The ICC will be trialling the use of the Officiating Replay System (ORS) during the final ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi today, as well as during the first Test between the two at the same venue next week, the National has reported.
The system was trialled during the Ashes in England earlier this year, where Nigel Llong sat in a separate broadcast truck and effectively mirrored the role of the third umpire Kumar Dharmasena during the third Test at Old Trafford. Llong didn't have the authority to adjudicate but had more control over replays.
For the ongoing series, Richard Kettleborough is expected to sit in a separate room containing a giant monitor with many camera angles available, giving him the option to choose which replay he wants to see, including Hawk-Eye.
The ORS is a key experiment in the ICC's continuing bid to improve the Decision Review System (DRS). Though the DRS is used in most international matches barring those involving India, its usage, implementation and efficiency continues to be debated. The ORS aims to iron out one key drawback in the current system, by allowing TV umpires to have control of the replays they can see, an improvement over the current scenario where they depend on replays provided by the broadcasters.
At the time of its first trial in August, the role was effectively seen as one that combined that of a third umpire and TV broadcast director. Kettleborough, however, will have no impact on the decisions in the matches itself, as Richard Illingworth is the official TV umpire for the ODI.
The ICC is hoping to factor in the feedback by Kettleborough and Llong, as it tries to strengthen the case for universal implementation, in some form, of the DRS.
It is also believed that giving the umpire greater control over replays will eliminate possible broadcast biases, thereby easing the concerns of boards, particularly the BCCI. One of the other aims of the ICC from this trial is to speed up the process of DRS, which is one of the most common criticisms of the system.