Playing without bails

The bad weather conditions at Old Trafford in Manchester forced the first day’s play of the fourth Ashes Test to cut short. The wind and rain interrupted the game on a few occasions resulting in only 44 overs being bowled on the opening day

In the 32nd over of the Australian inning, objects such as a beach-ball and chips packets were blown onto the pitch due to the strong winds. The powerful winds also knocked off the bails, causing frustration and delay and the wind was so gusty that the helmet on the ground behind Jonny Bairstow was rolling around

The on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus decided to dispense with the bails and continue the game. This unusual sight was within the Laws of Cricket and only been used once before in a Test Match

Law 8.5 states that, “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.”

Specsavers UK, who had their branding on the bails, tweeted, “Hi, @ICC. Can you make sure the bails don’t blow off again. We’ve paid money for this branding and sponsorship.”

The ball did not hit the unprotected stumps and neither of the umpires had to apply Law 29.4 which decrees that they would have had to decide whether the wicket had been 'put down' by the ball hitting the stumps