ICC Okays Rule Change In LBW Calls, Defers Test Shake-Up


Edinburgh: The ICC has approved change in rules in the LBW decisions of the umpires concerning the controversial Decision Review System, which is expected to benefit the bowlers, while deferring plans for a radical shake-up of international cricket, including on the proposed creation of two divisions in Test and a new one-day league.

The global governing body’s annual meeting concluded in Edinburgh last night with the ICC, IDI and IBC Board deliberating over several issues under the chairmanship of former BCCI chief Shashank Manohar. Few major decisions were also taken.

The ICC said progress has been made on the issue of the governance restructuring in the world body while a push has been made for women’s cricket to be included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban. Further discussions on the plan of International Olympic Committee over cricket becoming an Olympic sport.

Regarding the DRS playing conditions relating to the LBW ‘umpire’s call’, the ICC said if the on-field lbw decisions are to be overturned, half of the ball would now need to hit a zone of the stumps that also borders the outside of off and leg stumps. Earlier, half of the ball would need to hit a zone between the centre of off and leg stumps.

“The size of the zone inside which half the ball needs to hit for a Not Out decision to be reversed to Out will increase, changing to a zone bordered by the outside of off and leg stumps, and the bottom of the bails (formerly the centre of off and leg stumps, and the bottom of the bails),” the ICC said in a statement.

This amendment will come into effect from October 1 or from the start of any series using DRS that commences just prior to this date, the world body said.

The change will benefit bowlers and more batsmen will be given out once on-field decisions are referred as the “zone” the ball needs to hit for the decision to be overturned has increased.

In a decision concerning calling of ‘no-balls’, the ICC said trials allowing the third umpire to call ‘no-balls’ instead of his on-field colleagues would take place over coming months to better understand whether the third umpire could use instant replays to call ‘no-balls’ more accurately.

“The trial is likely to be staged during one of the upcoming ODI series, and the third umpire will judge ‘no balls’ within a few seconds of the ball being delivered and communicate this to the on-field umpire. Further details relating to the trial will be announced once finalised,” the ICC said.

Meanwhile, amid concerns from smaller nations like Bangladesh that they risked permanent exile to the ‘second division’, the ICC deferred a decision on a new landscape for the international game. Instead it will hold a workshop at its Dubai headquarters in early September.

“The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee held constructive discussions about the structure of international cricket and the establishment of new competitions in all three formats. Members were updated on the progress of the project, and all understood that more detail is needed before any final decisions can be made,” the ICC said.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for our sport to introduce a package of bilateral international cricket structures, which are merit and performance based, have context, enhance the value of bilateral international cricket and create a highly competitive environment for cricketers so they can provide more entertainment to spectators,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said.

About restructuring in the ICC, it said a draft of a new constitution will be prepared in the coming weeks for consideration by the ICC Board at its October meetings.

“We have undertaken the responsibility of reviewing the 2014 resolutions and constitutional changes in their entirety as we are committed to following best practice principles of good governance to build, improve and enhance the image and reputation of the ICC by putting in place systems and processes which are fair, transparent and merit-based,” Manohar said.

“I am pleased with the work that has been done to date and during this set of meetings and we are looking forward to presenting the amended constitution to the Board for its consideration at the next meeting.”

The ICC also agreed to support the inclusion of women’s cricket event in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban, following a presentation by the Commonwealth Games Federation. The ICC will submit an application for the same.

“The ICC will now work closely with the Commonwealth Games Federation in order to ensure cricket’s inclusion on the program and to determine the specific tournament structure and qualification process that will be applied,” the ICC release said.

The Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Unit, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, provided an annual update, including the progress made on the implementation of the Integrity Working Party recommendations, which were approved during last year’s ICC Annual Conference in Barbados.

The Board also approved the extension of the ICC Chief Executive’s contract, with Richardson agreeing to continue in the role through to the end of 2019 ICC Annual Conference.