Technology in cricket January 26, 2010

Lloyd and Lockie to lead UDRS investigation

Cricinfo staff

Advocate Brent Lockie, a senior barrister from Edinburgh, will team up with the former West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, to carry out an independent investigation into the Umpire Decision Review System controversy that marred the fourth and final Test between England and South Africa at Johannesburg, and led the ECB to make a formal complaint to the ICC.

The flashpoint occurred on the second morning of the match, when South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, was adjudged not out on 15 when England referred a caught-behind appeal to the third umpire, Daryl Harper. Although an audible snick was heard by most TV viewers at the moment that the ball passed bat, Harper claimed he had nothing heard anything, and Smith went on to score a vital 105.

It later transpired that Harper had not adjusted the volume on his equipment from the preset level of 4 out of 10, although the absence of HotSpot and Snickometer technology from the broadcasting package provided by the hosts, SABC, meant that he might still have felt that the evidence was insufficient to overturn the decision of the onfield umpire, Tony Hill.

In a bid to eliminate such inconsistencies in the future, the ICC told Cricinfo on Monday that they intend to meet with all broadcasting companies in a bid to standardise the use of technology. "The first step will be to get together with the broadcasters and the technology suppliers and come up with a more refined set of specifications," said the ICC's general manager, Dave Richardson. "And [then] to implement those protocols and practice them."

"The DRS is a ground-breaking system which was introduced to eliminate the obvious umpiring errors," said the ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgat. "The majority of players and officials who experienced the system in the southern hemisphere summer, have expressed qualified support for using the system.

"While this feedback is positive and reassuring, we understand the need to continue enhancing the system in these early days and I'm sure this independent investigation will assist in that regard."

Advocate Lockie is a member of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission and a Disciplinary Tribunal Member for Cricket Scotland, and has vast experience in adjudicating on cricket related matters. Lloyd, meanwhile, is a former ICC match referee, and now serves as chairman of their Cricket Committee.

"The ICC has appointed two eminent individuals to investigate the exact circumstances relating to the application of the DRS in Johannesburg," said Lorgat. The exact parameters and timeframe of the investigation will be determined in due course.