ICC Cricket Committee retains umpire's call, approves other changes
In an interesting development, the ICC Cricket Committee has approved changes to the Decision Review System (DRS) protocols for lbw referrals. However, the committee led by former Indian captain Anil Kumble, has backed the 'umpire's call', which sparked multiple debates about its usage. The board also made several other changes related to women's cricket and ICC events. Here are the further details.
In a newly-approved decision relating to lbw referrals, the board has agreed to increase the height of 'wicket zone' to top of bails. The wicket zone is the area used to determine whether a ball would have gone on to hit the stumps. Earlier, the zone was restricted to only the bottom of the bails, wherein the clipping of bails resulted in 'umpire's call'.
The ICC Cricket Committee has also decided to retain the umpire's call. This element of DRS has been under the scanner, with Indian captain Virat Kohli suggesting that it was "creating more confusion". However, the board refrained from removing it. Notably, the 'umpire's call' is used while referring lbw decisions. It remains intact in case of inconclusive evidence from the referral.
The fielding side can now check with the on-field umpires if they think the batsman offered a shot before deciding to use DRS. Interestingly, the third umpires will now check all calls of short-run, and correct the error before the next delivery. Meanwhile, the interim COVID-19 regulations introduced last year to ensure the resumption of international cricket would continue to be in place.
Men's and women's teams at ICC events will now be allowed to carry a larger contingent. The ICC has decided to expand the squad-limit from 23 to 30. Earlier, the squad comprised 15 players and maximum eight support staff members. Now, the squads can be extended upto 22 with support staff. Notably, the change will be seen in the impending T20 WC in India.
In Women's ODIs, the optional five-over batting powerplay has been eliminated. All tied games will now be decided by Super Over. While the 2022 Commonwealth Games matches have been awarded T20I status, Full Member women's teams will get Test and ODI status. The 2022 Women's WC global qualifier has been postponed to December 2021, with the inaugural U-19 Women's WC being pushed to 2023.