LONDON: Players’ tactical use of video reviews for umpire decisions has pushed the International Cricket Council to restrict the unsuccessful appeals teams can make in limited-over cricket to one per innings.
In a series of recommendations on subjects also including banning runners from international cricket and introducing nighttime Test matches, the ICC’s cricket committee recommended Wednesday that halving the number of appeals in one-day matches in the hope that players challenge umpiring decisions only when they are convinced of an injustice.
The ICC wants to eradicate the sort of contentious appeal seen frequently at the World Cup, which ended on April 2.
Despite overwhelming evidence that umpires’ on-field decisions were correct, teams often used them simply because they were available, to slow opponents’ momentum or in hope of securing an unlikely reprieve for a key player.
“They used them for tactical purposes rather than because they genuinely believed a mistake had been made,” ICC general manager David Richardson said.
The committee, which is chaired by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd and includes players, coaches and match officials, has also recommended to the ruling body’s board that the Umpire Decision Review System should be used in all Tests – reiterating that India should lay aside a long-standing hostility to it.
Presently both competing nations have to agree for it to be implemented, a condition that has allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India to block it from matches featuring its team. Other nations, including Australia and England, have used the system for Tests and Richardson said umpires were happy for it to be more widely implemented.
UDRS has been used in 31 Test matches since it was introduced to the format in 2009, with each side allowed two unsuccessful reviews per innings.
Richardson said he hoped next year to announce dates and venues for the first nighttime Test matches, albeit as trials, with Lord’s, Sydney’s SCG and Abu Dhabi likely to be selected because of their powerful floodlights.
A switch to nighttime should help promote the elite form of the game by allowing fans to attend after work, and the only obstacle to overcome is now determining whether the new pink ball is suitably durable for the conditions.
Qualifying could also be introduced for the 2015 World Cup, reigniting Ireland’s hopes of making it to the tournament after beating England at this year’s event.
– Associated Press