ICC Cricket Committee approves changes to DRS and third umpire protocols, 'Umpire's call' to stay

The ICC Cricket Committee, led by former Indian captain Anil Kumble, has approved three changes to the Decision Review System (DRS) and third umpire protocols.


The International Cricket Council (ICC) logo at the ICC headquarters in Dubai.   -  REUTERS

The ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket Committee, led by former India captain Anil Kumble, has made it clear that the 'Umpire's Call' will continue to be a part of the Decision Review System. However, it has introduced a few changes to the current DRS protocols.

In a statement on Thursday, the ICC stated that for the LBW reviews, the "height margin of the Wicket Zone will be lifted to the top of the stumps to ensure the same Umpire’s Call margin around the stumps for both height and width."

Also, a player will now be able to ask the umpire whether a genuine attempt has been made to play the ball before deciding to review an LBW decision.

Additionally, the third umpire will now check a replay of any 'short run' that has been called and correct any error prior to the next ball being bowled.

Kumble said, “The Cricket Committee had an excellent discussion around Umpire’s Call and analysed its use extensively.

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"The principle underpinning DRS was to correct clear errors in the game whilst ensuring the role of the umpire as the decision maker on the field of play was preserved, bearing in mind the element of prediction involved with the technology. Umpire’s Call allows that to happen, which is why it is important it remains."

India captain Virat Kohli had recently termed the umpire's call as "confusing". As per the existing rule, 50 per cent of the ball should be hitting at least one of the three stumps for the batsman to be adjudged LBW on review in case an umpire's not out call has been challenged.

Meanwhile, the interim COVID-19 regulations that were introduced in 2020 to allow international cricket to resume as quickly and safely as possible will continue to be applied.

Women's cricket

Two changes have been approved to the women’s ODI playing conditions. The discretionary five-over batting PowerPlay has been removed. Moreover, all tied matches will be decided by a Super Over henceforth.

Mel Jones (Cricket Australia) and Catherine Campbell (New Zealand Cricket) have been appointed as Full Member representatives on the ICC Women’s Committee.

It has been decided that Test and ODI status shall be permanently awarded to all Full Member women’s teams. Moreover, all matches at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be classified as women’s T20Is.

Women's U-19  World Cup postponed

The Board has agreed to postpone the inaugural women’s U19 Cricket World Cup 2021 in Bangladesh to January 2023. To allow teams to have the best possible preparation, the global qualifier for the women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 has also been postponed to December 2021.

The apex body also received an update on the ongoing preparations around the men’s T20 World Cup in India, scheduled to take place later this year. It has agreed to allow Members to take up to seven additional players and (or) support staff to accompany the squad of 23 to senior events where a period of quarantine is required.

A Member Support Fund for Cricket will also be set up with USD 5 million being made available in grants to support international cricket.

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