The independent voice of cricket

World Test Championship

ICC’s call for three reviews per team in WTC final raises questions over ‘interim’ regulations

ICC WTC reviews
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The ICC’s decision to allow three reviews per team to India and New Zealand for the World Test Championship final has raised questions over the interim playing regulations for Test cricket set in place during Covid-19.

In June 2020, ICC announced the approval of interim regulation changes in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak, which, among a series of updates, allowed the appointment of home umpires for home international series.

It was also decided to increase the number of unsuccessful reviews from two to three per innings for a team in Tests. According to ICC’s FAQs on interim playing regulations, the change was made to “support the less experienced umpires that may be officiating more often during this interim period.”

The document adds that the interim changes will be “reviewed every three months”.

On Saturday, the opening day of the World Test Championship final, viewers spotted that the ICC had allotted three reviews to each team. The same was mentioned on the ICC playing conditions for the WTC final, which were announced on May 28. On June 8, it was announced that Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth would be the on-field umpires for the final.

Aaron Finch, the Australia white-ball captain, tweeted: “How come both teams have 3 reviews, when there is neutral umpires in this test match? I thought it was only brought in because of home umpires recently! #justasking”

Former India opener and TV commentator Aakash Chopra too, tweeted: “Observation—#WTCFinal21 has carried on with three reviews per team per innings….this was introduced to negate the ‘home’ umpires’ advantage during the COVID times. Here, both the umpires are neutral but the provision of an extra review stays.”

Other Twitter users also wondered about the need to have three reviews for the Test, given that the clause was initially added for “less experienced home umpires”. Gough and Illingworth have a combined experience of being on-field umpires in 73 Tests.

With the first day of the Test washed out, the reserve day on June 23, added exclusively for the final, could officially come into action, if needed, in Southampton.

Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match awards, player interviews, analysis and much more.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99