Jan 29, 2009

Sport - Cricket;ICC reduces referrals in umpiring trial

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has trimmed its umpiring referral system to avoid frivolous appeals in the final trial phase.

Following feedback from players and officials, teams will now get two instead of three unsuccessful attempts per innings to have decisions by on-field officials reviewed by the television umpire, an ICC statement said.

The system, which allows unlimited successful referrals, received mixed reviews when it was introduced in India's 2-1 Test series defeat in Sri Lanka last July.

"The fact that each side is now allowed only two unsuccessful requests ... should mean that players will not make frivolous challenges and, instead, only seek a referral to decisions that, it is quickly clear, are highly likely to be incorrect," ICC cricket general manager Dave Richardson said.

"By seeking to reduce these potentially contentious decisions we believe we can help remove a source of tension and frustration among players and spectators as well as any resultant pressure on umpires."

The trimmed version will be used in England's four-Test series in West Indies starting on February 4. If feedback from the first two games is positive, it will be used in Australia's series in South Africa starting on February 26.

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