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ICC to investigate referral complaint made by ECB

Daryl Harper
Harper is alleged to have had his speaker volume too low

Technology used for the referral system is to be reviewed by cricket's governing body after a complaint from the England and Wales Cricket Board.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke has described the International Cricket Council's implementation of the decision review system as "a shambles".

The criticism follows Daryl Harper's umpiring during the ongoing final Test between South Africa and England.

And in response to the furore the ICC is to carry out a full "investigation."

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: "There is a large amount of controversy, speculation and potentially unfair criticism circulating at present, so it is important to establish the exact facts before reaching any final conclusions.

"These are early days for the decision review system, and so far we are pleased with its effectiveness and the value it can add to the game in support of umpires."

However, he added there had always been "room for further improvement" in the technology.

"This investigation will be conducted in that light so the system becomes even more reliable," he said.


ECB chairman Giles Clarke had earlier described the ICC's implementation of the decision review system as a "shambles" that was "destroying the authority of our umpires".

He told the BBC's Test Match Special: "It attacks the root of cricket, that the umpire's decision is final."

However, former England captain Michael Vaughan said Harper, rather than the referral system itself, was at fault.

"The system works - Daryl Harper didn't turn his stump mic up," he said, referring to a key decision made by the Australian on Friday.

"He has made a big mistake. He has made mistakes with England before and it's just common sense."

England have also called for their unsuccessful referral to be reinstated following the controversy.

Cricket's core principles being destroyed - Clarke

The visitors were convinced South Africa captain Graeme Smith had been caught when on 15 during the first innings. He went on to score 105.

They claimed he had edged the ball to wicketkeeper Matt Prior, but Harper agreed with the not-out decision of on-field umpire Tony Hill.

However, England allege that Harper did not have the speaker volume on the stump microphone turned up high enough and so was unable to hear the ball hitting Smith's bat.

On Saturday, Harper chose to over-rule Hill when AB de Villiers was given out caught close to the wicket off Graeme Swann.

Observers were quick to criticise him again, after replays showed there was every chance the ball had brushed the batsman's glove and bat en route to James Anderson at leg-slip.

De Villiers added 48 to his score of 11 - and the two decisions combined help South Africa build a huge lead over England in Johannesburg.

Rather than using it in big Test matches, they could have trialled it in county games and umpires can get more experience

England's Ryan Sidebottom

England bowler Ryan Sidebottom said the review system still had a future at the highest level, but may have been rushed out prematurely.

"It's a good system, but it needs more work doing on it," he said.

"Rather than using it in big Test matches, they could have trialled it in county games and umpires can get more experience. It's a good system as long is it done properly."

When the review system was first implemented across all Test cricket last November, ICC general manager Dave Richardson explained why he felt they were necessary.

"Often... two or three errors in a Test match prove crucial to the outcome and result in controversy," he said.

"If the technology exists to allow us to remove the obvious errors that our umpires make, then don't we have a duty to go down that path?"

Prior to the system's introduction umpires were getting just over 90% of decisions correct.

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see also
England facing heavy Test defeat
16 Jan 10 |  England
England slam referral 'shambles'
16 Jan 10 |  England
Sidebottom frustrated by display
16 Jan 10 |  England
Reprieved Smith makes England pay
15 Jan 10 |  England
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England

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