ICC’s New Rule Explained: How Stumps Got Bigger For Bowlers Taking DRS For LBW Decisions

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has has made a significant change to the way LBWs are judged under the Decision Review System (DRS). Under the new set of rules proposed by the ICC High Performance Cricket Committee, and later approved by the world body, bowlers will now have a boarder target to aim for.

By including bails in the “ wicket area ” bowlers will now have a better chance of securing LBW decisions in their favor, although the ICC cricket committee headed by former Indian captain Anil Kumble upheld the arbitrator’s appeal.

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How was the wicket area increased?

The gate area is the total area of ​​stumps, height and width combined. In terms of height, before the rule change, the area up to the lower edge of the bail was taken into account. Following the rule change, the area up to the upper edge of the bails will come into play.

For example, if an umpire ruled a batsman not out, under the old LBW rule through the DRS, more than half of the ball needed to hit the bottom edge of the bail for the decision to be overturned. Under the new rule, more than half of the ball must touch the top edge of the bail for the on-court decision to be overturned on review.

So, with an additional 1.38 inches, the height of the bail entering the equation, bowlers now have a bit more room / surface for LBWs. Under the old rule, deliveries just cutting the bail remained with the referee’s appeal. After the change, the field decision will be overturned if 50 percent of the ball hits the top edge of the bail.

What is the referee’s call?

The referee’s decision concerns whether the DRS gives the benefit of the doubt to the referee’s decision on the field. In LBW decisions, under the existing rule, at least 50 percent of the ball must strike any part of a stump. If it is less than 50%, then a batter will survive the umpire’s call if the on-field decision is not overturned.

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Why does the rule allow the referee the benefit of the doubt on the court?

For two reasons… “The referee’s decision is final” is one of the basic principles of cricket. More importantly, the technology is not foolproof. It is widely believed that Hawk-Eye or ball-tracking has a margin of error of 2.2mm to 10mm. This is why the arbitrator’s appeal is entrusted to the marginal decisions of LBW.

“The underlying principle of DRS was to correct obvious errors in the game while ensuring that the referee’s role as decider on the playing field was preserved, keeping in mind the element of prediction involved in technology. The arbitrator’s call allows that to happen, which is why it’s important that it stays, ”Kumble said via the ICC press release.

Does it also approve the software signal?

The game’s governing body didn’t mention anything about the soft signal; a matter of debate following a few contentious decisions during the recently concluded India v England T20I series. But the ICC has confirmed that the “referee call” is maintained, so it is assumed that the soft signal will not be removed. A soft signal for catches is also a call from the referee on the field.

Did ICC follow the MCC line for the referee call?

The house was divided over the use of the referee’s appeal in LBW decisions at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) world cricket committee meeting in February.

While some members spoke in favor of “ignoring” the initial decision (on the ground) to simplify matters, other members expressed satisfaction with the current system “aimed at retaining the human element” . The Committee, however, spoke unanimously of standardizing technology for all international crickets “rather than relying on host broadcaster agreements”. For the soft signal, the Committee proposed that the umpires on the field could give the TV umpire an “unseen” signal for catches outside the 30-yard circle.

Does the referee’s call make things confusing for players and viewers?

Virat Kohli thinks so. “In my opinion, the referee’s call right now is creating a lot of confusion. When you’re played as a batsman, you don’t expect the ball to hit more than 50 percent in the stumps to consider yourself played, ”the Indian captain said ahead of the ODI series against England.

“So just some common sense of cricket, I don’t think there should be a debate on this. If the bullet cuts the stumps, whether you like it or not, you lose the criticism, ”he added. Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne also questioned the logic behind keeping the referee’s appeal. “… So when the decision is up to the third referee, let the technology take over; just like in tennis – it’s inside or outside, there’s nothing in between, ”Tendulkar said.

What are the other adjustments?

A player can now ask the referee if “a real attempt was made to play the ball” (deliberate or unintentional padding) before taking an LBW exam. Previously it was all about the referee’s interpretation and the bowling team was not allowed to ask the question.