|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
December 7, 2009
News : Umpire Benson confirms retirement
News : Benson to remain on ICC elite panel
News : Benson clarification expected on Tuesday
News : Umpire Benson heading for retirement
Tony Cozier : Umpire review system not working
In Focus: Technology in cricket
Former umpire Dickie Bird has criticised the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), saying it undermines the authority of on-field umpires. The system is currently being used in the Test series between Australia and West Indies, and New Zealand and Pakistan.
"I would never have brought them in," Bird told the Daily Telegraph. "They are taking the authority away from the on-field umpires, and the whole thing is causing more problems than it's worth."
Bird's comments come in the aftermath of umpire Mark Benson's sudden withdrawal from the Adelaide Test between Australia and West Indies, and reports stating he was heading towards retirement out of frustration with the UDRS. The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Benson was upset over several incidents involving the UDRS on day one of the Test, one of which led to his original decision being overturned.
"In the old days, controversial decisions became talking points in the bars and clubs but everybody respected the umpire's authority," Bird said. "I am in agreement with Roger Federer, who wanted Hawk-Eye thrown out of Wimbledon, and [FIFA president] Sepp Blatter, who says that refereeing decisions are part of football.
"Players should accept these things and move on, but all the money that has come into sport has turned their heads."
Jeremy Lloyds, the English umpire, who stepped down from umpiring at the highest level in 2006, spoke of the strains involved, given the nature of the job, and the effects of decisions coming under scrutiny on television. "I was working 230 days a year, of which 150 were spent in airports or hotels," he said. "The time you actually spend on the field, you feel that you're in a goldfish bowl, and you can't be yourself with the players in case it doesn't look right on TV."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Alastair Cook needs an out-of-the-box plan that veers India from the set pieces. One of those plans could be an early Powerplay
Kohli, Root, Smith and Williamson will take turns as the No. 1 Test batsman. So far each has shown only one technical weakness
Glenn McGrath talks about the method behind his metronomic consistency, visualisation, and why aggression isn't about sledging
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Graeme Pollock has been among the top three finest players his country ever produced; and not far off that pace in the world rankings either
The sequence of recent stuttering starts in ODIs, with the middle and lower orders picking up the pieces, does not bode well