22 July 2002
Trial to Provide Facts on Technology Impact
The International Cricket Council said today that its upcoming technology trial would move the debate about this issue beyond opinion and speculation by providing a factual basis on which to judge the realities of increasing the use of technology.
Speaking from Colombo at the launch of the ICC Champions Trophy, ICC Chief Executive, Malcolm Speed, said that the trial would enable the issue to move forward after several years of debate.
"The issue of the use of technology in cricket has been around for many years and opinions are clearly divided. Great players such as Alan Border are against any change while people such as Sunil Gavaskar would like to see more use of technology," he said.
"After so long listening to competing views, it's about time we stopped speculating about what might happen and found out what does happen."
Mr Speed said that the ICC Champions Trophy provided an ideal opportunity in which to conduct a limited trial of the use of technology and it would allow a fact-based assessment to be made on the realities of this system.
"The ICC Champions Trophy gives us the chance to assess the impact of the increased technology on the game in a controlled way. We will be able to see and measure the realities first hand, not just guess at the impact.
"It will be carefully managed. It will be limited to this event and to established technology.
"It will move the debate forward because, for the first time, we'll have some facts specific to cricket on which to make informed judgements."
Mr Speed stressed that, with the exception of the "Strike Zone" to assist in determining where a ball pitched, the trial would not use the "gee wiz" technologies used by broadcasters to enhance the telecast of the game.
"There is no doubt that some of the broadcast technologies enhance cricket telecasts, but that is a long way from saying that they are reliable or practical enough to warrant it being used by the umpires.
"For aids such as 'Hawkeye', 'Snickometer' and the 'Magnifying Glass' there are sufficient doubts about their efficacy and/or the speed with which they can be accessed to say that they should not be used by the umpires," he said.
Mr Speed also stressed that the ICC was approaching the issue with an open mind.
"Clearly both sides of this issue have merit. No one is interested in having the umpires turned into robots or to slow the flow of the game," he said.
"At the same time, if there is technology available that can assist the field umpires in making the right decision more often, it is worth exploring."
The ICC announced in March this year that it would allow the expanded use of technology at the ICC Champions Trophy to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 12 - 30 September.
At the tournament, the power of the third umpire to make decisions will be removed with this authority reverting back to the field umpires.
In return, the field umpires will be able to consult with the third umpire on any matter to do with a dismissal, including the line and height of a ball in relation to an LBW appeal.
The ICC Champions Trophy, formerly known as the ICC Knockout, is a biennial event with a format that ensures a rapid-fire feast of cricket.
One-Day International specialist Kenya and the winners of the ICC Trophy for Associate Members, Holland, will join the Ten Test playing nations for the twelve-team tournament.
The teams are divided into four groups of three with each team playing its group opponents once in the tournaments first round. The four group leaders move through to the semi-finals with the winners meeting in the Final.
Source: ICC Media Release