The International Cricket Council is testing a new review system for TV umpires that aims to improve the accuracy and reduce the time taken to reach their decisions.
The Officiating Replay System (ORS), developed by Hawk-Eye, is being assessed by former elite panel umpire Simon Taufel, who is acting as a shadow umpire on the ICC’s behalf in the ongoing Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka test match.
Without influencing the decision making of TV umpire Sundaram Ravi, who has just one monitor and one camera angle of the onfield action at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Taufel is able to view the direct feeds from all 16 cameras at the ground on two giant screens.
The ORS aims to help TV umpires make better decisions, more quickly, particularly when it comes to, for example, adjudging a no-ball or a clean catch.
“Umpiring is all about giving the players the best service, the best umpiring and best decisions possible (and) this trial fits into that theory,” Taufel said.
Currently, the third umpire asks for a particular angle from the broadcaster before giving his verdict. With ORS, he could see all the angles for himself in one go, without having to wait several minutes for the broadcaster’s feed.
Barely two seconds would be needed to see if a bowler has bowled a no-ball and only five seconds to rule whether a fielder has stopped the ball cleanly at the boundary line.
“All we’re doing is looking at different options ... have less interruptions, less breaks in play and improve decision-making as much as we can,” said Taufel, who quit international umpiring after the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in 2012.
The ORS has been trialed twice before in the Ashes test at Old Trafford last year and during the last one-day international between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi in December.
Taufel said the next step for the system is to be examined by the ICC’s technology review group.
“From an umpire’s perspective ... it makes our job a lot easier, but we’re also aware of the cost implications and things like that which have to be worked through,” Taufel said.