Upgrades to help third umpire

David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, has revealed a trial is underway during the current Ashes series to enhance the role of the third umpire by feeding him direct pictures that would avert controversial incidents like Stuart Broad getting away with a thick edge in the first Investec Test last week.

Broad stood his ground having edged a ball from Ashton Agar, after the on-field umpire Aleem Dar failed to spot the deflection off the bat. Having spent all their reviews, Michael Clarke’s Australia were left high and dry.

Speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special, Richardson admitted it was frustrating that, in the age of technology, Broad managed to escape.

“It is, of course,” Richardson said. “For that reason, up to the third Test, we have a trial going on, independent of what is happening on the field, to allow the third umpire to have a bank of televisions where he can actually choose and get access to the technology much quicker than he would if he simply relies on the director or producer sending him the pictures up to him.

“If we progress along these lines … there is an opportunity for the third umpire to have the say and to overrule where he thinks an obvious mistake has been made.”

Richardson stressed it was a long-term process but the ICC remained optimistic.

“I don’t think people should think it is going to be introduced for the next series,” Richardson said. “It is at a very basic phase and we need to progress a lot further before we get it on board in a match.”

Speaking on the unusual move by the ICC to reveal the assessment of the three umpires (Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus) and the various decisions they made during the Trent Bridge Test, Richardson reiterated that it was necessary bring the numbers out into open to erase certain doubts. However, he indicated that the ICC would not make it a norm to make the umpires assessment public. (cricinfo)

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