'No Evidence To Suggest Procedures Were Not Followed'
An enquiry led by Brent Lockie and Clive Lloyd have determined that Decision Review System protocols and procedures were followed correctly by the umpires during the between England and South Africa at The Wanderers in January.
The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had made a complaint with regard to incidents in the match involving appeals for the dismissals of Alastair Cook, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers.
However, the report states unequivocally that the umpires were blameless:
"The independent enquiry was convened by the ICC Chief Executive following a formal complaint by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that relevant DRS procedures and protocols were not followed by the third umpire during the fourth Test match in Johannesburg. The findings of the Lockie/Lloyd enquiry found no evidence to support the complaint," a statement from the ICC read.
"Alistair Cook dismissal - Mr Harper (third umpire) followed the relevant protocols and procedures in reaching his decision, namely that Alistair Cook had correctly been given out LBW by the on-field umpire Mr Tony Hill.
"Graeme Smith - No ‘nick’ or edge sound came through to Mr Harper on any of the replays shown to him and there was no deflection or change of seam position on the ball as it passed the bat.
"Any suggestion that Mr Harper had somehow failed to ‘turn up the sound’ in order to hear the edge is “both manifestly wrong and entirely unfair”. The volume control had been set by technicians, and they did not operate or adjust the volume control during the entire series.
"However, differing sounds were heard on the footage of the various broadcasters, namely SABC, Supersport and Sky. The enquiry concluded that it was most likely that the actual sound feed coming through to the third umpire’s room was lost at the crucial time.
"Graeme Swann/ AB de Villiers - Mr Harper followed the correct protocols and procedures in reaching his decision, namely that AB de Villiers had incorrectly been given out by the on-field umpire Mr Tony Hill."
ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat added: “I am grateful to Advocate Lockie and Mr Lloyd for their thorough review and helpful recommendations as we strive to continually enhance the DRS. I am also pleased that Mr Harper had carried out the required protocols and procedures and rightly been exonerated by this report.”
David Richardson, ICC General Manager – Cricket, said: “It is unfortunate that the sound feed failed at a crucial time due to equipment failure. Clearly, all cricket stakeholders involved in delivering the DRS need to work together to consider the recommendations arising from the investigation. We recognise that DRS is beneficial but complex.
“Many of these recommendations had already been identified as necessary at the ICC Decision Review System (DRS) workshop which was held in Dubai in March. The ICC Cricket Committee also made recommendations, which cover some of the areas highlighted in the report and these have been approved by the ICC Executive Board.
“I am also pleased that the recent Umpires and Match Referees seminar, held immediately after the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, supported DRS and the need for ongoing training and development in this regard.”
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