Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd and Scottish lawyer Brent Lockie are to conduct an International Cricket Council (ICC) inquiry into the use of the umpire review system during this month’s fourth Test between England and South Africa, it was announced on Tuesday.
England lodged a formal complaint with the global governing body over the application of the system as Australian television umpire Daryl Harper came under fire for his role during the match at Johannesburg’s Wanderers ground.
Harper was involved in a particularly controversial incident when he upheld an on-field decision to give Graeme Smith not out, following an appeal for caught behind, when the South Africa captain was on 15 even though replays seen by television viewers suggested he had edged the ball.
Smith went on to make 105 and South Africa won the match by an innings to level the four-Test series at 1-1
Lloyd is currently the chairman of the ICC’s cricket committee while Lockie has worked with the organisation’s code of conduct commission.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: “The ICC has appointed two eminent individuals to investigate the exact circumstances relating to the application of the UDRS [Umpire Decision Review System] in Johannesburg.
“The UDRS is a ground-breaking system which was introduced to eliminate the obvious umpiring errors. The majority of players and officials who experienced the system in the southern hemisphere summer have expressed qualified support for using the system,” the South African added.
“While this feedback is positive and reassuring, we understand the need to continue enhancing the system in these early days and I’m sure this independent investigation will assist in that regard.”
After the Smith incident, a row then ensued over whether Harper or the host broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), had failed to set the official’s volume control at the correct level.
England coach Andy Flower said match referee Roshan Mahanama had told him Harper had made a mistake only for Mahanama to reply the volume on the umpire’s feed was set by a head engineer of the SABC and an ICC technical adviser. — AFP