The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Television referrals throw up even trend

Colombo: Half of the leg before wicket decisions referred to the third umpire for TV replays in the Champions Trophy have been given out, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Wednesday.

World cricket’s governing body is using this tournament as an experiment — allowing lbw and bat-pad catches to be adjudicated by the third official after referral.

Under rules in force for the one-day tournament, field umpires can refer any decision, including lbws and bat-pad catches, to the third umpire. He in turn can then study two TV replays before giving his verdict.

The ICC also released an assessment of the technology trial undertaken at the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy so far.

There were 24 third umpire consultations made in the first six pool matches in the tournament, of which 11 were in the new categories of decision-making, namely, relating to eight leg before wicket and three caught decisions.

Four of the lbw referrals led to the batsmen being given out, while each of the three catches referred were ruled not out. The remaining 13 consultations for existing “line decisions” resulted in six of the 12 run out appeals being ruled out and, while a lone stumping referral was adjudged not out.

“Any definitive conclusions on this trial will obviously have to wait until the end of the tournament, but these early figures give an interesting insight into progress so far,” said David Richardson, ICC’s general manager — cricket.

He said the use of the umpires’ communications vests (UCV), which contain a microphone and a receiver, were also proving to be effective.

“The umpires had confirmed that they were comfortable to wear, even in the heat and humidity of Colombo.

Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik made history by becoming the first batsman ever to be given out leg before by the third umpire in the opening game against hosts Sri Lanka.

South African TV umpire Rudi Koertzen ruled Shoaib had been trapped lbw for one after he was hit on the pads by left-arm paceman Chaminda Vaas bowling over the wicket.

Umpire Daryl Harper had referred the decision to Koertzen who decided the ball had been in line with the stumps.

Meanwhile, the ICC says the extended use of TV replays to aid umpiring decisions is not slowing down cricket in any significant way. However, cricket’s global governing body will analyse all aspects of the trial before reaching a final decision on future use of such technology.

On average, consultations have taken just under one minute to provide a final umpire’s decision, suggesting greater use of replay technology is not slowing down the flow of the game to any significant effect, the ICC said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Supporting this observation is the fact that there have been only two over rate penalties (both of one over) in the six completed matches. These were attributed to other playing factors,” it said.

But the ICC will analyse all aspects of the trial and consult all parties involved before reaching a definitive position on the future use of umpiring technology.

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