Australia v South Africa, 1st Test, Brisbane, 1st day November 9, 2012

Virtual Eye creator criticises ICC's DRS usage

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ian Taylor, the creator of Virtual Eye, has criticised the ICC for their handling of the Decision Review System (DRS), saying the technology should only be used to overturn 'howlers'. The DRS was called upon three times on the first day of the Gabba Test between Australia and South Africa, being used for the first time under a recently amended protocol.

Australia challenged the umpire's decision on all three occasions, and were successful in overturning an lbw appeal against Graeme Smith that umpire Billy Bowden had deemed not out. But the technology came under the scanner again when a not-out decision by Asad Rauf was upheld, for a Ben Hilfenhaus appeal against Alviro Petersen in the 34th over. The ball had not hit the batsman's boot fully within the line of the stumps on this occasion, though it would have hit the stumps, and the umpire's call was upheld.

Taylor said it was hard to understand the ICC's DRS regulations. "We don't even understand the changes or the rationale behind them - how can we expect the fans to," Taylor told News Limited. "It's meant to only find those mistakes that are so wrong everybody saw them."

"In the past three years Australian cricket fans have been delivered an Ashes series with DRS, an Indian series without DRS and this year they face a series with South Africa with a different DRS," he said, highlighting the inconsistencies in usage. "I believe the DRS process has been poorly handled by the ICC and I see no signs of that improving."

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  • Sriraj on November 10, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: I am not against the use of the "Umpire's Call" since it is required to take the uncertainty into account like you said - what disturbs me is its implementation. When DRS says Umpire's Call, make the umpire make another 2nd decision solely based on the evidence given - not necessarily stick to his original one. This is because I feel the Petersen LBW may not have been given originally due to the umpire thinking bat could have been involved because the shout was very good. Instead of protecting the umpire's original decision, give him another chance to have a think.

  • Brent on November 10, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    I like the drs and always have. Ive found the rules of its use very straight forward even though the commentators on tele seemed to take a couple of years to realise whats in and whats out. Sure its intended to eliminate "howlers" The fact that the same ball canbe deemed out or not out depending on the umpires original decision is a good thing as it means those marginal calls can go either way. i just read the amendment to the rules and they make sense. its a system that is evolving. Besides The whole concept adds to the tension and excitement of the game. What does NEED to change is this front no ball checking. Surely a couple of seconds after a ball is released a slow motion replay could be viewed by the 3rd umpire who then takes full responsibility for checking noballs. Many times there is only a few mm between a legit ball and an illegal one, very hard to the onfields to spot with the naked eye.

  • Torsha on November 10, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    I was always knew India was right opposing DRS.

  • Safdar on November 10, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    The benefitof the doubt should go to the batsman not the umpires.I want to see the half-ball rule applied to ALL decisions whether or not the umpire gave it out. We have the anomalous sutuation at the moment where it's out if the umpire says so but not out if the umpire says so. We need consistency in the decisions.

  • V.L on November 10, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    And there were those claiming technology guarantees 99% accuracy in decisions. The creator himself seems to be confused , as to whats the role Virtual plays in decision making. Every series when its used, there's some controversy or another and he keeps making different statements each time. The whole thing leaves a bad taste in the mouth. If hawkeye can't pick faint edges and DRS cannot overturn marginal decisions, then is DRS. really worth all this hassles?

  • Alex on November 10, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Not sure why we need umpires call for where the ball pitches and strikes the batsmen. There's nothing predictive about those elements, and the rules are pretty clear about what is needed for the decision to be out or not out. Poor umpiring shouldn't be protected by umpires call.

  • Kenneth on November 10, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    What one person deems as marginal another will deem as a howler. If you lose a test series over a 'marginal' call, it's a HOWLER. Unfortunately Mr. Taylor has so say over how it is used. After all Albert Einstein split the atom to create atomic energy and then wish he hadn't.

  • vas on November 10, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    Who will want to become an umpire if technology does all the decision making? 'Umpire's call' is there in marginal decisions so that umpires have a role to play. Obvious decisions are obvious to every body, even I can become an umpire if umpires are there only to make obvious decisions. We need technology as well as good umpires.

  • Rajaram on November 10, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    If the DRS was in place when Ricky Ponting made his Test debut against Sri Lanka,,he would not have been given out lbw by the howler that the umpire created. Ask ANY Cricketer who watched that match. DRS has ONLY resulted in heartburns,lots odf paper,lots of contrary views. Just do away with DRS and go back to being the gentleman's game - accept the On Field Umpire's decision. Technology is used for analysis,not conjectures.Since DRS Technology is not perfect,it cannot be used to make decisions. That it why you have a horrible mix of Technology + Human Judgement - quarter of the ball on the stump mat - not out lbw, ball hitting top of the stumps - not out lbw,etc.etc. Just let it be the way it was. No DRS in Test,ODI or T20 Cricket.Use DRS Technology for gaming ONLY. Not cricket.

  • Andrew on November 10, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @ WonkyFNQ on (November 10 2012, 06:30 AM GMT) - I don't like Bowden, I think he is out of his depth (good for IPL). HOWEVER, he has made no mistakes as far as I am concerned in this Test. Benefit of the doubt was spot on IMO! @ samrsa on (November 10 2012, 01:15 AM GMT) - pretty sure the Not Out decision remains. You can be out say caught bat short leg off an LBW appeal if replays conclude he hit it.

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