ICC to roll out umpire referral system in October
After a number of trials in past few months, the International Cricket council has finally decided to roll out the umpire referral system in Tests from October.
The ICC Board, on it first day of meeting at Lord's, also decided to double the fine for slow over-rates besides agreeing to trial day/night Test cricket provided several crucial factors related to it were addressed.
"The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) should be rolled out in Test cricket from October 2009," said an ICC statement after the first day of the ICC Board meeting last night.
ICC President David Morgan said the Cricket Committee received the draft of Futures Tour Programme post-2012 which would be refined by the ICC and Members nations.
"I am encouraged by the hard and effective work put in by Members towards a long-term structure for international cricket," he said.
"It is vitally important that this framework is put in place to create certainty for our Members, as well as other key stakeholders, including players, broadcasters and the public.
"We will work with our Members in refining the draft model over the coming weeks, consult with those stakeholders and seek approval of a new programme as soon as possible," he added.
The current FTP concludes in May 2012 and the draft proposals for a new programme was made following bi-lateral and multi-lateral discussions between Members ahead of the meeting.
On the issue of slow over-rates, the ICC said fines imposed under the Code of Conduct be doubled and captain of a side guilty of three over-rate fines in the same format of the game in a rolling 12-month period should be automatically banned for one match.
The ban will be applicable in the next match played by his side in that same format.
It also said members should be far more diligent in ensuring delays within their control, such as sightscreen issues, are minimised, team over-rates (including permitted allowances) are displayed on scoreboards to ensure everyone was aware of the situation at all times.
The ICC agreed to explore the possibility of day/night Test cricket but said factors like successful trials of an appropriate ball; research on whether or not it was what stakeholders want; and successful trials at first-class level should be addressed.
"Providing these factors could be satisfactorily addressed over the coming months then the Cricket Committee agreed the concept could be explored further," the ICC statement said.
"This could involve the committee receiving an update at the start of 2010 ahead of an update to the CEC and, if appropriate, a day/night Test could be trialled later that year," it said.
Among other decisions the ICC ruled that stricter penalties should be imposed on Boards and venues found guilty of producing pitches considered "poor" or "unfit".
It was also agreed the term "poor" would include batsmen-friendly "featherbed" surfaces which, it was felt, were a serious threat to the game.