THE International Cricket Council will send one of its officials to Durham on Friday to speak with England and Australia, following calls for changes to the controversial Decision Review System which has threatened to undermine the Ashes series.
Both teams have continually expressed their frustration at DRS, with TV evidence often contradicting the on-field umpire’s original decision following a review, yet not deemed sufficient enough by the third umpire to overturn the call.
The Australian Prime Minister labelled the decision to dismiss batsman Usman Khawaja on the first day of the third Test as “one of the worst ever seen” and all-time leading wicket-taker Shane Warne called it “a shocker” following a surprisingly unsuccessful review, after spinner Graeme Swann’s delivery was adjudged to have been edged to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
Meanwhile, England captain Alastair Cook admitted he was “confused” by the lack of clarity surrounding DRS after Kevin Pietersen was said to have nicked a Peter Siddle delivery behind the stumps to Brad Haddin on Monday, despite HotSpot technology indicating otherwise.
And, with the fourth Test set to commence in Durham on Friday, calls from England’s team director Andy Flower for the ICC to make changes quickly have not gone unnoticed.
“I think there are improvements that can be made,” he said.
“There are improvements in the use of the technology and the use of experts who know how to use the technology that could make a difference to getting better results.
“Umpiring is a very tricky business, but I would say that there are very clear protocols to use and to stick to and I think some calm decision-making needs to be made over the next two tests.”
England head to Chester-le-Street on Friday with an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, though the unprecedented whitewash is no longer possible.
And, following an improved performance in the draw at Old Trafford, coach Darren Lehmann feels Australia can continue to make progress.
“The last five days we’ve been outstanding,” he said.
“We’ve put England under a lot of pressure. We’ve showed some cracks in their batting which is exciting for our bowling unit.
“I think momentum has shifted but only time will tell.”