International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson believes that the decision to trial the umpire decision review system on India’s tour of Sri Lanka shows the body is dedicated to enhancing the international game.
The new system will be tested in the three-match Test series and the five one-day internationals, with the first Test starting on July 23 in Colombo.
In a similar system to what ATP and WTA tennis events adopted in 2006, each team will be allowed three unsuccessful review requests per innings. Successful requests, which result in the umpire changing his decision, will not be counted towards the limit.
Richardson, a former Test and one-day wicketkeeper for South Africa, believes the system will reduce the number of incorrect decisions. He said: “The ICC is extremely grateful to Sri Lanka and India for agreeing to take part in this trial.
“Our umpires already ensure the vast majority of decisions made in any Test or ODI are correct but we want to see if we can enhance the game further by reducing or removing the few clearly incorrect ones.
“The fact that each side is allowed only three unsuccessful requests to review in each innings 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.
“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. At the same time we have sought to ensure the continued primacy of the on-field umpire.
“The role of the man on the field is to consult with his colleague, not to refer the decision away, and he still decides whether to change his original decision.
“Once the series is over we will conduct a thorough review of the process before deciding whether the trial was successful and worth persevering with.”
Under the new system, a player may request a review of any decision made by the on-field umpires concerning every dismissal excepting a ‘timed out’ one. The third umpire will base his decision on slow-motion replays.
Hawk-eye technology for ball-tracking purposes only and from the noise on stump microphones. Hawk-eye technology will not be used to determine future trajectory of the ball as is shown on television.
Duleep Mendis, chief executive of Sri Lanka Cricket, said: “This is a very good idea. As a past player we used to say that good and bad decisions would even themselves out but times have changed, the stakes are much higher now for all concerned and if the technology is available then why not use it?
“It may be new to the players but I am sure they will be very positive. There are always going to be question marks when a new thing is trialled but no-one likes to see anyone get an incorrect decision.”
The system was set to be trialled in South Africa’s four-match Test series in England starting at Lord’s on July 10 but the respective boards failed to reach an agreement on the details.