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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 16:17 UK

ICC unveils Test referral trial

Sri Lanka v India
The Sri Lanka-India series will see referrals used

The International Cricket Council will use this summer's Test series between Sri Lanka and India to try out a referral system on umpiring decisions.

Players will be allowed to challenge decisions made by on-field umpires, and have them referred to the TV official.

Each team will be limited to three unsuccessful challenges per innings.

The ICC wanted to test the system during England's Test series against South Africa, but the national cricket boards did not give their consent.

The use of the third umpire in international matches is currently governed by the proviso that it is the on-field umpires alone who decide whether a decision needs to be passed on to the replay official.

Even then, they can only refer "line" decisions - such as run-outs, stumping or boundaries - incidents where catches may have been grounded.

We want to see if we can enhance the game further by reducing or removing the few clearly incorrect ones

David Richardson, ICC acting chief executive
During the three-Test series, which starts in Colombo on 23 July and continues in Galle before returning to Colombo, only the batsman on the receiving end of the umpire's original decision or the captain of the fielding side can appeal by making a "T" sign with both forearms at shoulder height.

Acting chief executive officer David Richardson said the ICC were seeking to improve the game by reducing the number of incorrect decisions.

"We want to see if we can enhance the game further by reducing or removing the few clearly incorrect ones," he said.

"The fact that each side is allowed only three unsuccessful requests to review in each innings should mean that players will not make frivolous challenges and, instead, only seek a referral to decisions that, it is quickly clear, are highly likely to be incorrect.

"By seeking to reduce these potentially contentious decisions we believe we can help remove a source of tension and frustration among players and spectators, as well as any resultant pressure on umpires."

Richardson added: "We have sought to ensure the continued primacy of the on-field umpire. The man on the field's role is to consult with his colleague, not to refer the decision away, and he still decides whether or not to change his original decision."

The ICC will review the process at the end of the series.

An experiment to allow players to challenge decisions was first attempted in English county cricket's Friends Provident Trophy in 2007.

But it was not regarded as a great success - and the experiment was dropped after one season after no decisions made by on-field umpires were reversed.

A similar system in tennis using the Hawk-Eye technology, which uses cameras to follow the ball's trajectory, has already been successfully used to challenge line calls at the US and Australian Open and Wimbledon.

see also
Counties drop referral experiment
27 Oct 07 |  Counties
Referrals doomed to fail - Adams
01 May 07 |  Counties
County teams given referral right
10 Apr 07 |  Counties
India in Sri Lanka 2008
26 Mar 08 |  Cricket

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