ICC news January 2, 2014

ORS will give greater efficiency - Taufel


Simon Taufel, the ICC training and performance manager for umpires, hopes the Officiating Replay System (ORS) could revolutionise the role of the third umpire, improving efficiency and accuracy in decision-making.

The ORS is an attempt to streamline the existing DRS system by allowing the third umpire control over the replays they see, whereas normally they have to wait for the broadcaster to provide them. It has been in use since the fifth ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the UAE and has been extended for the two remaining Tests as well.

The chosen official - Taufel for the first Test - sits in a room with high definition television sets that receive 16 different real-time feeds from the match directly from the broadcaster. The footage may vary according to the video cameras being used for the match. Taufel also has the help of a HawkEye engineer, who is also the effectively his personal TV director.

"It's a separate technology on trial and is independent of what is happening with the third umpire in this Test," Taufel told reporters. "It's a very efficient way of being able to look at replays and avoid communication issues. We're looking at timing efficiency at the moment, accuracy of decision-making as well as being able to standardise some of our technology tools and information so that the third umpire can be as efficient as possible and make as many correct decisions as possible."

The current trial is taking place without any communication with the third umpire S Ravi, who depends on the broadcaster for his replays, which take a minimum of 30 to 40 seconds to retrieve. Using ORS, however, the official is given the same footage in real-time within 5 seconds.

"If I can do a boundary check in five seconds [when] normally for a third umpire to go through to a director and then he shows a replay, will take roughly 30 seconds. It's a huge difference in that respect," Taufel said. "Even a front-foot no-ball check, I could probably do that in two seconds, even before the batsman leaves the square and I have an answer for the umpire. [Without ORS] That could take 30-40 seconds because the director is focused on something else, his broadcast; we're focused on our decision-making.

"Technology changes all the time, cricket changes a lot of the time. Umpiring is all about giving the players the best service, the best umpiring and best decisions possible. This trial fits into that theory."

The ORS might well improve decision-making, but the cost of implementing it could be a topic of debate. Currently, the broadcaster covers the production cost, including that of the DRS. "From an umpire's perspective, we would like to see as many common factors and decision-making tools from place to place, board to board, game to game. It makes our job a lot easier, but we're also aware of the cost implications and things like that have to be worked through."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    Why they took so long to realize that the TV fans get a faster and realiable view of the referral. DRS is good for the game but the people operating the system must have the proper views. This ORS is used by the NBA NFL BASEBALL and they are better results. Cricket need to do catching up.

  • rahul on January 3, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    ERS comes after DRS, how did they jump to ORS? This system will create even more controversy, if the umpire controls the replays he might give a decision quickly but what happens when the broadcaster shows a different angle or a slow motion replay later to the audience that proves the 3rd umpire is wrong.

  • alan on January 3, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    Fantastic if a no ball can be checked in 2 secs then every ball could be checked by the 3rd umpire. This would mean the umpires can focus on the real decisons, persistent no ballers will get called (rather than just when they get a wicket) and be forced to change the way they bowl and we can do away with the ridiculousness of players stopping at the boundary whilst the noball is checked!

    Now all we need is a fast/reliable/trusted hawkeye and way of detecting edges and we can do away with player reviews and put umpiring decisions back into the hands of the umpires!

  • Bingo on January 3, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    @Shamsuddin Channa If that makes up for errors made by human umpire, who cares? The more robots, the better. At least corruption and bias will be done away with. How many test matches have been won or lost on an umpire's (and not "empire", please!) whim? How many cricketing careers have come to an end because of their incompetence? What do you need human umpires for? to chat? Heck, they cant even make out if the light is good enough to play and use "Light Meters".

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    Well I think that the role of on-field empire is reducing day by day. In my opinion those days are not far when u would see a robotic figure instead of a human empire who would be taking all decisions.

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    How about using google glasses to stream the same high definition video it to the on field umpires too and together with the third umpire discuss and decide on the outcome? That would be much better and would eradicate any communication gaps that might exist. Google glasses is no longer a fantasy, its real and no reason why it should not allowed to be used by umpires, at the least.

  • Nick on January 3, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    What's all this I'm hearing? This pathetic, spineless organization called the ICC is actually doing something for the betterment of this game? OH HAPPY DAYS...TRULY HAPPY DAYS!

  • Pad on January 3, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    Just imagine the amount of LBW decisions that may have gone against Murali and Warne simply because there was a benefit of doubt! Specially Murali, the amount times he hit the pad and the amount of shouts that were turned down simply because there was a doubt!! He probably would have hit 1000 wickets and Warnie around 800/900 if DRS was there..

  • Dummy4 on January 2, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    now bcci should also use this technology.

  • cricketfan on January 2, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    I have a simple suggestion.

    TV umpires should review every decision (out or not-out) immediately after the play. If there's some element of doubt, they should indicate to the on-field umpires so they will alert the players. Very simple. It will take away reviews out of captain's hands and will let them concentrate on playing. It will put the decision making authority solely on umpires. Maybe ICC can use some point system (internally/not-public) for the umpires for bad decisions they make.

    Do not argue about wasting time. Do players really need 6 hours to finish 90 overs? 3.5 hours to finish 50 overs? ICC should still penalize the teams as though this new DRS never existed. Let the players contribute to this cause by finishing their overs quicker.

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