Technology in cricket June 7, 2008

No referrals trial for England-South Africa

Cricinfo staff

Decision pending: The increase use of technology will have to wait a little longer © Getty Images

The proposed trial of umpire referrals won't take place during England's Test series against South Africa in July after the boards failed to agree on the finer details.

There is unease among the players about testing the system in such a high-profile series and continued concerns about undermining the on-field umpires. The next possible use of the technology, which will include Hawk-Eye, would be between India and Sri Lanka later in July.

The inventors of Hawk-Eye, led by Paul Hawkins, have tested the accuracy of the system and claim it has a margin of error of just 5mm. However, the ICC have decided that only the tracking part of the software will be used, up to the point the ball hits the pad, rather than the predictive element of the package. This will make decisions involving whether the batsman has been hit in line with off stump, or where the ball has pitched, clearer, but leaves it in the umpires' jurisdiction to judge the path of the ball towards the stumps.

When the system is finally trialled, each side will be allowed three unsuccessful referrals per innings. A similar system was used during last year's Friends Provident Trophy, but didn't find favour among players or umpires. None of the 11 referrals were overturned by the third umpire and there was a feeling that the TV official didn't want to overrule his colleagues.