* ICC encouraged by support of Ashes combatants
* Wednesday’s DRS meeting was good, says Cook (Adds Cook, Clarke quotes)
By Tony Jimenez
CHESTER LE STREET, England, Aug 8 (Reuters) - England’s and Australia’s cricketers still back the use of the Decision Review System (DRS) for the last two tests of the Ashes series despite a string of controversies in the opening three games.
“We acknowledge the DRS has not performed as effectively during the past three tests as it has in other series,” explained International Cricket Council general manager Geoff Allardice on the eve of the fourth test in Durham.
Allardice said he had spoken to both teams on Wednesday “to identify potential improvements to DRS moving forward”.
“It was very encouraging to hear both teams reiterate their support for the use of DRS. Some of the ideas that were suggested ... could improve the system and will be considered further by the ICC,” added Allardice in a news release.
England, who hold a 2-0 lead, have already retained the Ashes, as Australia cannot now win the series.
Captain Alastair Cook, who reiterated on Thursday that the goal of his players was to win the series outright, said the DRS talks with the ICC were productive.
”It was a good meeting for us, trying to clear up a few issues both sides are having,“ he added. ”I think it was a good outcome, they held their hands up at the end and said mistakes have been made.
“It’s something they’re trying to iron out so that it’s not the talking point, and it goes back to what it says on the tin, trying to get more decisions right.”
Asked if England had made suggestions for improvement, Cook said: “Yes, it was a good forum to do that. Whether they’ll listen or not we’ll have to wait and see.”
Allardice pledged the ICC would continue to do all it could to make DRS better, and how the third umpire interprets what the system produces.
”Technology is evolving,“ he said. ”During the (third) test at Old Trafford we conducted a trial where a TV umpire accessed replays using a multi-channel monitor system with its own operator and recording device.
”The aim was to get more replay angles to the umpire faster so he will be able to make more accurate decisions and minimise delays to the game. The feedback from this trial has been very positive and we now need to consider how this technology could be most effectively used as part of the DRS system.
”An ongoing area of focus for the ICC is the training of our TV umpires. Our elite panel training seminar next month will include several activities aimed at delivering more consistent interpretations of the images and sounds provided to the TV umpire.
“All these activities are aimed at ensuring the DRS continues to deliver an increase in the number of correct umpiring decisions,” said Allardice.
The use of ‘Hot Spot’ has also come under the microscope during this series, with the technology sometimes failing to pick up edges from the batsmen.
This was another issue Allardice discussed with England and Australia on Wednesday.
“It (Hot Spot) is conclusive, when there is a mark we know the bat has hit the ball,” said the ICC’s general manager.
”In working with the operator over several years we know the majority of edges are detected by Hot Spot but there are occasions when a fine edge isn’t picked up.
“Either deflection or sound can be used by the TV umpire to make his final judgment,” said Allardice.
While Australia captain Michael Clarke was reluctant to talk about technology, Cook was happy to discuss the issue.
“In the past Hot Spot has worked really well and I don’t know why it hasn’t in this series,” said the England skipper.
“There have been three or four strange occurrences when there’s been a noise and no mark. I don’t know why.”
Cook dismissed the notion that the technology could be suddenly banned.
“I think that’s a very dangerous precedent to set, to get rid of it in the middle of a series,” he said.
Clarke preferred to focus on purely cricketing issues as his side look to claw their way back into the series.
”I didn’t attend last night,“ said Clarke. ”I think Geoff had a meeting with our team manager and I think (coach) Darren Lehmann went as well.
“I had no need to be there.” (Editing by Robert Woodward)