ICC releases figures for TV technology trial
Guyana Chronicle
September 19, 2002

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Half the lbw decisions referred to the third umpire for TV replays in the Champions Trophy have been given out, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday.

World cricket's governing body is using this tournament as an experiment -- allowing lbw and bat-pad catches to be adjudicated by the third official after referral.

Figures released by the ICC showed that 11 decisions for the 'new' categories had been referred in the first six matches.

Eight were for lbw and three for caught decisions. Four of the lbw consultations were given out, while each of the three caught appeals was adjudged not out.

``Any definitive conclusions on this trial will obviously have to wait until the end of the tournament, but these early figures give an interesting insight into progress so far,'' said David Richardson, ICC's general manager. ``Decisions have been taking between 40 seconds and a minute and initially I thought that would be too long, but as it's turned out it has worked out fine in practice and it's difficult to get a much shorter period.

``As long as it's under a minute I think it's okay.

``We'd not taken into account the need for television to focus in on the flashing orange lights to give the sponsors some mileage and the practical aspect of allowing time for them to focus back onto the on-field umpire to give the decision.

``That adds another 10 or 15 seconds to the process.

``It's come across as important for the umpires to have high levels of communications skills because requests to the third umpire need to be clear and concise.''

Under rules in force for the one-day tournament, field umpires can refer any decision, including lbws and bat-pad catches, to the third umpire. He in turn can then study two TV replays before giving his verdict.

Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik made history by becoming the first batsman ever to be given out lbw by the third umpire in the opening game against hosts Sri Lanka.

South African TV umpire Rudi Koertzen ruled Shoaib had been trapped lbw for one after he was hit on the pads by left-arm paceman Chaminda Vaas bowling over the wicket.

Umpire Daryl Harper referred the decision to Koertzen who decided the ball had been in line with the stumps.

``It's a learning process for us,'' Richardson added. ``An umpire might ask for a replay to see if a ball has pitched outside leg-stump but the television producers may also know that a batsman has nicked the ball onto his pad.

``So to prevent the wrong decision and to save embarrassment later on, we're now rolling in three replays before the umpire makes his decision, not only to determine whether the ball pitched outside leg-stump but also to check for an inside edge and the height of the ball.''