ICC Cricket Committee wants to persist with “Umpires Call”

The DRS system in cricket has caused a lot of furore during the recently concluded test match series between England and India. The topic of debate has largely been around the “Umpire’s Call” for leg before wicket (LBW) decisions. However, the early signs suggest that the “Umpire’s Call” is here to stay despite constant criticism.

As per a report from ESPNcricinfo, ICC’s Cricket Committee has given the nod to stick with this element of DRS. The committee will be giving their recommendation to the governing body’s chief executive committee meeting in the coming week. The cricket committee had discussed about this element of DRS during a meeting in early March.

Former Indian captain Anil Kumble heads this committee. Former international captains and umpire Richard Illingworth, match referee Ranjan Madugalle, and Mickey Arthur are also part of this committee. The committee took feedback from umpires, broadcaster, and Hawk-Eye to make a decision regarding the umpire’s call. MCC had also previously held discussions over umpire’s call and rules for short pitch deliveries earlier this year.

In terms of impact and hitting the wickets, the umpire’s decision is withheld if there is a marginal difference is seen through ball-tracking technology. Considering the ball-tracking technology is not 100% accurate, the committee reportedly decided to stick with this element of DRS.

The primary criticism amongst the cricket fraternity has been that if the ball is clipping the bails, then it should be considered out irrespective of what was umpire’s call. However, the hawkeye technology is not always considered as completely accurate, so umpires are given the benefit of the doubt. If the umpire’s call is completely removed from the DRS system, then the competitive nature of the game could be significantly affected. It would be fair to say that the bowling team will get a massive advantage in every game.

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