Clarke refuses to foot referrals bill

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Giles Clarke

Giles Clarke cast doubt over the future of the referral system amid rising costs and a reluctance by governing bodies to pay

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke is steadfast in his belief that England will not meet the costs of the umpire decision referral system, which he described as “unsatisfactory”.

Cricket South Africa yesterday confirmed the Test series between England and South Africa this winter will not use the system, following the decision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India not to employ it during the current home series against Sri Lanka.

Despite being approved by the International Cricket Council Board and due to be implemented from October 1, these two decisions appear to be a blow to getting the system off the ground.

Clarke said: “We weren’t keen on a referral system; we voted against it.

“We have consistently said we think it’s an unsatisfactory system. We lost the vote, comprehensively, and we run a democratic world in cricket, so we’ve accepted that decision.

“Then the question came of who is going to pay for it? Well, we’re not going to. Either it’s paid for by the broadcaster or the other side.

“We certainly have no intention of paying for it and, if somebody doesn’t pay for it, then it won’t be used.

“Cricket South Africa don’t want to pay and I quite understand why they don’t want to pay. It seems the broadcaster doesn’t want to pay so, if no-one’s going to pay for it, you can’t use it.

“I don’t think the ICC is going to pay for it in a hurry but I may be wrong.”

India set a precedent when they began their Test series against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad yesterday without challenges by technology.

“The Indian board is not very keen on it,” BCCI chief executive Ratnakar Shetty said. “We have made that decision and opted not to use it.

“This is not a problem with the ICC. There’s an option as a host country to use the technology but we talked to the players and we have reported back that we are not in favour of it. If other countries choose to use it as hosts, then so be it.”

The new system was originally anticipated to be a feature of last summer’s Ashes but the ICC postponed the start date until the autumn to allow umpires more time to understand the concept and for the technology to be fine-tuned.

Under the scheme, players can request an umpire's decision to be reviewed by a third official using TV pictures - with the proviso that two unsuccessful challenges in an innings ends a team’s chance to contest.

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