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Players could question umpire decisions under new rules

Written by: Staff

DUBAI, May 5 (Reuters) Teams may be allowed to appeal against umpires' decisions to the third umpire during one-day games under a proposal to be discussed by a committee of the International Cricket Council this weekend.

Players would be allowed a ''certain number of appeals -- to be determined -- per innings if they feel a decision made by the on-field umpire may be incorrect'', the ICC said in news release today.

General manager David Richardson said the ICC wanted to explore the possibilities offered by technology.

''What we are looking to do is to increase the already high numbers of correct decisions made by our on-field umpires without diminishing their role and this approach has the potential to do just that,'' he said in the release.

''Umpires at international level already get between 94 and 96 per cent of decisions correct so we believe we are not talking about a large number of potential referrals.

''And if it increases the number of correct decisions even further then that has to benefit the game.'' At present the on-field umpires alone can ask the third umpire to rule on disputed catches and run-outs.

If the Cricket Committee supports the proposal and it is accepted by the ICC Board, the rules would be tried out at this year's ICC Champions Trophy in India and, if successful, repeated at next year's World Cup.

An appeals system has been used in American Football for several years and earlier this year was tried out at eventd on the professional tennis circuit, the release said.

The committee, which includes six former international captains, will also discuss the merits of giving umpires earpieces to listen to the stump microphones, something that would help them hear edges more easily.

It will also look at proposals to improve the consistency of decision-making about bad light, review laws governing bats and discuss the playing conditions for the Champions Trophy and World Cup.

Recommendations from the Cricket Committee need to be accepted by the ICC chief executives' committee and ratified by a July meeting of the ICC board before being put into practice.

Reuters PM RS2320

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