Would give teams the right to appeal against decisions September 25, 2004

ICC considering further umpiring changes

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Simon Taufel: 'Why de-skill that part of the game?' © Getty Images

The International Cricket Council is considering a proposal to allow teams to appeal against three umpiring decisions per innings, giving captains the right to refer the decisions to the third umpire. The plan is likely to be discussed at the meeting of the ICC Cricket Committee next year.

A similar system is already in place in the American National Football League, with teams allowed to `challenge' two refereeing decisions per half. If it is approved, the proposal would probably go the same way as the ICC's other recent innovations - the wiring up, via earpieces, of umpires to the stump microphone, and the adjudicating of no-balls by the third umpire - and be trialled in one-dayers. The Evening Standard, a London newspaper, quoted an unnamed source as saying the appeals proposal was "recognised as a serious option".

But some umpires are concerned that the increasing use of technology in making decisions will demote their role in the game. Simon Taufel, the ICC's Umpire of the Year, told BBC Sport: "I wouldn't say I'm anti-technology, but I'm cautious about it. Technology is all about replacing the skills of the umpire and I'd like to think I've worked my way up this far to employ those skills.

"Why de-skill that part of the game just for the sake of an extra two or three correct decisions per game?" he added. "There are undoubtedly pluses, but we need to sit down and stack them against the minuses."