ICC cricket committee meeting May 21, 2010

ICC backs umpire reviews for 2011 World Cup

Cricinfo staff

The ICC Cricket Committee, after its annual meeting at Lord's, has recommended that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) be implemented in the 2011 Word Cup in the subcontinent and introduced "as soon as possible" in all Test series. The committee, chaired by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, also decided to revisit laws that were pitted against the fielding side: it said the practice of the non-striker backing up while the ball was being delivered should be discouraged, as should batsmen changing their grip before the bowler entered his delivery stride.

The most significant decision concerned the UDRS, whose implementation since its introduction in July 2008 has been inconsistent in terms of series where it has been used. Now, though, the ICC committee has called for it to be introduced "as soon as possible" in all Test series. It has also recommended that the system be used throughout next year's World Cup in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with the same limit of two referrals per innings as in Tests.

That would, however, be subject to agreement with ICC's broadcaster partners ESPN Star Sports, who would have to bear the cost of implementing the system. The committee also recommended introduction of a minimum standard of technology, such as ball tracking technology, including in the third umpire room, and annual reviews of technology and equipment.

The system has received mixed reviews from players and umpires. It landed in controversy during the Johannesburg Test between England and South Africa in January 2010, when a caught behind appeal was turned down by the third umpire Daryl Harper. In a bid to eliminate any inconsistency, the ICC decided it had to meet with all broadcasting companies in a bid to standardise the use of technology, and hosted a workshop earlier in the year.

David Morgan, the outgoing ICC president, had said that day-night Test matches were a possibility in the near future with India and Australia as potential hosts. The ICC, while examining ways in which these games would be played out, stated the matter required further discussion.

The ICC also agreed to examine the law that permitted non-strikers to back up too far while the ball was being delivered, giving them an unfair advantage in an attempt to complete a run. "ICC Cricket Committee agreed that batsmen trying to steal ground when the bowler is running in to bowl should be discouraged. They will look at regulations that require a batsman to remain in his crease until the bowler's front foot lands."

With regards to the switch-hit, the ICC said that a bowler reserved the right not to bowl if he saw the batsman change his grip before entering his delivery stride. "Should the bowler see a batsman change his grip or stance prior to the delivery stride the bowler can decide not to bowl the ball." The switch-hit had been given an all clear by the MCC - the guardian of the laws of cricket- in 2008.

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  • Rangam on May 23, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    Agree with the decision about the change of grip and run up. This in fact amounts to a batter going from being right handed to left handed or vice versa. If a bowler needs to declare his style of delivery before hand, then so should the batter. In any case what would happen if a (right handed) batter changes his grip and misses and the ball pitching out side the line his leg stump, hits his pad in line with the stumps - would the batter be given out by the umpire?

  • Amahl on May 23, 2010, 2:40 GMT

    The UDRS system needs to be shored up and made consistent. There are still many flaws in the system which I think are unfair. For instance, if a decision is too close to call, is referred and is given not out and the benefit of the doubt given to the batsman, the fielding side should not have a review deducted from their available tally. As for the switch hit, I honestly cannot fathom what bowlers have against it. As far as I am concerned, it is a prime opportunity to get a batsman out trying to swing wrong handed, there is every chance of a mishit! The UDRS system needs to be used for all test playing nations whereupon they can all conclude whether or not it adds something worthwhile.

  • Marilynne on May 23, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    I agree that the UDRS should be used so long as the technology is consistent in all countries. As I doubt this will happen overnight, it should be agreed in principle but not implemented until all countries can be provided with the technology and this should be the responsibility of the ICC, not a commercial broadcaster. As for the backing up law, making the non-striker remain in his crease until the bowler releases the ball will surely cause problems for the umpire. At present, he is watching the bowler's feet to make sure he is not overstepping in his delivery stride, is he supposed to be watching out of the corner of his eye to make sure the batsman is not infringing at the same time? You can't focus on two places at once. And what is the penalty if the batsman does move out of his crease? Restore the bowler's right to run him out if he does move and this threat should stop an unfair advantage being taken unless he wishes to risk losing his wicket.

  • Alex on May 22, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    i do believe we need to restrict the Third umpire decisions. Kind of make it easy for him to make decision with few laws.

    We do not want him to waver and fear the local country media. Instead he should rely on rules. Rules should give him security make correct consistent decision.

    Especially on LBW and caught behind. Those are most challenged. In third umpire rule he has to see more than half the ball hitting the stump. if it is then it has to be OUT. it does not matter who appeals. if it is outside that then it is NOT OUT it does not matter who appeals.

    We should worry about correct decision not protect field umpires mistakes. At present system is there to protect field umpires more than getting correct decision.

    Wrong. Laws should be written to get more consistent correct decision.

  • Terry on May 22, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    DOUBLE SIDED BATSMEN I believe any batsmen wishing to switch-hit should be required to inform the Umpire (whom informs the bowler) before his innings starts (ie: Once he gets to the crease) that he intends to switch-hit during his innings. Any bowler should then be allowed to bowl on either side of the batsmen, as the batsmen is counted as both a Left and a Right handed batsmen. Thus, whilst a double sided batsmen can hit either side of the crease (normal or switch-hit) the bowler can also bowl outside of either off-stump and leg-stump to the standard distance outside of off-stump.

  • Asif on May 22, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    I have mixed feelings about UDRS not least because same technology is not available everywhere at the moment. The camera angles etc. used in Australia (Aus-SA series) were far superior to the ones the third umpire had access to in South Africa (South Africa-England series). They need to standardize the system so that everyone benefits equallyfrom it.

  • Kashif on May 22, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    well this system has so many crictical problems. 1) You cant judge and compare the bounce of the pitch. for example if you playing a match in WACA then you cant compare that with Kolkatta or Galle. 2) There is alwaz be a breez element of the LBW decession. No one actually raising the hand against that factor. 3) half the ball pitch out side the leg stump means no LBW and that attitude actually not good for the beauty of cricket. with the little more imandments that rule should be apply but with the changes. not like as we shows in these days

  • ankur on May 22, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    I don't think its fair to make it mandatory to have UDRS............the two teams participating must have the option of choosing it.

    Even this article has pointed few roadblocks in its full time implementation and also the ICC must get better umpires than introducing such a "bail-out" for their in-consistent umpires.

  • Peter on May 22, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Another thing that I think is unfair is if a batsman dives in and makes his ground, and the bat bounces up off the ground, he is given out if the wicket is broken. Then why not check every batsman who runs in to make sure he has some part of his person in contact with the ground at all times. We could have the silly situation where the wicket is broken with the batsman behind the return creaase, but running and in the air. According to the ppresent rule he would be out. That is against the spirit of the game.

  • zubair on May 22, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    well i agree that ICC is doing good for the betterment of the cricket..... but they should also take steps that they should be equal opportunities for bowlers and batsman

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