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Third umpire interventions thrown out in mid-season

Daniel Brettig

November 28, 2012

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Mark Cosgrove dives to catch Callum Ferguson, South Australia v Tasmania, Ryobi Cup, Adelaide Oval, October 14, 2012
Third umpire interventions have been cut out of both the domestic limited overs competition and the BBL © Getty Images

Fierce player opposition has spurred a rapid Cricket Australia back-flip over the use of a third umpire intervention system in domestic limited overs games, with the experimental playing conditions scrapped in mid-season.

Victoria's match against South Australia on Wednesday took place with the television umpires to be used only in their former role as checkers of close line decisions, after the CA operations manager Sean Cary announced the system had been scrapped in response to criticism across the six states.

First used in the Big Bash League last summer, the system was unpopular for its effect on the rhythms of the game, as batsmen were given out then stopped at the boundary's edge after the third umpire had raised an objection based on television evidence. There were also significant concerns about its inconsistent application from one match to another.

"It's just shocking, it's embarrassing, it needs to worked out," George Bailey, Australia's Twenty20 captain, said after a recent limited overs game for Tasmania against Queensland in Hobart. "I think it confuses the players, I think it confuses the umpires. I think leave it in the hands of the players. You get two, if you use them with bad reviews then so be it."

Cary had initially defended the system, pointing out that last season as many as 12 incorrect decisions had been overturned with the help of video evidence. But after the states had registered their collective discontent and the CA playing conditions committee was consulted, he changed his view.

"We assessed the impact the system was having on the competition and we believed there were sufficient reasons to discontinue the intervention system following unanimous support from the State teams," Cary said. "The CA Playing Conditions Committee will continue to discuss the best model for a review system that can be used in these two competitions in the future."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Meety on (November 29, 2012, 0:35 GMT)

@Ben/Craig - I don't think there are enough cameras with the right technology to have the International version of full UDRS in domestic comps (yet). I would like the players to be able to review as in International fixtures because they need to be able to know when to challenge on the big stage.

Posted by   on (November 28, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

@ben - I disagree about the money side of things. Fox already covers all of the Ryobi Cup, they show 87 different replays the same as channel 9 do. The only difference is going to be hot spot. The ball tracking technology is already there. Why not just use that?

Posted by   on (November 28, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

@craig, I don't think it can go to that measure, it's only a domestic comp, I don't think the money would be there (apart from Big Bash of course...!!) I'd like to see in some way or another, but certainly not how it's been done this year, the umpires need to be trained better..

Posted by   on (November 28, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

I agree with removal of this system, but I don't understand why the current International DRS system hasn't been put in its place instead.

Posted by sifter132 on (November 28, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

If the umpires just called for the reviews themselves on calls that they see at very close or 50/50 then I think it would be better. Standing on the boundary looks silly and it messes with the heads of everyone watching and playing.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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