ICC wants player referrals trialled
The ICC will push to trial a player-driven appeal system for contentious decisions at the Champions Trophy in Pakistan in September. A series of mistakes in the second Test between Australia and India have highlighted the need for extra help for officials, but Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, said any experiment would not be based on Hawkeye or the Snickometer.
Under the system a player on either team could appeal up to three decisions in an innings and they would be referred to the television umpire. "I don't think it will be trialled in Tests," Speed told the ABC. "There's a Champions Trophy coming up in Pakistan and that would be the time when all the best umpires and technology are there and we could get an idea of how it works."
Speed said the increased use of the replays would be to eliminate the "obvious glaring error", which has been a dominant feature of the opening two days in Sydney. Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting benefited from not-out decisions to catches behind in the first innings while Ponting was judged lbw to a ball he hit. Symonds also escaped a more thorough investigation of a critical stumping chance when Steve Bucknor did not call on the television umpire.
An appeal system was proposed by Speed and David Richardson, the ICC general manager of cricket, in 2006 and it passed through the organisation's cricket committee and chief executives. "Then we took it to the chairmen of the ICC's Full Member countries and the vote was 5-5," Speed said. "Pakistan led the fight against and Australia was against it too. Seven must vote in favour for an issue to be passed."
The referral was used in English county games last year - Speed said the players lost interest in it after a couple of matches - but he encouraged international testing. "Let's see if it works, then have the debate," he said. "I'm not concerned about the credibility of cricket. Generally there's a sense the decisions even themselves out. The dilemma is the technology has got better and what do we do with it?" Any changes to the current system must be passed by the ICC's country chairmen before they can be introduced.