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ICC executive committee recommends players' appeal to third umpire

Written by: Staff

Dubai, May 6 (UNI) In a guarded endorsement of the extended use of technology, the ICC Executive Committee today recommended a limited number of appeals to the third umpire during this year's Champions trophy subject to approval by the governing body's Chief Executives' Committee.

The decision came after the two-day Executive Committee meeting which ended today. The committee recommended that players be allowed a limited number of appeals to the third umpire if they feel a decision made by the on-field official is incorrect.

''Players will be allowed three appeals per innings on a trial basis for this year's Champions Trophy to be played in India and the recommendation would be reviewed after the tournament,'' an ICC release said here today.

The recommendation was, however, made by the narrowest possible margin of six votes to five with reservations expressed over what it will mean for the spirit of the game and the role and authority of the on-field umpires.

ICC Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Speed, while explaining the decision said, ''Ever since the Champions Trophy of 2002, the ICC has been keen to explore the possibilities offered by technology.'' ''What we have consistently sought to do is to increase the already-high numbers of correct decisions made by umpires while, at the same time, not diminishing their on-field role and authority,'' the ICC chief added.

ICC General Manager-Cricket, David Richardson explained that each team will be allowed three appeals to the third umpire per innings.

If the appeal is successful they will retain the right to three appeals but if not, then it is lost.

''Only the captain from the fielding side will be entitled to make the appeal by approaching the on-field umpire making the sign of a TV with his hands. For the batting side, only the batsman involved in the decision would be able to make the appeal, which he would do in the same way,'' Mr Richardson said.

The trial would not use technologies such as Hawkeye or the Snickometer but would include the LBW mat, the solid line super-imposed on the screen between the two sets of stumps and used by broadcasters to determine where the ball pitches and the point of impact on the batsman's pads.

''However, if the recommendation is approved it will offer the chance to see how the concept works in practice and leave us better able to make a decision on its longer term merits,'' Mr Speed said.

The Committee also recommended equipping umpires with earpieces connected to the stump microphones to be mandatory in all international matches and called for the discontinuation of the use of artificial lights during Test matches.

The powerplay rule, which has come under severe criticism, will continue till the next year's World Cup but the committee stated that the rule would be reviewed after the event.

Defending the rules pertaining to fielding restrictions, which have been in place since July last year, former Australia captain Allan Border, a member of the committee, said, ''When it comes to promoting alternative tactics in the one-day game, I think we are on the right track with these restrictions.'' UNI XC PG PM RN2129

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