After several days of negotiation, imploration and good old-fashioned arm twisting, it was announced yesterday that the system of reviewing umpiring decisions will be used in the Test series between South Africa and England.
The International Cricket Council intervened when it emerged last week that there seemed neither the will nor the money to use the system. There was little option but for the ICC to act since its board had ratified the decision of its cricket committee that reviews should be allowed in all Test matches from now on.
Its introduction has been broadly welcomed by both sides. It will involve one element of so-called predictive technology, Hawkeye, which aims to depict the flight of the ball after it has hit the pad. The hotspot camera, however, will not be available. Each side will be allowed two unsuccessful reviews per innings.
There were two referrals in the first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in Dunedin yesterday. The first request by Pakistan was turned down but the second by New Zealand late in the day was upheld and Brendon McCullum who had been given out lbw was reprieved.
In the second Test between India and Sri Lanka yesterday there were no such occurrences since India's players have simply refused to use the system. It seemed to make little difference one way or another to their serene progress in Kanpur.
Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir both scored hundreds in an opening partnership of 233. Sehwag's 131 came from only 122 balls and included 18 fours and two sixes. India were 417 for 2 by the close with Rahul Dravid on his way to another century – on 85 not out – and Sachin Tendulkar digging in and unbeaten on 20.
Technology or no technology the last thing the series and Test cricket generally needs is another high score bore draw as happened in their first Test last week.