Review of umpiring decisions July 22, 2008

Too close to call

ESPNcricinfo staff
Players will be able to contest the on-field umpire's decision in the first Test between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo. A few reactions to the increased use of technology
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Mark Benson's decisions can be challenged by players in Colombo © Getty Images

"I don't think we're trying to say that umpires are redundant. They are an integral part of the system and it is very difficult for them in the heat of the moment; it is just assisting them. It is not a question of taking something away from them. It is a mode of assistance."
Anil Kumble sees no reason why umpires should feel threatened

"In general, the system will be good for the game as it will reduce the scope for mistakes. But you need to do it in a respectful way. The on-field umpires are human, after all. They do make mistakes, just as everybody else does, and we should respect that during the trial. We should be clear that the idea is only to reduce the mistakes."
Mahela Jayawardene echoes Kumble's sentiments

"I just hope they don't get too silly with it. We need to be a bit careful that we don't jump head-first in and go gung-ho the other way and make too many calls. I don't know how many times there have been three really dodgy decisions in an innings too often. It means almost a third of the wickets that you need to get a team out, you can contest, which seems like a high number to me.
Tim Nielsen, Australia's coach, isn't too keen about the idea

"Modern-day sport is moving more and more in this direction and if it works it will be great. If it doesn't detract too much from the game and the right decisions are given, it can only be a good thing. I'm willing to see how it works, just as long as it doesn't take too long."
Steve Waugh is willing to be patient with technology

"We need to hear of ideas that are likely to improve the standard of umpiring, especially in Test cricket, rather than gimmicky suggestions put forward to satisfy a clamour for more use of technology.
Ian Chappell is not at all convinced

"Part of the beauty of cricket was that there was room for human error and sometimes it went your way, sometimes it didn't. It all evened out in the end. Today, with all the money invested in cricket, the shareholders are going to demand the right decision all the time. You don't pay $800 million for a cricket team to let an umpire's error ruin it for you."
Michael Kasprowicz realises the times are changing

"I've always been a coach who has advocated technology. If the ball bounces it is not out. For me, if we can get a correct system, then it has to be good for the game. I think it is muddied [at the moment], but the referral system takes away the grey area."
Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, reaffirms his faith in technology after the controversy over catches in the Headingley Test

"The referral system has been talked about a lot. We support referrals but didn't want the players doing the referring, we felt it should be the umpires. We made it pretty clear that we felt certain things should be referred and others shouldn't, but we think the umpires should take responsibility. In a team sport like this, the decisions should be taken on by the umpires."
No questioning the umpires for Peter Moores, the England coach

"Personally, I like a game like baseball, which turns over more money than cricket does and doesn't use one ounce of technology when the umpire makes a decision. If they get it right, they get it right; and if they get it wrong, so be it. Nothing is ever overturned. But we allowed technology to come in, so now we have got to work with it, make the best of it."
Umpire Mark Benson airs his point of view

"Umpires have been around umpiring cricket far longer than Hawk-Eye has existed. Umpires know the bounce, length and height of the pitches they officiate on. I would back any umpire to make more accurate lbw decisions than Hawk-Eye, whether they are 5' or 6'6" tall. Umpires [on the field] will always be in the best position to adjudicate on lbws."
Billy Bowden feels technology can't replace umpires yet, at least for lbws

"As a player, all you ever want is as many accurate decisions as possible. If I make a mistake and I'm out, well so be it, that's my fault, but you don't want to be given out when you feel you're not out."
Geoff Boycott gives the reason why he supports more use of technology.