Cricket Australia CEO advocates use of technology January 3, 2008

Player referrals may help umpiring - Sutherland

Cricinfo staff

The decisions of the men in charge could well be rightfully challenged in future by the players © Getty Images

In the wake of controversial umpiring decisions in the ongoing Sydney Test, Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland has advocated more use of technology in the game. Sutherland said a challenge system similar to those used in tennis, if effectively utilised in order to minimise delays, could reduce the impact of bad decisions.

"There have been some advances in technology that cricket can continue to explore ... there is also a sense of delay when there is this use of technology," Sutherland told the Australian. "We see that at the moment with run-outs, and people may argue that the game of cricket doesn't need any more delays than it already has.

"I think there is a strong argument on the technological side ... in tennis it works where a player can make only two or three [incorrect] appeals in the course of a match. That may be something that makes people think twice about using the appeals at the right time."

The remarks came after a second consecutive day on which the umpires were under the spotlight. Andrew Symonds, who was let off on day one when a caught-behind appeal and a stumping referred to the third umpire were ruled in his favour, was once again reprieved when Steve Bucknor declined to refer another stumping appeal. Replays showed the decision would have been so tight that the third umpire might have ruled either way.

Bucknor's fellow on-field umpire Mark Benson has also had a bad game, wrongly giving Ponting not-out when he nicked one down the leg side on 17, and then adjudging him leg-before on 55 when the Australian captain had inside-edged the ball into his pads. The mistakes on Wednesday led to criticism from various quarters, with Steve Waugh, the former Australian captain, calling for a rethink on neutral umpires.

BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla said the board had requested the team's management to register a complaint to the match referee. "I am sure the ICC will be monitoring the matter in Dubai," Shukla said, "and take appropriate actions."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Phillip on January 6, 2008, 2:54 GMT

    My understanding is that the umpires decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Yes they get a few wrong, but that is all part of the game. We have all had bad decisions given both for us and against us, whether it be in the back yard with the family or friends or in grade cricket. The sooner we remove technology from the game, the better all will be. The standard of Umpiring, i feel, has increased dramatically over the last 10 years and the increased scrutiny does nothing but undermine their status in the game, that of ultimate decision maker. All technology does is give Richie and the boys something to go on about for 1/2 an hour or more when there is nothing else to talk about.

  • bachchan on January 5, 2008, 2:16 GMT

    The on field umpires may have had a bad day, but I think the worst decision was a technology one by the third umpire Bruce Oxenford. He had ample time to get it right. Millions of people watching the game would have given Symonds out so his decision is incomprehensible.

    Bruce Oxenford should be fired forever for gross incompetence in being unable to look carefully at a replay. He has no business being a third umpire.

  • Sting on January 4, 2008, 21:22 GMT

    NO! NO!! NO!!! I would never support it... Test cricket is just fine just the way it is right now... Please don't ruin this game for us....Let the umpires call it out the way they see it... and let the men play... Everybody has been bitten by bad umpiring calls.... and thats a part of the game...

    This is as bad of an Idea as the introduction of Twenty20! Please don't even get me started on that one....

  • Sharma on January 4, 2008, 19:24 GMT

    Those who are saying laxman and sachin should have been LBW are totally wrong LBW is totally up to umpire discretion , nobody has complained about that, batsman is quick to point out a bat when he is given LBW (ala Ponting)then why is he not doing the same when it comes to catch (ala ponting and Symonds) they sure know if they edges it or not but LBW they cant know.

    When Fielder claims a bump catch it is cheating and he gets fined and suspended (rashid latif) got five games , this same match referee gave him that suspenion.There Latif claimed he didn't know it was bump ball but here we have admission of guilt by Symonds shouldn't he be suspended.Instead he is being praised for his honest admission.

  • Ramesh on January 4, 2008, 16:34 GMT

    I dont like referal system. Who will decide that the decision has to be challenged. When Dhoni appealed against Sysmonds, he was the only one appealing and Bucknor quietly said no. Dhoni kept quiet and the match progressed. It must have been only after returning to the pavillion that they would have known of the mistakes. You all may be aware that ICC has prevented contentious replay from being shown on the giant screen in the ground, to avoid crowd trouble.

    I feel hawkeye and snicko-meters must be introduced no matter how much time they take. Gavaskar;'s contention that technology cannot be introduced unless it is fool-proof, is not valid, as it will at least rectify 9 out of the 10 decisions for which is used. Mind you these are 10 decisions where umpires would have made a mistake. So 90% improvement on the current incorrect decisions in world cricket is not at all bad.

  • barry on January 4, 2008, 11:49 GMT

    if we go the way of technology we would not of seen a great innings by tendulkar today as technology would of clearly given him out LBW. the ball would of clearly taken the middle and leg stump OUT. After watching technology on the TV for the past couple of series i think it is the worse thing they have ever done to cricket. get the microphones out of the game, give the umpires a break and apart from Gilchrist i have hardly seen any other batsmen walk unless it is blatant obvious. leave the game alone and stop whinging.

  • iwannabe on January 4, 2008, 10:35 GMT

    The 3rd umpire should have more say. A blatant mistake can be corrected in seconds, or a small fine or other penalty for batsmen who do not walk. The initative should be put on the players as much (if not more) as the umpires Technology has caught up it is time the players caught up to the technology or risk losing their fans.

  • Michael on January 4, 2008, 8:28 GMT

    Let them challenge the decisions, very quickly only the shockers will be challenged. Let the 3rd umpire rule on no-balls so as the umpires can concentrate their focus where necessary, (remove the ridiculous front foot no-ball rule while we are at it). And finally don't reward incompetence, if the ump is a dud sack him, this current perseverance with guys who are nowhere near the quality needed is ludicrous.

  • Garry on January 4, 2008, 8:17 GMT

    If an umpire says 'not out' and a batsman walks, would that not be considered that the player was dissenting against the umpire's decision? If the umpire says 'out' and the player stays, that is dissention, so why the double standards? In my opinion if you want technology to decide, then do it, otherwise leave it to the umpires AND take the technology away from the commentators, who have too much to say anyway. In fact, why do we need three commentators blathering on amongst themselves and holding post mortems on just about every close decision. Why do we need them telling us anything? I say, take their technological toys away from them ... including their microphones.

  • Shivang on January 4, 2008, 4:50 GMT

    I think the appealing system should be welcomed.

    Why can't we maintain statistical records of incorrect umpiring decisions the way we maintain for players? That will put moral pressure on umpires without any insult to them. After every match, match referee should declare total wrong decisions against batting team (wrongly given out) and against bowling team (wrongly given not out). Any doubtful technology conclusion should be ruled in favor of umpire.

    Continuing with the above ruling, we can try appealing system such that at the start of every match, both teams should be communicated about both field umpires' previous three matches record. Against a particular umpire, both teams while batting (and bowling) should be allowed that many number of appeals which is equal to the total actual wrong judgements in previous 3 (or some) number of matches by that umpire against batting team (and bowling team). Best judgment of captains while appealing will be required due to limited appeals.

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