Umpire review system January 29, 2009

Two reviews per innings in WI-England Tests

Cricinfo staff

England will try out the umpire review system for the first time in the Tests in West Indies © Getty Images

The ICC has reduced the number of reviews available to a team from three unsuccessful reviews per innings to two during the Test series between England and West Indies in February.

Earlier, each team was allowed three unsuccessful reviews per innings and the reduction was based on feedback from players and match officials. If the modification works successfully in the Caribbean, it will also be trialled in the Tests between Australia and South Africa later in February. Once the two series are finished, the review system will be appraised, and the merits of using or discarding it will be debated by the ICC's cricket committee in May.

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said the review system had received positive feedback but it had to be trialled further before it was introduced on a permanent basis.

"That is why we have made this refinement to it," Lorgat said. "It has become clear during the trial so far that three unsuccessful reviews per innings are too many as there is potential for frivolous or unnecessary reviews to be made by one side or the other. We are testing different playing conditions so that we can find the best one and give the trial every chance of succeeding. We listen to feedback and we have been hearing that two is a preferred option."

After the review system was used during West Indies' tour of New Zealand, the two captains, Daniel Vettori and Chris Gayle, expressed concern over its usage. Vettori said it would dilute the on-field umpire's authority if it was constantly used for marginal calls, and Gayle felt it was the standing umpires' job to make decisions.

The system has caused debate and controversy since it was first tried on the domestic circuit in England in 2007, and it received mixed reactions on its international debut in the Tests between Sri Lanka and India earlier this year. However the ICC decided to extend trials to three other Test series. After Australia's tour of South Africa, seven teams - Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand, West Indies, England, South Africa and Australia - would have been exposed to the new umpiring system.