The ICC has approved changes to the lbw umpire’s call in the Decision Review System.
The conclusion of the ICC’s annual conference in Edinburgh on Saturday revealed several new steps to take the game forward, with more set to be announced over the next few months. The biggest one to go public was the situation regarding the DRS, which will see the bowlers benefit.
For on-field lbw decisions to be overturned, half of the ball now needs to hit a zone of the stumps that also borders the outside of off and leg stumps. Before, half of the ball needed to hit a zone between the centre of off and leg stumps.
An ICC release said: ‘The size of the zone inside which half the ball needs to hit for a “Not Out” decision to be reversed to “Out” will increase, changing to a zone bordered by the outside of off and leg stumps, and the bottom of the bails (formerly the centre of off and leg stumps, and the bottom of the bails).’
The amendment will come into effect from 1 October or from the start of any series using DRS that commences just prior to this date.
Another area of concern discussed at the meeting was that surrounding the calling of no-balls. This remains a grey area as the immediate decision to signal a no ball by the on-field umpire has, up until now, not been something that could be overturned even if replays suggest there wasn’t one.
The ICC will arrange a trial in the coming months to assess if the third umpire could use instant replays to call no-balls more accurately. The trial is likely to take place during an upcoming ODI series and the third umpire will judge no-balls within a few seconds of the ball being delivered and communicate it to the on-field umpire.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban, meanwhile, is set to include a women’s cricket event, after the ICC supported the presentation made by the Commonwealth Games Federation.
‘The ICC will now work closely with the Commonwealth Games Federation in order to ensure cricket’s inclusion on the program and to determine the specific tournament structure and qualification process that will be applied,’ the ICC release said.
About restructuring in the ICC, the release said ‘significant and positive progress’ had been made to oversee a ‘complete’ review of the 2014 structural and constitutional changes. A draft of a new constitution will be prepared in the coming weeks that will be considered by the ICC Board during its October meetings.
Photo: Gallo Images/Robert Cianflone