ICC suggests referral system in Tests

Umpiring is all set for a major revamp with the ICC recommending a referral system in Tests and introduction of the hawk eye technology for deciding LBWs.

updated: May 16, 2008 16:30 IST
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Umpiring in cricket is all set for a major revamp with the ICC Cricket Committee recommending a referral system in Tests and introduction of the hawk eye technology for deciding LBWs.

"Each team should be limited to a maximum of three unsuccessful referrals per innings," the ICC said in a statement after the conclusion of a two-day meeting of the Committee.

"The process should take the form and order of: on-field umpire gives his decision; affected batsman or fielding sides captain asks the umpire to review that decision; the on-field umpire(s) and third umpire consult; the on-field umpire gives his final decision," it added.

On the introduction of Hawk-Eye for making leg-before decisions, the committee recommended that the third umpire should be allowed to use the technology to determine the actual path of the ball.

"... Hawk Eye technology could be used by the third umpire but only for the purposes of determining the actual path of the ball up until the point that it struck the batsman and not the predictor function of the technology," the statement read.

A Test series would be used to trial the new proposals after they are approved by the Chief Executives' Committee (CEC).

If that approval is forthcoming, then the decisions can be ratified at the ICC Board. Both the CEC and the ICC Board are scheduled to meet from June 29.

The Cricket Committee also took stock of Twenty20's rise and stressed on the need to strike the right balance among the three formats of the game.

"The committee agreed that there was a strong need to identify and maintain a balance between the three formats so that all of them could continue to thrive," the statement said.

"It identified Test cricket as the pinnacle of the sport and expressed the need for the best available participants (players, umpires, referees etc) to be involved in international cricket.

"While accepting the need for a minimum requirement in terms of numbers of ODIs, Twenty20 Internationals and Tests between all teams, the committee stressed the need to protect icon series," it added.

The Committee also recommended changes for the current playing conditions and suggested that "the bowl-out in the event of a tie in the ICC World Twenty20 or ICC Champions Trophy should be replaced by a one-over-per-team play-off".

Among other suggestions, the committee said, "Substitute fielders should only be permitted in cases of injury, illness or other wholly acceptable reasons."

The committee felt the timing of one Powerplay should be decided by the batting side and three fielders should be permitted outside the fielding restriction circles for both the second and third Powerplays.

The proposed amendments to the playing conditions, if approved, will come into effect at this year's Champions Trophy, which will be held in Pakistan from September 11 to 28.

The ICC Cricket Committee is chaired by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and includes former Australia captain Mark Taylor, South Africa coach Mickey Arthur and Michael Holding, the ex-West Indies fast bowler.

It also features Umpire of the Year Simon Taufel, chief ICC match referee and former Sri Lanka captain Ranjan Madugalle, Kenya skipper Steve Tikolo, Pakistan great Majid Khan and FICA CEO Tim May.