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."