England and Australia "may yet be given permission to trial new technology in the return Ashes series in an effort to reduce the number of controversies surrounding the Decision Review System," according to Andy Wilson of the London GUARDIAN. Both countries are "keen to introduce the Snickometer as a more reliable measure of thin edges than the Hot Spot technology which was found wanting on several occasions in England this summer." After the countries' last meeting in Dubai, world cricket execs have "referred the so-called 'Real Time Snicko' for independent assessment." A final decision is "likely to be made next month" by the Int'l Cricket Council (GUARDIAN, 9/18). The IANS reported the ICC on Wednesday decided to "allow two extra reviews per innings in Test matches as part of a trial starting next month." During its CEOs' Committee meeting, the ICC decided that a "team's referral count will be topped up to two reviews after 80 overs of an inning in matches where DRS is used." The trial starts Oct. 1, meaning it would "be in operation for the Ashes series in Australia starting in November" (IANS, 9/18). The BBC reported its cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew tweeted that the change was "bonkers." Agnew tweeted, "Reviews need reducing not increasing! Paves the way for more speculative time-wasting LBW reviews" (BBC, 9/18).
Events and Attractions
England Rugby 2015 CEO Debbie Jevans has confirmed that "ticket pricing and kick-off times for the World Cup will be announced in November," according to the BELFAST TELEGRAPH. Ticket prices will range from £7-£715 ($11-$1,153) and will "go on sale 12 months before the competition starts, although further details are still being finalised, while kick-off times are close to be agreed." Jevans: "In the last 12 months we have achieved a great deal and laid the foundations -- two years out we are on track and in good shape" (BELFAST TELEGRAPH, 9/17). SKY SPORTS reported tournament organizers "will call upon the assistance" of 6,000 volunteers for the event. Jevans explained how "grassroots rugby clubs will be at the forefront of the drive for volunteers." Jevans: "75% of our volunteers are going to come from the rugby family and I'm really excited about that. Every club in the country will have the opportunity to have at least one volunteer" (SKY SPORTS, 9/18).
Champions League Twenty20, which began its fifth edition Tuesday in Mohali, India, "is all about the money," according to Richard Lord of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Its total prize kitty is $6M, with $2.5M of that "going to the winning team." Even the "megabucks" Indian Premier League only gives its winners about $1.58M, while a T20 tournament "in a relatively rich cricketing nation," England's Friends Life T20, pays out just $320,000. However, no team that wins the CLT20 "can ever really claim that it's the best domestic T20 side in the world." As in the European football tournament of the same name, Champions League places "are allotted on the basis not just of results but also of the financial clout of teams' countries of origin." Of the 12 teams to qualify, four are from India, two from South Africa and two from Australia, with one each from the West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand "making up the numbers." This is "hardly surprising given that the tournament is owned by the boards of India, South Africa and Australia," with the Board of Control for Cricket in India owning 50%. English teams "aren't participating because of a scheduling clash with the climax of the English domestic season." When the CLT20 was conceived, ESPN Star Sports bought 10-year broadcasting rights for $900M. TV audiences in the "all-important Indian market haven't always been great, but they improve dramatically when Indian teams play." As a result, the tournament "has spent an awful lot on marketing over the year," roping in Bollywood royalty, including brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, and "bombarding the airwaves with commercials" (WSJ, 9/17).