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Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

England series to adopt referrals

Tony Hill
Tony Hill calls for a referral during England's tour of the West Indies

The International Cricket Council has confirmed that the Umpire Decision Review System will be used in England's Test series in South Africa.

The system includes a maximum of two unsuccessful challenges by either side in any innings.

The first Test of the four-match series begins in Centurion on 16 December.

Meanwhile, South Africa have called up fast bowler Morne Morkel to their squad for the remaining three matches of the one-day series against the tourists.

With both the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India against the introduction of the referral system, as well as the eruption of a dispute over who should pay for the required technology, it looked as though the introduction of the system would be delayed.

However, the ICC announced on Monday that the system would be used in the series between New Zealand and Pakistan, which began on Tuesday, and West Indies' Test matches in Australia, which get under way in Brisbane on Thursday.

Trials showed that the system improved player behaviour and led to a significant reduction in the number of umpiring errors

David Richardson

The ICC's general manager of cricket, David Richardson, said: "We are excited about the introduction of this ground-breaking system.

"With the improvement of technology, umpires' mistakes are exposed and scrutinised like never before. This system will help alleviate the problems created when mistakes are made.

"Trials showed that the system improved player behaviour and led to a significant reduction in the number of umpiring errors."

However, Richardson did acknowledge that, because of the technology required to implement the system, the ICC will reliant on television broadcasters around the world.

"Certainly in this interim phase we have to rely very heavily (on broadcasters)," he added.

"Cricket wouldn't really be able to even contemplate using any kind of technology if it wasn't able to piggyback on what the broadcasters have already.

"We're not in a position to influence what those broadcast agreements might say. We have to live with what is in place at the moment."


Richardson also rejected claims from some members of the cricket community, including New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, that teams should be limited to one challenge per innings.

The former South Africa wicketkeeper even suggested that more challenges could be permitted in tight games.

"Down the line we might have something similar to tennis, where in a tie-break situation you might get one extra one," he said.

"So we would avoid the situation where, come the last 15 overs of a Test match, a crucial decision is unable to be adjudicated on using the system because the fielding captain has used his reviews up.

"It's a bit harsh on a batsman in particular where you generally might feel that you haven't nicked it and the technology isn't good enough."

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur welcomed the use of the referral system, and said that cricket should make use of all available technology.

"It's definitely the right way to go," Arthur told BBC Sport.

"I hope that if we are going to use it that we go the whole hog and get all the technology available.

"But if we are going to do it, it should be standardised across the world."

Morkel's addition to the South Africa squad comes after the Proteas seven-wicket defeat by England in the second one-day international of the series at Centurion on Sunday.

Charl Langeveldt is not entirely fit after his shoulder injury and Dale Steyn is the only bowler that really packs a punch

Mickey Arthur

The tourists chased down their victory target of 251 for the loss of three wickets with four overs to spare.

England go into Friday's third match in Cape Town with a 1-0 lead in the series after rain wiped out the opening game in Johannesburg.

"Morne will join up with the squad in Cape Town on Wednesday," said selection chief Mike Procter.

"He has shown good form in domestic cricket this season and was also impressive in the 50 overs match for South Africa A against England a week ago.

"He will definitely form part of our plans for the Test series as well so the sooner we have him involved with the team the better."

Morkel, the younger brother of South Africa all-rounder Albie, has taken 31 wickets in 21 one-day internationals.

Arthur also confirmed that left-armer Wayne Parnell is on stand-by to return from an ankle injury should fellow paceman Charl Langeveldt be ruled out with a shoulder problem.

"Charl is not entirely fit after his shoulder injury and Dale Steyn is the only bowler that really packs a punch," said Arthur.

"Wayne will join us in Cape Town and we will then have a look at his fitness.

"He bowled over the weekend and hopefully he will be ready to play."

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England in South Africa 2009-10
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