of the back-foot law to improve umpire safety.

The issue came to a head again in Wellington when Adam Voges was given a life after umpire Richard Illingworth incorrectly called Doug Bracewell for a no-ball.

“It’s a part of the game but I know it’s not right – we all make mistakes,” Lehmann said.

“It’s heightened because he was on seven and made 239, isn’t it?

“He batted really well as you know but the no-ball situation is getting tough for umpires.

“I’d have the square leg umpire do the no-balls, but that’s just me with my cricket hat on.”

While Lehmann’s alternative would allow the umpire at the non-striker’s end to concentrate more on the ball being delivered, the square leg official is in an even worse position to adjudicate a no-ball. He is further away from the bowler and not side on to the line.

Lehmann, a critic of slow over rates in modern cricket, does not want to see anything introduced that would further lengthen the game.

“Just make it the best possible outcome because if you review every ball I’m sure there’s more no-balls in a day than not, you lose overs then fans don’t get to see 90 overs,” Lehmann said.

“We have to make sure we entertain the best we can and the public are getting 90 overs where possible. It’s a tough one but we’ve got to come up with the best solution somehow.”

The Kiwis had no option but to cop the Voges decision on the chin but Hesson said technology had improved umpiring accuracy.

“Players, coaches, spectators want the more decisions right the better,” Hesson said.

“If we can use more technology to do that then decisions like that become less influential. It’s something the ICC are aware of and will be discussed.”

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