Australia v India 2007-08 / News

Cricket Australia CEO advocates use of technology

Player referrals may help umpiring - Sutherland

Cricinfo staff

January 3, 2008

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by mywifehatescricket 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by StingRay 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....

Posted by putrevus 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.

Posted by rameship 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.

Posted by howzthat 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.

Posted by iwannaBhadlee 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.

Posted by Mick_G 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.

Posted by barrymundy 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.

Posted by onurguardkampalianbro 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.

Posted by popcorn on (January 4, 2008, 4:36 GMT)

What are the Indians cribbing about? Not a pipsqueak from the Indians when Sachin Tendulkar was given not out when he was clearly l.b.w. to Michael Clarke when on 48 and went on to score a century.Even Wasim Akram and Ravi Shastri agreed that he was out. But see the grace of the Australians. Not a word. And you say they sdedge?

Posted by Love_cricket on (January 4, 2008, 1:16 GMT)

Why not impose penalties on batsmen who despite knowing well they are out, stick on in the hope that the umpire would rule it in their favor? The penalties could be something like 10-runs deduction from the team total for the first offence and then a one-match ban for that player etc. That will lead to a surfeit of Gilchrist-like walkers, albeit unwilling ones.


Posted by Bok2Kiwi on (January 4, 2008, 0:16 GMT)

What has speeding in a motor car got to do with cheating in a cricket match? Speeding is likely to lead to death whereas cricket is a sport. Chalk and cheese comparison. This is a typical comment from a cheat who is trying to justify their actions. It is the same as the tired old one (like Symonds used the other day) that batsmen have had rough decisions go against them so it is ok to take advantage of an umpire 20 metres away who may get it wrong. That does not justify cheating because that is quite simply what it is. The umpire's role is there to assist in those decisions that players cannot make eg lbw, run outs. Catches should not require any umpire intervention at all and should be treated in the same way as when a batsman is bowled. They walk. Players know when they are out and should walk. Equally fielders know when they have caught a ball or taken the ball on the bounce.

Posted by InR_R on (January 3, 2008, 23:05 GMT)

yes... it should be introduced, as we have a modern technology now. In those old days, we didnt have these kind of facilities...

Posted by eyeopener on (January 3, 2008, 23:00 GMT)

Progress to a certain extend depend on technology and so is the case with cricket. Umpires are shown on TV to look stupid, moments later, whenever they make a blunder. Why not exploit technology and use the third umpire to avoid a MISTAKE, which sometimes is costly (as was the case of Sanga's dismissal, depriving of a double)? Not using technology is an insult to intelligence of the 21st century cricket lovers. Rigid, regimental, arrogant, ignorant people has no place anymore in this modern world and it's high time to shovel them off. Either use the technology or don't use it at all.

Posted by laggan on (January 3, 2008, 22:52 GMT)

Icc is reluctant to approve the use of technology in umpiring as they know that umpires make decisions in favor of countries like England and Australia. Players referrals only a small step in the right direction. ICC should be ashamed of holding back the introduction of technology.

This is clear if you analyze the the so called bad decisions in the last few matches played against Australia and England. The opposing team always lose out. This has been ging n for a very long time.

Pure and simple Icc choses the umpires and if these umpires want to stay in good books with ICC they have to favor the lighter teams. IT IS NOT CRICKET.

They bring excuses like the time element and accuracy of technology.

It is time they played cricket on a level ground.

I am sure you the cricinfo will not have courage to post these comments either.

Posted by IndianGuru on (January 3, 2008, 22:24 GMT)

We have seen many umpiring mistakes in the last few years. Use of technology has not helped in making a wrong decision right. Umpires have been the GODs on the field. I like the idea of using a challenge like they do in Tennis matches. However, in tennis, the length of the full match is at most five hours, nut mostly average at three hours which is roughly a fifty over innings. While I subscribe to challenges to make the umpiring more accurate, there must be a penalty runs to the batsmen in question and credit to the umpire if the challenge is proved incorrect. On the other hand, if the challenge is proved correct, a certain percent of match fee to the umpire should be reduced. Players get fined for unsportsmanlike misbehavior on the field. Why not apply the same to the umpires. Further, make the reports to ICC on each match public so that the report writes will be careful to write derogatory remarks. What they write to the boards may be kept confidential.

Posted by Lord.Sharma on (January 3, 2008, 22:22 GMT)

i think that a challenge system should definately be in place to that umpiring errors can be minimized. Errors are always going to occur, umpires are humans after all, but we should do all we can do minimize this. ICC should use a tennis like system in which a team is allowed 3 challenges when batting and 3 challenges when bowling. It makes sense and i see no disadvantage. Sure the game might get a little longer, like maybe 30 minutes. but in the grand scheme of things i dont think it matters because correct decisions would be made more often than not. Looking at the current SCG test. If Symonds was correctly called out (as he wasn't) Then India would have had a great chance of bowling Australia out for 250. But instead he was given NOT-OUT and he went on to making 163 and Australia scored 463 (a whole 200 more than they probably would have made if Symonds was given out) These kind of decisions can change the course of a match. I strongly believe that technology should be used.

Posted by sureshji on (January 3, 2008, 21:51 GMT)

Poor Umpiring has reduced Test Cricket to a lottery. I completely agree with Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland who has advocated more use of technology in the game. An appeals system similar to that used in Tennis must be introduced into Test Cricket.

Posted by azaro on (January 3, 2008, 21:50 GMT)

Something needs to be done because the weaker sides do end up with a harder row to hoe when a decision goes against them. I am not sure if a referral is the best way. The technology is so quickly available that the third umpire could immediately signal out or not out to the on field umpire through an earpiece. Most punters watching on TV know 90% of the right decisions on seeing the first replay. The key is for the third umpire to be "quick" and not take an age re-reviewing the obvious...if it is inconclusive then just give a "not-out"

Posted by Sri-Lankan_Lion on (January 3, 2008, 21:14 GMT)

I think it will provide some justice to the players. I think without deleaying the game, if the players feel that they nikked the bowl before it hit the pads or if the fielding team are confident with their appeals it should or must go to the T.V umpire. The same wrong decision was made last year when Sangakkara was given out in a curial against Australia and these decisions hurt the whole team. The wrong decision of Symonds meant that Australia are in a strong position, it doesn't mean that they are not a good but those wrong decisions can change the whole game. When the team continually apeal for good decisios and the appeals a regreeted then frustration prevails resulting in bad performances. To help the situation their should be some form of technology used. We can't always find excuses of not using technology or can we?

Posted by frozenfan on (January 3, 2008, 20:26 GMT)

Here is a suggestion for the review system based on what is done in the (American) NFL: 1. Each team captain starts with two review appeals per inning. Appeals apply to out/ not out decisions only. If the captain is correct on an appeal the decision is overturned and the captain still keeps his two appeals. If he is wrong, he loses one appeal and is penalized 10 or 15 extras.If the captains team is batting , the extras are subtracted from the total. If he is fielding, they are added to the batting teams score.In the case of a negative extras total the negative amount is added to the opposing team's most recent innings total.

Posted by kriketluva on (January 3, 2008, 20:14 GMT)

It's about time that the technology that can tell if a player is actually out or not is used. It seems that whenever another team can challenge the aussies that bad decisions go against that team. Is this the best that the umpires can do? Come on. It seems as if the umpires want to assist the aussies in winning. They don't need that help cause they are very good. They are just not good sportsmen. They will do anything to win.

Posted by ttspud on (January 3, 2008, 19:38 GMT)

Referrals should be introduced without a moment to spare... tell me, why have they not done this since the introduction of replays years and years ago!? I have been told that cricket records are all rubbish, as the umpires play as much a part in making those records as anyone. I am slowly losing my interest in the game, especially because I am fed up of being frustrated to see a wrong decision being upheld, and the so called panel of 'elites' never reprimanded for it. When a player protests, pauses, looks at the umpire in disbelief... he is accused of dissent and fined. How much fines have been imposed on umpires for playing with peoples careers? Whats worse is that we have technology that will allow decisions to be much more accurate, and wrong ones righted. If referrals are used, a team has at least a fighting chance to correct a bad decision, as opposed to now where they must grin and bear it.

Posted by mrhifh02 on (January 3, 2008, 19:19 GMT)

It is a good idea to be able to challenge an umpring decision. I suggest that rather than allowing the players the team manager or coach should be entrusted with that responsibility. may be we shoudl have a maximum number allowed other wise it can get out of control.May be 2 challenges per inings is a good number. I also suggest that more tan one person should review the decision once it is challeneged. It can be the 3rd umpire, match referee and the reserve umpire. We also shoudl have a time limit like 3 minutes for each review.If any challenges are not used during an inings they should not be allowed to roll over to the next inings. Thanks

Posted by bradmania on (January 3, 2008, 19:16 GMT)

Get rid of it, it's a blot on the old game . As well for the TV viewers it would have to be abolished , otherwisechaos would reign. Thes days it is no trouble at all to take your small TV to the ground, and if the public are viewing decisions what sort of dilemma does that cause for the umpires ? Who'd want to be an umpire, it's the hardest job in the game, they get no rest and must concentrate on every ball, and the get abused if they have a bad moment.

Posted by Ellis on (January 3, 2008, 19:06 GMT)

Why are the administrators of International Cricket, suffering such angst about the introduction of technology? It is as inevitable as night following day. Chappell, Lloyd, Holding, Manjrekar have recently come out against more technology in Cricket. However, in their day jobs as TV commentators they show and analyse replays of umpiring decisions ad nauseam. If it is not accurate enough as they claim, why do they use it? With the appropraiate checks and balances, technology must be used in Cricket. Waiting for the all singing, all dancing, perfect technological solution is a cop out. On that basis, we would not use cars, planes, TVs, radios etc., etc., because they are all capable of refinement.Even the space shuttle is constantly being improved. All of the incorrect decisions in the current Test between India and Australia could have been correct if technology had been used. So what is the issue?

The elite panel of umpires needs changing with standards for age, hearing, eyesight.

Posted by Abhinav220782 on (January 3, 2008, 19:04 GMT)

It is really pity that now days the result of the match is decided by the umpires like bucknor.bucknor should be removed from elite panel and technology should be used to rectify the umpire decisions and it will help teams like india who have bear the blunt of negative umpiring through ages and i can also say that the success rate of australia is also due to these blunders done by the umpires as you must have seen the class of vvs laxman and if you compare to an australian team i can certainly say that no australian batsmen comes near to the elegance,timing and strokeplay of vvs laxman and the three things which makes australian batsmen invincible are raw power, luck and fools like bucknor.

Posted by Indianmaster on (January 3, 2008, 18:30 GMT)

In my opinion, The best way to solve the problem is give Players/Captain to challenge the decision they think are controversial. The same rule as NFL( in this Coach throws the red flag and plays are reviewed. Also, There should be some kind of penalty if the ruling onthe field is right. 20 runs will be deducted or added, for example. No technology/non-neutral umpiring will solve the problem.

Indian Master

Posted by apar on (January 3, 2008, 18:19 GMT)

Incorporating technology into umpiring decisions can be done without much stoppage in play, if it can be agreed that on-field umpires have a lesser role to play in making decisions. If a TV umpire had a permanent mat on his screen, it would be easy to see if the ball pitched/hit the pads in-line, and simple replays could be used for lbws and edge decisions. Most of the decisions could then be conveyed without a distinct time delay. Complex hawk-eye replays which involve a slight delay would be the only decisions that take a bit of time. Some decisions in controversial cases are so appalling that teams have to suffer because of certain umpire's impaired personal judgment, prejudice and egos. With the TV based system, reasoning, and not personal judgment in the heat of the moment, could be used to make a decision, and a match-referee could be used as eye-witness to the decision making process. Umpires are human too, and at times make decisions in a rush of blood which should be avoided.

Do you think player referrals should be introduced?
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