England coach Fletcher backs use of technology

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England coach Duncan Fletcher has once again called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to continue with plans for a greater use of technology when it comes to making on-field decisions.

During the recent Super Series matches between Australia and the World XI, on-field officials were allowed to refer all decisions to the third umpire, an extension of the rules usually in place for 'regular' Tests and One-day internationals where there are restrictions on when replays can be used.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting and star leg-spinner Shane Warne were unimpressed by the trial but Fletcher, who guided England to a 2-1 Ashes series win against Ponting's men last month, has long called for a 'three referral' system, urged cricket chiefs not to give up on technology.

"Not everything is going to work first time," Fletcher said ahead of England's tour of Pakistan. "But I am a believer, I think they should be bringing in technology.

"I think all decisions should be referred - it is just how they are referred. It is very difficult, there is not one easy system to develop but I would like a three referral system."

Fletcher details his thoughts on this idea in his new book 'Ashes Regained: The Coach's Story', which is published in Britain on Monday.

Such a system would allow each team to challenge an umpire's decision by requesting a television review by the third umpire.

If they were proved correct, they would keep their three referrals per innings but if not they would lose one.

Fletcher believes this would alleviate pressure on on-field umpires and reduce controversy. Sides would be mindful of their number of referrals and not be keen to waste them on marginal or less important decisions.

He added: "It still makes umpires important but if the fielder feels something or batter believes he is not out, they can refer.

"Let's make some of the decision-making come from the players so they can't complain they were robbed."

Australia were playing the World XI by virtue of being ranked number one in the ICC's Test and one-day rankings.

They still top the Test standings despite their Ashes defeat and if England, who depart for Pakistan on Tuesday, are to leapfrog them they must continue their fine form in the sub-continent where they also travel to India in February.

"It would be very nice for England to play such a (world) side," former Zimbabwe captain Fletcher added. "Hopefully, that is what we are aiming for. Australia are still an outstanding side and at the end of the day we have got to win a few more series."

England begin their tour of Pakistan with a three-day warm-up match in Rawalpindi starting on October 31 before playing the first of three Tests at Multan on November 12.

The tour also features five One-day internationals with the limited overs opener at Lahore on December 10.

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