It has been reported in today’s paper that the ICC are considering a trial where players can appeal against the umpires decision. They are talking about using the Champions Trophy as a test bed for the idea. I noted the other day that the players don’t take the Champions Trophy very seriously, and it appears that the ICC does not either.
The ICC cricket committee, chaired by Indian great Sunil Gavaskar and including former Australian captain Allan Border, will debate whether players should be allowed to appeal against a certain number of decisions per innings if they feel they have been wronged by umpires.
An appeals system has been used in the National Football League for years, and the ICC denied such a process in cricket could undermine the authority of the standing umpires.
“What we are looking to do is increase the already high numbers of correct decisions made by our on-field umpires without diminishing their role and this approach has the potential to do just that,” said Dave Richardson, ICC’s general manager of cricket.
Presumably, a captain could appeal, say, two contentious decisions per innings and ask that they be referred to the third umpire. The standard of international umpiring has been a big issue recently.
The standard of international umpiring is in fact fine, if you ask me. Australia toured South Africa and Bangladesh and played 5 tests and 8 odi games and I don’t remember a single contentious decision.
While I am a crusty old curmudgeon, I do not in fact have a problem with new ideas in cricket. However, I do have notions about the proper place to test new ideas, and the ICC Champions Trophy, whatever its merits, or otherwise, is not in fact one of those places. If the ICC had asked a member country to test its ‘supersub’ rule in a domestic competition, the flaws in the idea, which were manifest at the time anyway, could have been demonstrated in a slightly less public manner.