ICC defends decision to introduce umpire referral system

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Colombo, Jul 23 (UNI) Asserting that umpires would continue to have the final say on the field, the International Cricket Council (ICC) today said the newly introduced umpire referral system is just an extension of appealing.

''The umpire's word is still final but this is an extension of appealing,'' ICC General Manager of cricket Dave Richardson told mediapersons here.

Defending the decision to introduce the new technology, Richardson said it would put to rest any allegations of biased officiating as the players will now be able to refer on-field decisions to a third umpire.

''The way we look at it, is, what's better or what's worst for the game. The umpires making mistakes and being accused of cheating, teams threatening to leave the country and flying home and boards criticising the umpires? Or a system where the umpire is given an opportunity to review his own decision and make a final decision himself?'' he said.

Under the new system, each side will be allowed three unsuccessful appeals in each innings and the number of appeals remains intact if a decision is reversed using the system.

The new system will allow seeking reviews on all types of decisions, such as lbw and low catches close to the turf apart from run outs and stumpings.

''Every mistake (of the umpire) is emphasised and they are not allowed to forget it. In tennis, line decisions are accepted now it has become part and parcel of a tennis game,'' Richardson said.

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