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Stump microphone for ICC Trophy

May 17, 2004 21:12 IST

The International Cricket Council is planning to test stump microphone technology and conduct research into slow bowling at the ICC Champions Trophy in England this September.

Speaking at the launch of the ICC Champions Trophy 2004, ICC General Manager Cricket David Richardson outlined the plans for the trials.

"For the second ICC Champions Trophy in succession we hope to be trialling various technological innovations to see if they help umpires in the decision-making process," Richardson said.

"We are hoping to use the 2004 tournament to build on our testing into the use of stump microphone earpieces that began in South Africa last year.

"The plan is for umpires to wear an earpiece that picks up the audio from the stump microphone as the ball passes the batsman. The trial will enable us to assess whether the microphone's position closer to the action area will provide audible assistance in instances of thin nicks.

"This may also enable us to trial the deferment of no-ball decisions to the TV Umpire to assess the impact this has on the on-field umpires as the microphones will offer two-way communication.

"Performance statistics over the last 12 months show that the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires are operating at a correct decision rate around 92 per cent, which compares to 94 per cent in Major League Baseball.

"We are of the opinion that cricket is a more difficult game to umpire than baseball so if we want our umpires to attain a higher percentage of correct decisions we may need to take one of their usual responsibilities out of their domain.

"It should be stressed however that the no-ball element of the trial is contingent on the outcome of preliminary trials before the tournament.

"The tournament will also be used to conduct research into the levels of tolerance exhibited by spin bowlers in the delivery action.

"This research is part of the ICC's on-going commitment to deal with the issue of suspected illegal bowling actions and will be carried out by the human movement specialist Dr Paul Hurrion.

"The ICC's view on technology in international cricket is that it will only be used in decision-making if it can provide conclusive answers, is practically feasible to introduce for all international cricket, will not have the effect of changing the essence of the way the game is played and will not compromise the role of the on-field umpires.

"This view evolved as a direct result of the trials conducted at the last ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka and it will be interesting to see how these new initiatives develop."

The no-ball and stump microphone trials are still subject to final approval by the ICC's Chief Executives Committee which meets in London in June.

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