Umpire's call upheld as ICC makes DRS tweaks
Height and width margins now extend to top of bails on lbw reviews but contentious 'umpire's call' rule to remain amid rules changes
2 April 2021, 08:54 AM AEST
The International Cricket Council has announced that 'umpire's call' will remain part of the Decision Review System despite India captain Virat Kohli's recent criticisms.
Ahead of the one-day series between India and England last week, Kohli said umpire's call is "creating a lot of confusion" and suggested batters should be given out lbw if it was shown that any part of the ball was hitting the stumps.
While some tweaks have been made to its protocols, the ICC Cricket Committee – headed by former India captain and coach Anil Kumble – gave its backing to continue using umpire's call to the board, which has now ratified the decision.
Kumble said: "The Cricket Committee had an excellent discussion around umpire's call and analysed its use extensively.
"The principle underpinning DRS was to correct clear errors in the game whilst ensuring the role of the umpire as the decision-maker on the field of play was preserved, bearing in mind the element of prediction involved with the technology.
"Umpire's call allows that to happen, which is why it is important it remains."
The ICC did, however, confirm that the height and width margins will now align for umpire's call, with a review extending to the top of the bails.
A player will also be able to ask the on-field official whether a genuine attempt has been made to play the ball before deciding whether to review an lbw verdict.
The third umpire can also now check a replay of any short run that has been called and correct any mistake prior to the next ball being bowled.
Meanwhile, the interim regulations put in place to allow cricket to continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year, such as the implementation of home umpires, an extra DRS review in all formats and the banning of saliva to polish the ball, will continue to be applied.
There were two changes made to the rules for women's ODI cricket; the discretionary five-over batting Powerplay has been removed while all tied matches will now be decided by a Super Over.
The ICC has also changed regulations for first-class cricket to allow the "unqualified use" of replacement players in a bid to better understand the implications of concussion and COVID-19 substitutes.
Australia's men's first-class competition, the Marsh Sheffield Shield, already has provisions for both COVID-19 and concussion replacement players.
Cricket Australia Board member Mel Jones was appointed to the ICC Women's Committee, along with New Zealand's Catherine Campbell.
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