Technology to aid umpires January 14, 2008

Decisions, decisions

It's a perennial hot button issue: leave it to the men in white or let the gadgets take over? We asked around



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Gary Kirsten
Former South Africa batsman and soon-to-be India coach
For many years I've believed in technology. I know there's a lot of debate on for and against technology, but I just believe international sport is not what it used to be many years ago. It has become highly intense, the stakes are high, there's a lot of money in the game and the umpires are under massive pressure. It's extremely unfair that we as TV audience get four replays and then make a judgement call whereas the umpire one look at fast speed.

We know there's human error. But if it has become that much tough and the stakes are that much higher and the umpires that much more exposed, you have got to help them. The biggest issue seems to be they can't work out how, but it has got to go that way.

Glenn McGrath
Former Australia bowler
The human element in the game has been there from ball one. Technology is at the stage now where it's in the middle ground. For run-outs and stumpings it's quite clear cut. I am not sure if Snicko and Hawkeye get it right 100% of the time.

When technology was trialled for outfield catches, I feel 90% of those were caught but weren't conclusive enough and I can't remember ever seeing a catch given out when it went to the third umpire. We're at a stage where technology will create enough doubt but won't confirm it. When it gets to the next level, you can look at the next level. Umpires have a tough job to do; they make mistakes, have in the past will do it in the future. Handling that is also part of the game. Eight on the [elite] panel isn't enough. The fact they can't umpire at home means they're always on the road. I wouldn't want to be one of them.

Frank Tyson
Former England fast bowler and reputed coach
If it's left to the umpire, he will make mistakes, so the standard of umpiring has to improve. Technology can be used if it reduces the actual errors that are made in umpiring, but at the same time technology should not be the final word, umpires should have that. You can certainly get indications from the technology. We can still stick to the old rule, which says if there is any doubt about the actual decision, the final decision still lies with the umpire and the batsman gets the benefit of doubt.