LONDON, England, May 9 – The future of Test and one-day cricket, as well as the controversial decision review system (DRS), will be among the subjects up for discussion when the International Cricket Council (ICC) cricket committee gathers at Lord's for a two-day meeting starting here on Tuesday.
The ICC would like DRS, first introduced in 2009, to be used in all one-day internationals (ODIS) as was the case at the recent World Cup in the Indian subcontinent.
But India have been opposed to the system almost from its inception and a controversial lbw decision during their World Cup tied match with England, where England’s Ian Bell was given not out even though replays suggested he was in fact lbw, is unlikely to have softened their stance.
Bell was reprived under the ‘2.5 metre’ rule’ which says that if a batsman is at least that far down the pitch he cannot be given out on review as the available technology is not sufficiently accurate at that distance.
Prior to the World Cup, concerns were expressed that ODIs were becoming increasingly ‘formulaic’ contests.
Suggestions the ICC committee will look at for reviving the 50-over game include split innings, possible use of two new balls per innings and allowing bowlers to bowl more than the current ODI maximum of 10 overs each.
Floodlit Tests have long been seen as the way to revive declining worldwide spectator interest in the five-day game, which has suffered from falling attendances outside of traditional strongholds such as England in recent years.
Committee chairman Clive Lloyd, the former West Indies captain, played in similarly floodlit matches during the ‘rebel’ World Series Cricket tournament in Australia in the late 1970s.
But then as now, the problem of finding a ball that wears at the same rate as the traditional red leather cricket ball – unsuitable for use under floodlights where a white ball and coloured clothing are now the norm for day/night one-dayers – has proved a problem.
Various different coloured balls have been trialled around the world but the first day/night Test match still seems some way off.
A white ball has generally been perceived as giving bowlers too much of an edge in anything longer than a floodlit one-day match and former England captain Tony Greig, who led the World XI in WSC, has said: "That (white) ball created monstrous problems for us, and those problems, to my way of thinking, still exist."
The ICC’s cricket committee, whose members include former Australia captain Mark Taylor and former South Africa coach Gary Kirtsen, will also consider the use of artificial lights to extend play in Test matches and whether injured batsmen should still be allowed to use a runner in international matches.
Any recommendations they reach will have to be sumbitted to the ICC’s chief executives’ committee and the global governing body’s main board, with both committees next due to meet in Hong Kong from June 26-30.