December 8, 2009


Blame the players, not UDRS

Siddhartha Talya

The Umpire Decision Review System is not to be blamed for the criticisms associated with it, but the players, who have misused it and to some extent, the TV umpires, who haven't yet come to grips with their job description, writes Lawrence Booth in his blog, the Top Spin, in the Daily Mail.

The truth is, it couldn’t be simpler. A quick reminder: if a player thinks he’s been done an injustice and his side has one or both of its challenges per innings in hand, he can refer the decision to the TV umpire. And if the TV umpire sees clear evidence that the original decision was wrong, he can over-rule. Where, gentlemen, is the difficulty?

Problems have arisen not because – as romantics such as Dickie Bird believe – the on-field umpires have been stripped of their authority, but because both the players and the TV umpires have exceeded their brief. The ICC, in trying to deal with the kind of umpiring-induced bad blood that marred India’s tour of Australia in 2007-08, have made it clear all along that the UDRS is there to get rid of the howlers. And that is it.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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