Viewers will be able to hear the communications between the TV umpire and the on-field officials in the upcoming one-day series between Australia and South Africa, and possibly during some matches at next year's World Cup. The ICC has announced the broadcasting trial for the five-match ODI series, starting on Friday, in an effort to demystify the umpiring process for home viewers.
The broadcaster, the Nine Network, will have access to the communication between umpires and can air those discussions during referrals, consultations and DRS player reviews. The consistency of decision-making by TV umpires has been an issue over the past couple of years and several outcomes during the 2013 Ashes in England baffled fans.
The ICC said in a statement that it hoped the move would help "to make umpiring more understandable to viewers and spectators". It also said that the broadcasting trial could be rolled out to select matches in the World Cup next year if it proved a success.
"For years viewers have enjoyed seeing the same pictures as the TV umpire and making their own decisions during a referral or review," Geoff Allardice, the ICC's general manager of cricket, said. "Now they will be even closer to the game, hearing what the umpire is saying when making those decisions."
The on-field umpires for all five games in the Australia-South Africa series will be Nigel Llong of England and Billy Bowden of New Zealand. The TV umpires will be Australian officials.