Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar did not find the umpiring referral system fool-proof when he encountered it last year but according to ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat,the system has improved and was contributing in making correct decisions.
“The referral system,which Tendulkar experienced first-hand during India’s 1-2 Test series defeat to Sri Lanka last year,has improved the rate of giving correct decisions,” Lorgat said in Mumbai on Tuesday night at a media conference.
“The idea is to give sufficient help (to the umpires) to get the decisions correct. We have seen that the correct decisions’ percentage has gone up from 94 to 98 per cent with this system in place,” the ICC official,who was in Mumbai for announcing a tie-up with internet firm Yahoo India,said. “Anyway the ICC’s Cricket Committee would decide on the matter in May when it meets and put forward their proposal to the Executive Board in June,” Lorgat added.
Tendulkar was not impressed with the system and had openly expressed his feelings. “When I was there in Sri Lanka last time,I did not like the Umpires Referral system. There is still an element of uncertainty in the system,” Tendulkar had said last week.
“I still prefer the hot-spot system to identify the contact between the ball and bat. The LBW decisions are not convincing enough as the Hawk Eye gives a 22-yard view which the new referral system does not agree with … As to whether the ball would have hit the stumps or not,” Tendulkar said.
His India teammate Harbhajan Singh had sung a different tune on the same day by saying that the system should be extended to the one-dayers as well.
“The umpire referral system is good for the game,which is aimed at making the game more fair as both batsmen and bowler can refer any controversial decision for its correction,” Harbhajan had said in Jalandhar about the rule which the ICC is trialling in Test matches since last year.
Apart from the referral system,Lorgat said the ICC was worried about match-fixing raising its ugly head once again. He said they were in talks with the Indian Premier League to send its Anti-Corruption Unit officials to oversee it in April-May.
“We should never be complacent and see a situation that we got into a few years back. We are having discussions with IPL Governing Council with (chairman) Mr (Lalit) Modi and the others and have offered the services of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit,” Lorgat said.
In the first season of the IPL the organisers of the League had their own ACU officials to supervise the event.
Lorgat reiterated ICC’s commitment to see that cricket is not tainted by the drug menace that has affected some other sports disciplines,notably athletics and weightlifting.
“We have zero tolerance for drugs and have signed an Anti-Doping Code (with World Anti Doping Agency),” he said. Queried about the request from the Pakistan Cricket Board for pre-dating the start of the one-year ban imposed on drug-tainted pacer Mohammed Asif,already rejected by the IPL,Lorgat replied,”We have not received any application from the PCB.”
On the matter of slow over rate that has been the bane of international cricket,Lorgat said that of late it has been brought under control.
“Recently there was only one instance of slow over rate,that too by just one over. We have addressed the issue by taking care of things which lead to the slowing down,” the ICC Chief Executive added.