The Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee has confirmed that it will consider removing the so-called “umpire’s call” for LBW dismissals. The committee will consider the removal as part of a general overhaul to cricket’s Umpire Decision Review System (DRS).
Some MCC members have expressed their concern over the use of the system, saying it only creates confusion among fans – and particularly so when the same ball could either be declared ‘Out’ or ‘Not Out’ depending on the on-field (human) umpire’s original decision. Many members are reportedly of the opinion that less confusion would be created if the on-field umpire’s original decision were to be disregarded in the case of a review.
In the event that such a protocol were to be introduced, the general consensus is that the “hitting zone” of the stumps should still be retained, along with the rule that at least 50% of the zone should be hit in order for the ball to be declared ‘Out’.
But other members said they were perfectly satisfied and happy with the current system, saying they regarded the presence of the human element an important part of the decision. The human element has been central to the idea of the “benefit of the doubt” that has been a part of umpires’ decisions for many years.
The committee also had on its agenda for discussion short-pitched bowling. The MCC said in a statement following the meeting that it will now set off on a global consultation on whether the short-pitched bowling law remains applicable to the modern game of cricket.
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