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January 6, 2008
Paul Reiffel has thrown his support behind a possible challenge rule, which would allow players to request a review of an umpire's decision with the assistance of television replays. The ICC is considering trialing such a system, in which the teams would be able to ask for a limited number of referrals.
Reiffel, who has regularly stood in first-class matches in Australia after retiring as a player, said the idea had merit. "You want the right decision to be made," Reiffel told the Sunday Herald Sun. "It doesn't bother me how you get it. If it's there and available straight away, you [should] look at it."
The ICC trial will probably take place at the Champions Trophy in Pakistan in September. The reviewed decisions will be based solely on replays, not technological tools such as Hawkeye and the Snickometer, which Channel Nine says are not 100% accurate and take too long to configure. However, Reiffel said technology should not be written off altogether.
"You don't want everyone to be waiting and waiting all the time," Reiffel said. "It'd slow down the game too much. But let's look to improve the situation and embrace the technology if it means less controversy and contention. The trouble in the past is that the technology hasn't quite been in place and the players have said they don't want it."
Umpiring has been in the news after several controversial decisions in the Sydney Test between Australia and India, and Reiffel's former captain Steve Waugh said abolishing the neutral-umpire rule might be the answer. But Reiffel said the current system was safer. "I know having had 15 years' experience [playing] with Victoria," Reiffel said, "that I'm more comfortable standing in games interstate involving teams other than Victoria."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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