ICC approves changes to DRS for LBW
The ICC Cricket Committee led by former Indian captain Anil Kumble, on Thursday (1 April), backed the much-debated Umpire’s Call and said that it would remain in the game. The board, however, has approved changes to the way LBW referrals will be judged under the Decision Review System (DRS).
In the recent past, the ‘Umpire’s Call’ had come under scrutiny, with Virat Kohli suggesting that it was ‘creating more confusion’ and urging the ICC to simplify the game.
In a newly approved decision, the ICC Board has agreed to increase the height of the ‘wicket zone’ - the area of the stumps the tracking technology must show the ball to be hitting for an on-field not-out call to be overturned - to top of the bails. Earlier, the zone was restricted to only the bottom of the bails, wherein the deliveries just shaving the bails returned an ‘Umpire’s Call’ verdict, which in turn was enough to retain the review but not overturn the on-field call.
Additionally, the fielding side can now also check with the on-field umpires if they think the batsman offered a shot before deciding to take it upstairs.
“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,” Kumble reasoned.
Meanwhile, the third umpires will now check all calls of short-run and correct any error noted before the next delivery is bowled.
The committee has also decided that the interim COVID-19 regulations introduced last year to ensure the resumption of international cricket would continue to be in place.