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ICC To Air Umpire Communications

Six runs signalled
Communication between the match officials will be broadcast during the Australia-South Africa series
©REUTERS / Action Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will trial putting umpire communications to air during the One-Day International series between Australia and South Africa that begins on Friday (14th November).

Communication between the on-field umpires and the TV official will be made available to host broadcaster, the Nine network.

The trial will see cricket follow the example of other sports, notably rugby league and union where match officials' communication is broadcast.

Communication will be broadcast during umpire referrals, consultations and player reviews.

If the experiment is deemed to be a success, then it may be extended to some matches at next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The ICC say the experiment is part of an initiative to make umpiring more understandable to viewers and spectators.

"For years viewers have enjoyed seeing the same pictures as the TV umpire and making their own decisions during a referral or review," Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager - Cricket, said.

"Now they will be even closer to the game, hearing what the umpire is saying when making those decisions."

Although it is now unusual for televised rugby matches to not include the communication between match officials, other sports have tried but not persisted with the idea.

A Premier League soccer experiement was quickly shelved, for example.

There is something of a precedent in cricket, however. During Twenty20 matches, a player from either side often wears a microphone and will communicate with commentators, and umpires have occasionally also worn a microphone in this way.

The five-match ODI series begins in Perth with matches also being hosted in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

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