ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v England, World Cup 2011, Group B, Bangalore

Bell stumped by his UDRS reprieve

Brydon Coverdale in Bangalore

February 28, 2011

Comments: 82 | Text size: A | A

Yuvraj Singh was convinced he had Ian Bell lbw, India v England, World Cup, Group B, Bangalore, February 27, 2011
Yuvraj Singh thought he had Ian Bell lbw but even after seeing the replays, Billy Bowden disagreed © Getty Images

Ian Bell has conceded that he was as baffled as anyone when he benefited from a controversial decision review in England's tie with India on Sunday. Bell was given not out by umpire Billy Bowden but the bowler Yuvraj Singh was certain he had trapped the batsman lbw, and convinced the captain MS Dhoni to ask for a review.

The process was played out on the big screen at the Chinnaswamy Stadium and when the fans saw the ball had struck Bell in line and was going on to hit the stumps, a roar went around and Bell began to walk off. However, Bell was turned back by the fourth umpire Aleem Dar, who was sitting on the sidelines and knew that Bowden was sticking to his decision.

Bell was more than 2.5 metres down the pitch when he was struck, and from that distance the Hawkeye tracking technology is considered to be less reliable, so the on-field umpire can decide to trust the computer or stick to his own eye. The spectators had no idea why the decision was upheld, and began chanting "cheating", while Dhoni said after the game it was an adulteration of human decision-making and technology.

"When a decision gets reviewed, you can see everything as it unfolds on the big screen," Bell said the next morning. "When I saw it pitch in line and hit the stumps, I thought that was it. I wasn't aware of the rule of how far you had to be down the wicket. I got waved back on by the fourth official and I moved on from there. I wasn't aware that the distance down the wicket was a factor.

"I didn't even know that rule existed. As soon as I saw it pitch in line and hit, I thought that was enough. It's strange, to be honest with you, if you see Hawkeye saying it's going to hit the stumps. It's a little bit strange. But that's the rule, I guess, and we're not going to be able to change that for this World Cup."

Although the rule was news to Bell, it had been seen during England's recent ODI series against Australia. In the seventh and final match at the WACA, the Australian batsman Tim Paine was adjudged not out to Liam Plunkett, and England reviewed the umpire Paul Reiffel's on-field decision.

The replays showed Paine was hit more than 2.5 metres from the stumps, but Hawkeye suggested the ball would have crashed into the stumps halfway up, and on that occasion Reiffel decided not to argue with the technology, even though he would have been within his rights to stay with his not-out call.

Bowden didn't feel the same way on Sunday, and the decision contributed to an epic tie that came down to the final ball of the 50th over, as England nearly pulled off a mammoth chase. Despite not taking full points from the game, Bell said England could take plenty of confidence from their efforts against a strong Indian side.

"I think we can take a hell of a lot from it," Bell said. "Going in halfway chasing 338, I don't think too many England teams in the past over here would have done that. I've certainly played in a fair share myself where we wouldn't have got 250 runs chasing that.

"To do that and to be involved in this one-day side showed me the strides forward we've made as a team. If we can keep doing that, we've got the quality in bowling that when we get our bowling and fielding 100% right we're going to be a good team in this competition."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 82 
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Posted by Dshan on (March 2, 2011, 7:55 GMT)

What's the result having UDRS since Hawk Eye suggetions are neglected.

Posted by Alex on (March 1, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

I am in favor of UDRS. But this rule is absurd. If a tall guy long leg who can move above 2.5meter and block everything. According to ICC it is not out. WTF.

It is bowden judgement call and it is bad.

Posted by Nikhil on (March 1, 2011, 20:13 GMT)

I think Hawkeye and its accuracy are irrelevant to this discussion...the third umpire could have viewed this with the naked eye and overturned the decision. Also if Hawkeye says the measurement is beyond its scope, they should not show misleading graphical recreations when they are known to be flawed. Today when David Obuya appealed an out decision, the umpire overturned because Hawkeye should it was heading high above the stumps...however it was over the 2.5m limit (and several other decisions have been too at the tournament, not just the Bell incident), so really that visual was meaningless (as per the rule) and probably wrongly influencing the onfield umpire.

Posted by Dinesh on (March 1, 2011, 19:19 GMT)

@ Dave Shepherd

You better get your facts straight - that's not what the Indian cricketers asked for. They were against the UDRS - but it was shoved down their throat anyway. The UDRS gets used and now the implementers don't trust their own technology and want human help to solve it. It's like God saying "if you need help come to me" and when you go to him he says - "no I can't help you, you help yourself". This was just a case of 2 umpires + technology making an easy decision very difficult!

Posted by Ashok on (March 1, 2011, 17:06 GMT)

The rules were the sames for all the teams and was informed to the respective teams even before the Championship started. No point in complaining now. If at all there is a issue it has to raised in the correct forum after the championship.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 1, 2011, 14:16 GMT)

Bell was given not out by the field umpire because he was unsure whether the ball was hitting the stumps since, bell streched too far forward.

Whats the use of UDRS if its unsure if the ball will hit the stumps.

This is what India is saying, EITHER remove the field umpires OR remove the UDRS system.

Posted by puneet on (March 1, 2011, 14:04 GMT)

Thannks to Cricinfo and Brydon Coverdale for such an interesting article on UDRS- my question to all my fellow indian fans will be- What if Billy Bowden would have stuck to his decesion- going by the rule if it was Sachin or Sehwag batting well close to a 100- and Indian Team chasing 300 odd runs- I bet All the Indian Supporters would have appreciate Billy's gutsy umpiring- My friends, Cricket was and will never be a perfect sport like any other game on earth- there will be some flaws whether technical or human error- it all depends which side of the line we are standing--I feel if majority of the cricket playing nations have agreed to use UDRS where they see more positives than negatives then I support UDRS and if thats not the case its only ICC who is calling all shots- Then i oppose it- Its the teams, players,coaches,fans who should decide whether they all are comfortable with this system or not--Isn't it true? Lets just sit back and enjoy the show- Cheers to Cricket World Cup.!

Posted by Jackie on (March 1, 2011, 12:19 GMT)

Is this so difficult to understand? Bell was actually 3m or more down the pitch. Bowden was told of the distance, well beyond 2.5m where HawkEye becomes unreliable. The ball was not hitting middle stump, it was predicted to hit middle and off. It is that angle that causes the problem because any angle becomes larger the further you are away. So any error margin becomes wider also which is why HawkEye has built into its system this cut off point and hands it back to the umpire. Bowden was satisfied that the benefit of the doubt should be given to the batsmen. That is how it was before technology. Dhoni seems to want it both ways. He doesn't want to accept the umpire's decision or the Review decision even though both are in agreement. The system is impartial. The problem is the views of fans aren't.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 1, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

When a decision is reffered to the third Umpire the technology should be used and there should be no interference in the judgement as it cleared showed that the ball is going to hit middle stump and its very unfortunate that he was not given out

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 1, 2011, 7:55 GMT)

I think we should stop using Hawkeye for LBW, just check camera angles and decide if it pitches and hits in line and out or not based on discretion of 3rd ump. You can't have stupid riders like 2.5 m is inaccurate etc, it is just ridiculous to complicate an already complicated rule book. IMHO, even the review system should be scrapped, the third ump should reverse a wrong decision the moment he gets to know, and he will anyhow, cos the TV's and the replays are on all the time, there's no need to bring players into the reviewing system.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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