Aussie skipper calls for reviews in all Tests

The International Cricket Council (ICC) should ensure the controversial decision review system is used in all Test series, according to Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

The referral system is not being used in Australia’s two-match series with Pakistan in England, where the second and final Test starts at Headingley here on Wednesday.

That’s because the Pakistan Cricket Board, as the ‘home’ authority, was not prepared to foot the bill involved.

Although the ICC favours the review system, one reason why it is not implemented in all series is the failure of broadcasters and home boards to agree on a share of the costs.

Broadcasters argue they do not own systems such as ‘Hawkeye’ and that if these are to be used for decision-making purposes then a higher standard of technology — and therefore cost — is needed than for regular programmes.

But the ICC and its member boards are equally keen not to pay over the odds.

Ponting, speaking to reporters at Headingley here on Monday, said a way had to be found to ensure reviews were used in all Tests, with Australia playing series in England and India without the system before having to get used it to again when they stage the Ashes starting in November.

“Look, I got my point across at the referee’s meeting before this series, I just think probably even the ICC could have stepped in on this occasion,” Ponting said. “It is a financial thing at the end of the day, that is the reason we are not using it.

“So I thought the ICC could have come in and done something about it but it has not eventuated and that is just the way it is. So we just have to get on with it.”

The star batsman added: “It was brought in as compulsory in Test cricket 12 months ago now, so I thought if it was ever left up in the air someone should have stepped in and made sure it actually happened.”

Regardless of cost, countries such as India — which generates 75% of world cricket’s income — are opposed to the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) and it is not being used in their ongoing series away to Sri Lanka.

UDRS was first used when the teams met in India in 2008, where Sri Lanka made 11 successful reviews in a 2-1 series win compared to India’s one. — AFP

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Julian Guyer
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