NEW DELHI: Bowlers around the world got a shot in the arm of the International Cricket Council (ICC) when the world cricket governing body took an interesting step regarding LBW review calls under the Decision Review System (DRS).
The ICC cricket commission, headed by former Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble, decided to expand the area of the ‘wicket zone’ from the bottom of the bail to the top of the bail.
This effectively increases the likelihood that bowlers will receive more LBW decisions in their favor, if and when an on-field umpire’s decision is revised. Previously, deliveries that cut bail ended up stuck with the referee’s decision on the field.
Under DRS, if more than 50 percent of the ball hits the ‘wicket zone’, a no out decision on the field can be reversed to out.
So what is the ‘wicket zone’ that ICC deems legitimate? The ‘wicket zone’ is the total area of the stumps, height and width combined. Previously, the height of the stumps considered valid under DRS was to the bottom of the stirrups. But now, after the rule is changed, the height of the stumps will increase to the top tip of the braces.
Under cricket laws, the total height of a bail in senior level cricket must be 4.31 inches or 10.95 cm. When the bracket settles into the groove of the stumps, it will protrude about 2.94 inches or 7.5 cm. So after the rule change, that’s an extra 7.5 cm of play for the bowlers.
With the new rule, just over 50 percent of the ball hitting the top edge of the bail would be enough to reverse a decision on the field after a judgment has been made.
Umpire’s call was held
The umpire’s call factor in DRS has caused much controversy and polarized opinions. Virat Kohli said during the recent ODI series against England that the ‘umpire’s call’ aspect caused “a lot of confusion”. However, the ICC has decided to keep the ‘umpire’s call’ element in DRS.
“The basic premise of DRS was to correct obvious errors in the game while ensuring that the referee’s role as decision maker on the playing field was maintained, taking into account the element of prediction involved in the technology. Umpire’s Call makes that possible, so it is important that it stays, ”said Anil Kumble in a press release from the ICC.
Shot played or not?
In another major change, a team can now ask the referee if “an actual attempt has been made to play the ball” (deliberate padding or not) before going to an assessment. Earlier, the umpire’s conclusion was binding and the field team was not allowed to object on the field.
Short term problem
By the way, as with the no-ball calls, decisions regarding whether or not to be a ‘short run’ will now be the responsibility of the third referee.
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