U-turn on decision review system

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England v South Africa, Edgbaston 2008

The decision review system will come into operation when England and South Africa convene for the first Test at Centurion

England and South Africa are to play under the new decision review system in next month’s Test series, it has been confirmed.

The International Cricket Council made it clear today that the system, which made its international debut in the New Zealand-Pakistan Test series today, will also be in place in South Africa too.

There had been a hitch over Cricket South Africa’s willingness to help fund the required technology, suggesting it would not be in place against England.

The system involves a batsman or the fielding side's captain asking for a review of an umpire's decision they are not satisfied with, with each side having a limit of two unsuccessful challenges per innings.

ICC general manager of cricket David Richardson admitted the use of the DRS in individual Test series will be dependent on a number of factors.

“It's in the playing conditions, but there is the leeway to amend those and say we're going to go back and use the old system," he said.

“We can change our playing conditions at any time by agreement between the two participating teams with the ICC's prior approval."

With a range of expensive cutting-edge equipment needed, Richardson admitted the system would be in the hands of TV broadcasters around the world.

“There are going to be some broadcasters who just don't have any of the technology and we have to say look, we can't have the DRS without ball tracking or whatever," added the former South Africa wicketkeeper.

David Richardson

Use of the decision review system will be reliant on individual broadcasters' capabilities, explained the ICC's David Richardson

"Certainly in this interim phase we have to rely very heavily (on broadcasters).

"Cricket wouldn't really be able to even contemplate using any kind of technology if it wasn't able to piggyback on what the broadcasters have already.

"We're not in a position to influence what those broadcast agreements might say. We have to live with what is in place at the moment.”

Richardson suggested that cricket's governing body would also look at tweaking the rule to allow extra challenges in cases of close Test matches.

"Down the line we might have something similar to tennis, where in a tie-break situation you might get one extra one,” he said.

"So we (would) avoid the situation where, come the last 15 overs of a Test match, a crucial decision is unable to be adjudicated on using the system because the fielding captain has used his reviews up.

"It's a bit harsh on a batsman in particular where you generally might feel that you haven't nicked it and the technology isn't good enough."

Richardson confirmed that while the Board of Control for Cricket in India has voiced its concerns about the DRS, the ECB was the only ICC member to oppose its introduction at the ICC board meeting in June.

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