England in SA

ICC to probe review row

2010-01-16 18:03
Haroon Lorgat (File)

Johannesburg - Cricket's governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC) is to launch a formal investigation into the controversy over the television review system that erupted during the fourth Test between South Africa and England at the Wanderers Stadium.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said a letter of complaint had been received from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and an investigation would be held after the Test.

England complained after television umpire Daryl Harper failed to overturn a not out decision against South African captain Graeme Smith on Friday because Harper allegedly failed to turn up the sound on an audio feed from the stump microphone.

According to an ECB statement, "In the ECB and the England team management's view, the agreed protocol was not implemented and the sound was not turned up on review.

"As a result a TV replay which indicated that bat had made contact with ball was heard by millions of television viewers but not by the match control team."

Lorgat said the exact circumstances would be investigated.

"There is a large amount of controversy, speculation and potentially unfair criticism circulating at present so it is important to establish the exact facts before reaching any final conclusions.

"This is early days for the Decision Review System and so far we are pleased with its effectiveness and the value it can add to the game in support of umpires.

"However, we have always acknowledged there is room for further improvement in the available technology and this investigation will be conducted in that light so the system becomes even more reliable."

The England Cricket Board on Saturday announced it had demanded a reinstatement of the review the England team lost when television umpire Daryl Harper made a 'gross error' in rejecting an appeal against South African captain Graeme Smith.

But England had used up their second and final review and the South African innings was complete before the ICC responded.

Match referee Roshan Mahanama earlier issued a statement defending Harper, saying the umpire followed the correct protocol in upholding a not out decision by on-field umpire Tony Hill when Smith was on 15 during the second day's play on Friday. Smith went on to make 105.

Mahanama denied telling England coach Andy Flower that Harper had failed to adjust the volume of an audio feed from the stump microphone.

He said the volume on the third umpire's feed was set by a head engineer of the host broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, and an ICC technical adviser.

"If the audio level had been increased above its optimum level, distortion on the audio feed would have occurred and the feed might not have given a clear indication of the true sound."

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