County news May 6, 2009

Willey backs decision to scrap light meters

Cricinfo staff

Former Test umpire and chairman of the first-class umpires' association Peter Willey has welcomed the ECB's decision to call time on the use of light meters in most county cricket.

"It has been decided that we go back to the way it was before meters, that the umpires decide if it is unfit, unsuitable or unsafe to continue playing, and I think it stops all the argument," Willey told the Wisden Cricketer. "We were just relying on numbers instead of common sense and experience. Now we just say we [the umpires] don't feel it's fit and I feel the majority of the umpires are comfortable and happy with that."

Explaining the move, ECB umpires' manager Chris Kelly said: "The use of light meters is superfluous now following the changes to the bad light playing condition. Light meters will only tell an umpire if the light has got worse or better, it won't tell them whether it is safe or unsafe to play on. That is now for them alone to decide using their experience and judgement. It's all about safety for players and officials."

Light meters will, however, continue to be used in international fixtures and matches involving counties and the touring teams, as those games are played under ICC playing conditions.