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ICC approves changes to DRS playing conditions

The ICC has approved changes to the lbw umpire's call in the DRS playing conditions, with the conclusion of its annual conference in Edinburgh on Saturday. For on-field lbw decisions to be overturned, half of the ball would now need to hit a zone of the stumps that also borders the outside of off and leg stumps. Earlier, half of the ball would need to hit a zone between the centre of off and leg stumps.

An ICC release said: "The size of the zone inside which half the ball needs to hit for a Not Out decision to be reversed to Out will increase, changing to a zone bordered by the outside of off and leg stumps, and the bottom of the bails (formerly the centre of off and leg stumps, and the bottom of the bails)."

The amendment will come into effect from October 1 or from the start of any series using DRS that commences just prior to this date.

The change will benefit bowlers and more batsmen will be given out once on-field decisions are referred as the "zone" the ball needs to hit for the decision to be overturned has increased.

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, who sits on the ICC cricket committee, had recently said a recommendation had been made to reduce the margin of umpire's call on the DRS. Jayawardene had said the proposal was to reduce the margin from 50% of the ball hitting the stumps to 25%. However, the ICC release stated that "half the ball" would still need to hit the stumps.

In a decision concerning calling of no-balls, the ICC will arrange a trial in the coming months to assess if the third umpire could use instant replays to call no-balls more accurately. The trial is likely to take place during an upcoming ODI series and the third umpire will judge no-balls within a few seconds of the ball being delivered and communicate it to the on-field umpire.

The ICC also agreed to support the inclusion of a women's cricket event in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban, following a presentation by the Commonwealth Games Federation. The ICC will submit an application for the same. "The ICC will now work closely with the Commonwealth Games Federation in order to ensure cricket's inclusion on the program and to determine the specific tournament structure and qualification process that will be applied," the ICC release said.

About restructuring in the ICC, the release said "significant and positive progress" had been made to oversee a "complete" review of the 2014 structural and constitutional changes. A draft of a new constitution will be prepared in the coming weeks that will be considered by the ICC Board during its October meetings.

"We have undertaken the responsibility of reviewing the 2014 resolutions and constitutional changes in their entirety as we are committed to following best practice principles of good governance to build, improve and enhance the image and reputation of the ICC by putting in place systems and processes which are fair, transparent and merit-based," ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said. "I am pleased with the work that has been done to date and during this set of meetings and we are looking forward to presenting the amended constitution to the Board for its consideration at the next meeting."