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ICC cricket committee recommends DRS shake-up

Mark Craig won an appeal for lbw but it was overturned by DRS Getty Images

An umpire's call finding on a review may soon not cost teams a review. The ICC cricket committee, headed by India coach Anil Kumble, recommended on Thursday that teams do not lose reviews in those instances where an umpire's call comes into play. And if the ICC chief executives' committee approves it, the change could come into effect this October.

Currently, sides are allowed two unsuccessful reviews in the first 80 overs of a Test innings, and one per innings in ODIs. If a review is successful, they do not lose it.

LBW decisions, in particular, will be affected. The benefit of doubt in a DRS call goes to the on-field umpire's original call. Therefore, if they give a batsman out leg-before and it is challenged, then the third umpire has to uphold the on-field judgment if projections show half the ball hitting a zone that stretches from the outside edge of the off stump to the outside edge of the leg stump. This is the margin of error afforded to the "umpire's call".

Now, after a two-day meeting, former international captains Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Mahela Jayawardene, current Australia coach Darren Lehmann, ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss, umpire Richard Kettleborough among others are agreed that if an lbw review comes back with a verdict of umpire's call, the team that called the review should not be penalised.

If this system is put in place, however, sides will not have their reviews topped up at 80 overs, as currently happens.

There were several other recommendations made by the group that met in London on May 23 and 24. If the ICC's chief executives committee approves them, they could become laws starting October 1.

DRS in T20 Internationals

Currently there is no provision for the system, but several players, including most recently England's Joe Root, have advocated for the move considering one decision can change the course of a match in the shortest format. Earlier this year, the Pakistan Super League used DRS for three matches, thought to be the first time DRS had been used in T20s at franchise or international level.

Concussion substitutes

The committee wanted the ICC's member countries to run a two-year trial on the use of concussion substitutes. Australia had experimented with it in their last domestic season and had been lobbying the ICC to include it in international cricket as well. Tony Irish, the head of the Federation of Cricketers' Association, has been vocal in this regard as well, saying "We see this as an important health and safety issue for players and believe that cricket is behind other sports in dealing with it."

Red cards for players

The MCC in March had proposed the move to regulate behavior at the lower levels of cricket and the ICC cricket committee was in favour of bringing it to internationals as well. They wanted umpires to be empowered to force players off the field "in response to the most serious incidents of player misconduct, such as violence on the field."

Monitoring no-balls

The third umpire should be deputised to call no-balls off the instant replays. The ICC cricket committee came to this conclusion after reviewing footage from a trial held in England during their ODI series against Pakistan last year.

Run-outs proposal

As it stands now, a batsman is dismissed if, after dragging his bat past the crease, it pops up at the point where the bails are broken. But the committee said once the bat is in and grounded, the batsman is safe, even if it bounces up later.

Finally, the committee was unanimous in wanting a Test championship, supported the push to include cricket in the Olympics and restricting the edges and the depth of bats to bring better balance in the game.