ICC Announces Significant Change to Controversial Review System in Test Cricket

Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23:  Mitchell Starc (R) of Australia appeals successfully for the wicket of Kevin Pietersen of England with Nathan Lyon (L) during day three of the 5th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at the Kia Oval on August 23, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The landscape of Test cricket changed on Wednesday after the ICC introduced a new trial that will permit the use of two extra reviews per innings.

Starting Oct. 1, the new regulations will see two reviews granted to teams at the 80-over stage of an innings.

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Following a meeting of the ICC's chief executives committee in Dubai it was agreed that the number of reviews will be topped-up to two after 80 overs of a Test innings.

At present teams are only permitted a maximum of two reviews per innings.

The decision will be trialled in the hope that it will help eliminate incorrect decisions, particularly in Tests that see teams bat through multiple days.

In the past, if a side had used both allotted reviews inside 80 overs, they would be forced to rely upon the umpires for the remainder of the innings.

Now, regardless of whether they have used one, none or both of their reviews, their appeal count will return to two at the 80th over.

The news comes at a significant time for English cricket, with the winter Ashes series against Australia scheduled to start in late November.

England’s recent Ashes win over Australia on home soil was littered with DRS controversies, although not all incorrect calls were caused by technology.

Indeed, arguably the most high-profile controversy of the series—Usman Khawaja’s dismissal at Old Trafford—came despite the use of DRS.

The Australian batsman’s bat was nowhere near the ball when given out by umpire Tony Hill, as proven by the DRS evidence. However, third umpire Kumar Dharmasena still made him walk, prompting outcry among Australians.

In such cases, the ICC’s new trial with extra referrals will make little difference. However, in a more general sense, the ideal will be that four extra reviews per innings (two for each side) should result in four correct decisions.

In further announcements made by the ICC, umpires will become stricter on slow over-rates, and the World Test Championship will launch in Dubai in October, per Cricinfo.