The technology debate in umpiring September 28, 2004

Bowden criticises increasing use of technology

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Billy Bowden: not in favour of increased use of technology © Getty Images

Billy Bowden has joined the growing list of umpires who have called into question the increasing use of technology in making umpiring decisions.

Bowden, a member of the International Cricket Council's elite umpiring panel, stood in several of the games at this year's Champions Trophy, where the ICC trialled some new technical aids for the officials. The innovations included the wiring-up of umpires, via an earpiece, to the stump microphone, and the responsibility of calling no-balls being moved to the third umpire.

The use of Hawk-Eye technology in television coverage has increased the pressure on umpires when making lbw decisions. Many observers have called for the technology to play a further role in decision-making, but the idea doesn't appeal to Bowden.

"For lbws, for example, what good is technology?" he asked. "Are we going to use the Hawk-Eye? If we do there won't be any more fouror five-day Test matches, they'd be oneor two-day Test matches.

"At the moment the statistics are saying that we get about 92% [of decisions] correct," he told the Associated Press. "I can say that players make mistakes, umpires make mistakes. Let's just get on and move on."