Umpires will be allowed to make use of TV replays for all contentious decisions during the Stanford Super Series, which concludes with the US$20 million Stanford 20/20 for 20 between England and Stanford Superstars on November 1 - the biggest prize on offer currently in the game.
The Stanford 20/20 also announced the panel of umpires for the tournament; it includes Simon Taufel, who's won the ICC umpiring award five years in a row, Rudi Koertzen, Asad Rauf and Steve Davis. Jeff Crowe, the match referee, will decide the on-field appointments prior to each of the six games in the series.
The ICC has been conducting trials involving the use of TV replays, but it remains at an experimental stage and has divided opinion among officials and players alike. Such is the huge amount of money at stake in the forthcoming Stanford 20/20 for 20, however, that the organisers are keen to avoid any on-field disputes for controversial decisions and, presumably, to lessen the pressure for the two umpires in the middle.
"Stanford 20/20 believes it is essential that this simplified and modernised innovation is in place to ensure that incorrect decisions are eliminated and the integrity of the game is maintained," Mike Haysman, Stanford 20/20's director of cricket, said. "Simply put, the umpires will control and officiate the game and the players will get on with the business of playing.
"Stanford 20/20 feels that this umpire referral process is the most practical means to eliminate obvious mistakes and we see it as the way forward."
The tournament, from October 25 to November 1, starts with the clash between the Stanford Superstars and Trinidad and Tobago.