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Spot-fixing not confined to Pakistan only, says Lorgat

LAHORE - The ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has admitted that the availability of technology has been an issue in the controversial Umpire Decision Review System and it is up to the Boards to decide on its use in the series among themselves. “At present there are practical issues with the availability of technology and hence it is up to the respective Member Boards to decide if they wish to use UDRS in any given series,” Lorgat said.

India has been a staunch critic of the use of UDRS in bilateral series as it feels that decisions under the system are not 100 per cent accurate. It is not being used in the current full tour of India in the West Indies. However, Lorgat said wherever the UDRS had been used; it had increased in correcting the decision making. “We are very satisfied with the way UDRS, which is pioneering technology, has progressed. No one doubts that it has helped to raise the percentage of correct decisions - by more than five per cent from about 92 per cent to more than 97 per cent - and crucially it has removed the obvious umpiring errors.”

“Even though such errors are rare thanks to the high level of performance by our elite umpires, they can and do occur from time to time. The UDRS helps to remove these and allows the game to proceed without a blatant error becoming a lasting feature of the match,” Lorgat said in an interview to a website. Lorgat aaded, “I believe the PCB is well aware of the seriousness of corruption in cricket and they are tackling the issues. The recent guilty verdict on the three players has resulted in the PCB taking a number of important steps to fight this scourge.”

“It is not a problem confined to Pakistan. Corruption is a threat to all countries and can strike anywhere, so it’s important we don’t confine our attention to one or two places,” he said. “There is no evidence to suggest that corruption is widespread in cricket but that does not mean we can be complacent. While I know the vast majority of players to be honest, we must always be on the lookout for anything that could harm the reputation or the integrity of cricket,” he said.

On the criticism on ICC over its decision to limit the number of teams for the next World Cup to 10, Lorgat said, “The criticism is understandable. However, it is for the ICC Board to decide what is in the best interest of the game.” “As previously announced, the Board will revisit the decisions made surrounding the composition of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, when it next meets (at the end of June in Hong Kong).”