Fourth Test, Melbourne December 29, 2006

Rudiwatch continued

I wasn't in a position to see a replay of Rudi Koertzen's refusal of the lbw appeal against Alistair Cook, so suspended judgement, and have only just caught up with it

I wasn't in a position to see a replay of Rudi Koertzen's refusal of the lbw appeal against Alistair Cook, so suspended judgement, and have only just caught up with it. Laughable. Perhaps there's something significant in Koertzen using his left hand, and he would give correct decisions if he swapped to his right. Umpires build reputations as 'outers' and 'not outers', according to the burden of evidence they expect for upholding an appeal. The trouble with Koertzen is that he seems completely unpredictable, giving everything one day and nothing the next. Anyway, happy new year and maintain your rage.

Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on January 7, 2007, 17:51 GMT

    Australia - 16 lbws.England - 5 lbws.

  • testli5504537 on January 3, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    Please, enough of the wishy-washy generalisations that Rudi Koertzen is just like the rest "umpires are human too and like the players, will make mistakes". The fact is that Rudi IS a sub-standard umpire and always has been. It's been a constant source of bemusement to me that he kept getting voted "umpire of the year". We've been amazed by his incompetence every summer in Australia for years but as usual, it's not until somebody else feels like they're getting ripped off that it suddenly becomes an issue.

    And Graham, the "let's see you do any better" argument is a pathetic primary-school crack. No-one here is saying that they could do better, and anyway our relative inabilities do not excuse somebody else from impersonating an elite umpire. If you want the profile and the large salary, you need to be good. It's that simple.

  • testli5504537 on January 2, 2007, 7:56 GMT

    95% seems to be a commonly specified accuracy rate for correct decisions, can anyone get the ego maniac that was sacked by the ICC for poor performance but actually scored above that mark. Do the statistics lie?

    The fact is last series Australia weren't good enough to capitalise on umpiring mistakes, this series its England that are below par. No one is making an issue out of the errors in favour of the English batsman because Ponting's men create opportunities for wickets at a prolific rate.

    Rudi has made some really bad calls (every umpire named in this blog has), but the rub of the green goes with the team playing with confidence and enthusiasm.

    England need to learn from this loss the way Australia had to in 2005. While England celebrated, Buchanan was planning. MBE's might be a reward for success, but hard work is how England achieved that success, and how quickly did they forget.

  • testli5504537 on January 2, 2007, 1:03 GMT

    Blame the ICC. Umpires will always be like the players - good some days, not so good others.

    Hawkeye is not 100% accurate but the degree of error is so small that LBWs could be given, provided the delivery has made it eligible for LBW, where the predicted path has part of the ball connecting with middle stump and none of the ball above bail height.

    Another benefit is that home umpires could again be used for all Tests and ODIs. Perhaps a neutral TV umpire, but either way it reduces costs and minimises umpire burnout. Some umpires won't want it but the aim should be to reduce umpiring errors when it can be done promptly enough.

  • testli5504537 on December 31, 2006, 12:27 GMT

    Rudi was an umpire in 2005 was he not? I don't remember all this hullabaloo about when England were winning a series. I seem to remember Damien Martyn having 3 bad decisions go against him, but that's cricket. Take it on the chin and move on...

  • testli5504537 on December 31, 2006, 6:03 GMT

    As I said in a comment to an earlier blog, Rudi is having an absolute shocker. And it's not just this series. It's been going on for a bit. I'd take Bucknor, Dar or Bowden over him although all of them visited shockerville in Ashes 2005 and in more recent series. Bucknor WAS a better umpire than all of them but I think Dar is the best umpire out of that lot at the moment. If you think Katich's reaction to Dar's decision in 2005 and a couple of clowns in the crowd was overstated then you should have seen mine 10500 miles away. I haven't thought of Hair as an umpire for a long time. I think he ceased being an umpire the second he released his first book in the nineties. Then he simply became a living billboard for it. And Hawkeye, it's a joke. Not only the leg break turned wrong un that George mentioned, but also another one of Warne's in 2005 or 05/06 that according to Hawkeye would have bounced twice before hitting the stumps after one of the commentators mistakenly commented that he thought it was going to keep low, even though to the naked eye it looked to be kicking and bouncing well over the stumps.

  • testli5504537 on December 31, 2006, 3:54 GMT

    I am Aussie through and through, to me umpiring is not an easy job and not one that I would like to take on....

    Do any of you critising umpires have the fortitude to step out in front of 75,000 people and get every decision perfect?

    Besides if they were always right we would have a lot less to talk about

  • testli5504537 on December 30, 2006, 15:15 GMT

    Yes, Rudi is a poor umpire, but to see some of your commenters above slamming Koertzen & Hair, while praising the comically woeful Bucknor, Dar, Bowden and Hawkeye is a bit much. Although the latter 4 have been slightly less dreadful on this tour than in 2005, surely memories aren't that short? Like the ball that pitched well outside leg and going over the top to Katich being given lbw? Or the thick inside edge that travelled several centimetres horizontally onto Martyn's pad being given lbw? Or the time Hawkeye somehow showed Shane Warne's leg break spinning the wrong way? Or the countless Warne lbw's not given? Rudi shouldn't be made a scapegoat for generally poor standards on the ICC umpiring panel just because he lacks the melanin-powered force field that makes incompetence invisible to the politically correct.

  • testli5504537 on December 30, 2006, 13:51 GMT

    Brad hit the nail on the head when identifying the difference between technological analysis and human error. At what point do you start to tread too far on the adjudicators decisions with technology? It is up to the ICC to decide whether or not they introduce more opportunity for third umpire decisions, but will the game be watchable if every shout is sent upstairs for review? Despite this, I still thought that Rudi was a more worthy candidate for man of the match than the sentimental home town favourite.

  • testli5504537 on December 30, 2006, 13:26 GMT

    Mike, we Aussies aren't saying you can't comment, but it wears a bit thin when all we seem to hear comment on is how England were robbed. And no mention of the ones that go your way. This particular blog was about Rudi's refusal of a plumb lbw appeal against Cook, but there's only been comment about Hayden's great escape. Both sides benefitted, but because Hayden went on to score 150, and Cook could only add another 12, you think it's unfair? Blame your bowlers, not the umpire - that's why we aren't getting an even contest...

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