Technology in cricket March 23, 2010

Mirpur mistakes will spur UDRS usage - David Morgan

David Morgan, the ICC president, believes that the umpiring controversies that marred the third day of the Mirpur Test will help to encourage all cricket boards to embrace the use of the Umpire Decision Review System, but added that the business of footing the bill must still be shared by the host broadcaster for each series.

"I think that UDRS makes for wonderful television," Morgan said. "It adds a dimension to the package that a viewer receives, and I do believe that the broadcasters have a responsibility to fund part of it. Cricket is not afloat with dollars and pounds and euros. It is not a rich sport and we believe there has to be a contribution.

"But next time Bangladesh host international cricket, against New Zealand in October, I am sure that the BCB will have the equipment available," he added. "They clearly regret not having it in this series."

Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's captain, was critical of the BCB following the third day's play, saying that had they chosen to pay for the referral technology, his team could have claimed a first-innings lead over England and made a push for their fourth Test victory.

"We would have been in a very good position if [UDRS] was in use here," he said. "I think we would have asked for a referral four times with full confidence, and three of them would have come to our way for sure. It's really bad for us that we did not use the referral system, which we could have done."

"Umpires can make mistakes, but a series of mistakes have gone against us, and it's very unfortunate," said Mostafa Kamal, the BCB president. "We have been talking about [UDRS] issue, but we found that other countries have not been using it extensively, so we thought that, first of all, we must know about the system itself. It is very delicate and if we misused it, it might go against us."

Speaking during an official visit to Bangladesh ahead of next year's World Cup, Morgan also defended the integrity of the ICC's elite umpires following Andy Flower's pre-series comments that more influential teams tend to get the rub of the green in marginal decisions, a suggestion that was backed up by Bangladesh's coach, Jamie Siddons, at the close of the third day's play.

"I have a great deal of time for Andy Flower. I have not chatted with him on this matter, but I'd like to," said Morgan. "I cannot accept that any of our international or elite umpires are biased. This game will be monitored in Dubai, and the match referee is here monitoring umpire performance as well. We will also listen to the captain of Bangladesh and the coach, but their views will not necessarily be regarded as value judgements at the end of the day.

"The UDRS system is being rolled out and is being used significantly more than in situations such as this when it is not in use," said Morgan. "Boards and broadcasters are being pressed to ensure it is available, and I think it will not be too long before we have the system operating with the optimum equipment available at each Test match, wherever it is played in the world."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo. Go to http://twitter.com/miller_cricket to follow him on Twitter through the England tour of Bangladesh.

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