Decision Review System ditched over cost issues
The aim of expanding the use of the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) has hit another stumbling block after it was ditched from the forthcoming England-Bangladesh series due to cost two days before the opening Test at Lord's.
ICC and Sky, the host broadcaster for the series, failed to reach an agreement over who would foot the bill so the enhanced third-umpire technology won't be available on Thursday or for the second Test at Old Trafford next week. This isn't the first time that cost has been an issue in trying to use the system, with the previous series between these two teams, in Bangladesh, also played without technology.
However, this latest occasion comes just days after the ICC's Cricket Committee pushed for the DRS to be used in all Tests after a revamped version was introduced over the last 12 months around the world.
"Despite constructive negotiations with the host broadcaster we have been unable to reach agreement on the allocation of costs for DRS," an ICC spokesman said. "The whole question of DRS costs will be raised at the next ICC board meeting in Singapore in June and, depending on the outcome of the board meeting, we may revisit the question of DRS for the rest of the English summer."
England's most recent experience with the DRS sparked controversy during the final Test against South Africa, at Johannesburg, in January when Daryl Harper didn't overturn a not-out decision against Graeme Smith despite an edge being audible on replays. An investigation into the incident is ongoing, but despite the frustrations at the Wanderers, Andy Flower, the England coach, ended the series broadly in favour of using the extra technology.
ICC have said that the level of correct decision-making when using the system has risen from 92% to around 97%. In the short-term the absence of the DRS over the next two weeks has meant that Aleem Dar, the Pakistan umpire who was due to be the TV official, is no longer needed at Lord's as only traditional line decisions will be referred and he has been replaced by England's Richard Illingworth.