LBW decisions set to be judged by technology


In a revolutionary proposal by International Cricket Council (ICC), players dissatisfied with umpires’ decisions could ask for technology help for all 10 modes of dismissals, including the controversial leg before wicket (LBW), by October.

Batsmen, after being given out, could ask the on-field umpires to refer their decision to the TV/third umpire, who could overrule the decision. Similarly, the fielding side could also appeal against a decision that had not gone in their favour.

If the ICC Cricket Committee, headed by India’s Sunil Gavaskar, approves its management’s proposal in toto over the weekend here, the changes could be implemented in the 10-nation Champions Trophy to be held in India in October-November.

‘The proposal is that run out and stumping decisions will stay as they are. The on-field umpire will consult the third umpire in the normal way. Every other decision, including leg before the wicket, can be checked - every aspect of every decision,’ ICC’s general manager (cricket) David Richardson told IANS in an interview here.

‘The proposal is that if your appeal is unsuccessful then you lose that appeal and you are allowed only a certain number. We haven’t decided on the number yet. It could be two or four per team per innings,’ Richardson, 46, a former South African Test wicket keeper, disclosed, who represented the Proteas in 42 Test matches and 122 one-day internationals.

He said it was a compromise formula arrived at after weighing the pros and cons of a research on umpires’ decisions.

‘It’s not easy to find a compromise, but by having tried various things over the years we are in a good position now to see what works and what doesn’t. We are ready for a final push in the direction we want to go, which is a compromise position that satisfies both the traditionalists and those who are for greater use of technology,’ he said.

Over the years, ICC tried ping lines (imaginary wicket to wicket lines), earpieces linked to the stump microphones to help on-field umpires make decisions.

‘Our research/statistics has shown that our umpires are getting 94 percent of the decisions correct around the world,’ he said.

‘In a one-day match, you have got about seven decisions for instance. In a Test match, 30 decisions on an average. So, out of 30, there are about two-three mistakes at most. In theory, there should be a consultation happening only two or three times in a match (as per new proposal), which to us is a very small price to pay for getting a decision right.’

He outlined: ‘The idea is that the on-field umpire doesn’t have to worry whether they should consult or not.’

Richardson was sure that the new proposal would not lessen the importance of umpires.

He, however, admitted that the changes could invite some criticism from the purists.

‘I suppose so. There would be some who would say it was against the spirit and tradition of the game. But the majority of people in the cricket world are saying that if you’ve got technology why aren’t you using it.’

Source:India Sports

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