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ICC goes along with Indian board, DRS is not mandatory

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to do away with the mandatory use of the Umpires Decision Review System (DRS) and has gone back to the position existing before June, that is to leave it to the boards involved in a series.

The ICC Executive Board, at its meeting here Monday, also approved the new qualification system to fill the places from the Associates and Affiliates for the 2015 World Cup to be played in Australia-New Zealand.

AMong other key decisions taken at the meeting, presided over by its president Sharad Pawar, the ICC has agreed to make the findings of the independent governance review panel public, and it is also in favour of a Test Championship in 2013.

As for replacing the Champions Trophy, the ICC said it realises the significant commercial challenge. "It clarified that without the support and consent of the ICC's broadcast partner, ESPN Star Sports, the financial implications on the Members and the development of the game would be significant."

The Board has asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to submit their nomination for the ICC Vice-Presidency for 2012-14, in accordance with its current constitution.

On the DRS, the Board reversed the decision it took at the annual conference in Hong Kong in June when it came to an agreement with the member boards on the use of technology. The Hot Spot was made mandatory subject to availability, but the use of ball-tracking was left to the playing boards to decide.

However, the DRS would still be used in all ICC global events and the Board stated that it supports the use of technology and would continue to work on its development.

"Although the DRS improves correct umpire decisions by around five per cent and corrects any blatant errors, there are some who are not convinced by its reliability," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, said in a media release.

"We will continue to work with interested parties to improve the system while permitting the participating teams to decide whether they wish to use it or not."

The ICC has been forced to fall in line with the Indian Board's view after the technology goof-ups during India's tour of England in the summer. The Indian Board was highly critical of the Hot Spot which was responsible for Rahul Dravid being given out more than once wrongly.

The Indian Board and players felt the available technology was simply not good enough and was inconclusive.

The qualifying system for the 2015 World Cup will have the top two teams coming through the current eight-team Associates and Affiliates league over 50 overs which is being played till October 2013. The remaining six teams will then join four other teams from the World Cricket League in a second ten-team qualifying event. The 3rd and 4th placed teams in Division II and the top two teams in Division 3 will qualify for this league and the two finalists will progress to the World Cup.

The independent governance review, headed by Lord Woolf, is part of the ICC's new Strategic Plan for 2011-15 and its scope includes the constitutional framework of the ICC, the election process for president, the criteria for membership and "clarifying the role and structure of the ICC and its committees to ensure that strategic goals are met effectively and that decision-making is made in the best interests of the game. This would include consideration of independent committee members and directors."

Lord Woolf made a presentation to the board at the meeting and outlined the importance of the review.

"Organisations, whether global companies or international sports bodies, need to take necessary steps to ensure that their house is in order otherwise they would be extremely vulnerable," he said.

"I think in cricket people recognise that they have to face the challenges and will be prepared to take the decisions that will allow them to function effectively.'

Accounting and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers is assisting the panel in completing the review and the panel hopes to report to the ICC at their first meeting in 2012.

Pawar said the Board had agreed to make the report public after it has met with Lord Woolf in February 2012.

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