ICC rules Decision Review System no longer compulsory

India captain Mahendra Dhoni (centre) calls for a review against England's Ian Bell (right) at the World Cup
The DRS was used at this year's World Cup

The International Cricket Council has ruled that the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) will no longer be mandatory in bilateral series.

Although it will be used in all ICC global events, both participating countries must agree to its use in Tests and other international matches.

A qualifying system for the 2015 World Cup was also approved by the ICC board.

But there are doubts over whether the proposed World Test Championship in 2013 will take place.

The DRS has been surrounded by controversy since it was first used on a trial basis in 2008. with some countries - notably India - opposed to it.

Since then, it has been used in some series but not others, either for financial reasons (with the host board or broadcaster footing the bill) or because the participating countries could not agree, although the ICC insisted on its use in the 2011 World Cup.

In the recent England-India Test series, the sides were only able to agree on a partial use of DRS, with players unable to question lbw decisions.

Pakistan announced on Tuesday that the DRS would be used in their forthcoming "home" series against Sri Lanka and England in the United Arab Emirates after obtaining sponsorship for it.

Earlier in the summer, the ICC announced it would consider a recommendation to introduce the DRS into all international cricket - but this has now been dropped.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: "Although the DRS improves correct umpire decisions by around 5% and corrects any blatant errors, there are some who are not convinced by its reliability.

"We will continue to work with interested parties to improve the system while permitting the participating teams to decide whether they wish to use it or not."

Meanwhile, the ICC board approved a qualifying system that will offer the likes of Ireland and Scotland the chance to play in the 2015 World Cup.

Two of the eight teams from the ongoing ICC Associates and Affiliates 50-over Leagueexternal-link - Ireland and Scotland currently top the table ahead of Afghanistan and the Netherlands - will qualify automatically.

Those two teams will be joined by two others qualifying from a 10-team event.

The ICC board also reaffirmed its preference to hold the inaugural World Test Championship in 2013, with England scheduled as hosts.

The England & Wales Cricket Board's recent announcement of the allocation of major matches from 2012 until 2016 named Lord's as host of the World Test Championship final in 2013.external-link

But the ICC admitted there was "a significant commercial challenge" in trying to replace the Champions Trophy - a competition last staged in 2009 and originally scheduled to be held in England in 2013 - with a World Test Championship.

"Without the support and consent of the ICC's broadcast partner, ESPN Star Sports, the financial implications on the members and the development of the game would be significant," a statement read.

Lorgat added: "It would be unfortunate if the Test Championship is delayed to 2017 but the board needs to balance several objectives."

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Bangladesh's national boards have been asked to submit nominations to fill the ICC vice-presidency from 2012-14.