Third umpire interventions thrown out in mid-season
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