Referral only an extension of appealing: ICC

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> the ICC on Wednesday said the new technology is just an extension of appealing and the on-field match official would continue to have the final say.

Updated: July 26, 2008 12:55 IST
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Dispelling fears about the umpire referral system, the International Cricket Council on Wednesday said the new technology is just an extension of appealing and the on-field match official would continue to have the final say.

Defending the referral system, which debuts with the first India-Sri Lanka Test starting from Wednesday, Dave Richardson, ICC General Manager of cricket assured it would not affect umpires' status.

"The umpire's word is still final but this is an extension of appealing," Richardson told reporters here.

Richardson said the new technology will put to rest any allegations ofbiased officiating as the players will now be able to refer on-field decisions to a third umpire.

There will be 22 cameras for monitoring at the Sinhala Sports Club here to assist in facilitating the decision-making process and for first time 'Virtual Eye' systemwill be used for line decisions for reviewing leg before decisions.

"The way we look at it, is, what's better or what's worst for the game.

"The umpires making mistakes and being accused of cheating, teams threatening to leave the country and flying home and boards criticising the umpires? Or a system where the umpire is given an opportunity to review his own decision and make a final decision himself?" Richardson asked.

Under the new system each side will be allowed three challenges in each innings and the number of challenges remains intact if a decision is reversed using the system.

While technology is utilised to make decisions like run outs and stumpings, the new system will allow seeking reviews on all types of decisions, such as lbw and low catches close to the turf.

"Every mistake (of the umpire) is emphasized and they are not allowed to forget it. In tennis, line decisions are accepted now it has become part and parcel of a tennis game," he said.

Indian skipper Anil Kumble also supported the introduction of the new appeals system.

"We have already accepted third umpire decisions on run outs and stumpings, it's just moving forward," Kumble said.

Kumble's counterpart Mahela Jayawardene also threw his weight behind the system and said it would help the game in future.

"What we are trying to eradicate is obvious mistakes that happen on the field. I think the umpires are in favour of that as well. It's going to be used for the first time so I am not sure how good it will be but we need to support this because it will benefit cricket overall.

"We have to do it in a very respectful manner for the umpires as well because after all, they are humans as well and they understand that sometimes they do make mistakes. I think it will benefit cricket in the long run," the Sri Lankan captain said.

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