Cricket
Sat, 3 Apr 2021

ICC has made a significant change to how LBWs are judged under the DRS

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has made a significant change to how LBWs are judged under the Decision Review System (DRS). According to the new set of rules proposed by ICC’s high profile cricket committee, and later approved by the world body, the bowlers will now have a boarder target to aim at.

By including the bails in the ‘wicket zone’, the bowlers will now have more chance of getting LBW decisions in their favour, although the ICC Cricket Committee headed by former India captain Anil Kumble has retained umpire’s call.

Now, the ICC has extended the height of the stumps to include top half of the bails and allowed the fielding side to first ask an umpire if the batsman has offered a shot before going for the review.

Updated ICC rules

"The Cricket Committee had an excellent discussion around Umpire's Call and analysed its use extensively. The principle underpinning DRS (Decision Review System) was to correct clear errors in the game whilst ensuring the role of the umpire as the decision-maker on the field of play was preserved, bearing in mind the element of prediction involved with the technology. Umpire's Call allows that to happen, which is why it is important it remains," the Cricket Committee chairman Anil Kumble was quoted as saying in an ICC statement on Thursday.

The wicket zone is the total area of the stumps, height and width combined. In terms of height, before the rule change, the area up to the bottom edge of the bails was taken into consideration. Following the rule change, the area up to the top edge of the bails will come into play.

For example, if an umpire has adjudged a batsman not out, under the old LBW rule through the DRS, more than half the ball needed to hit the bottom edge of the bails for the decision to be overturned. Under the new rule, more than half the ball needs to hit the top edge of the bails for the on-field decision to be reversed on review.

So, with extra 1.38 inches, the bails’ height, coming into the equation, the bowlers now have a little more room/area for LBWs. Under the old rule, deliveries just clipping the bails stayed with umpire’s call. Following the change, the on-field decision will be reversed if 50 per cent of the ball is hitting the top edge of the bails.

The contentious ‘Umpire’s Call’ will continue to be a part of the Decision Review System, the International Cricket Council ruled on Thursday, but introduced a few changes to the current DRS protocols.

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