Ian Chappell
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Former Australia captain, now a cricket commentator and columnist

Leave the DRS to the umpires

Instead of limiting the number of referrals, and leaving them in the hands of the players, the use of reviews should be solely at the discretion of the umpires

Ian Chappell

July 14, 2013

Comments: 140 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook ponders his tactics on a tense afternoon, England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day, July 13, 2013
Cook has displayed a remarkable ability to adapt as a batsman. Now he has to adapt as captain © Getty Images
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Captaincy debates and umpiring controversies are never far from the surface in a cricket match, and the Test at Trent Bridge has been no exception.

While debutant Ashton Agar was stunning England and amazing the cricket world with his array of shots and nerveless temperament, Alastair Cook was paralysed by indecision. There was a look of panic on his face during the remarkable, record-breaking partnership between Agar and Phillip Hughes that belied the term "being in charge". As a result of Cook's indecision he waited for the Australians to commit cricketing suicide; instead they used their brains and batted bravely.

A former New South Wales player once told me one of the secrets of Richie Benaud's captaincy success was his ability to appear calm under all circumstances. "He'd casually stand there in the gully with his arms folded," said the player, "and then suddenly he'd shift a fielder or two and change the bowling and we'd all think, 'This is the move that's going to alter the game.'"

That ability as a captain, to appear calm no matter how dire the situation, sends a wave of confidence through the fielding side and tells the batting side nothing.

Cook has displayed a remarkable ability to adapt as a batsman; he's gone from being a potential liability prior to the 2010-11 Ashes series to a wicket Australia covets. Now he has to display that same ability to adapt as a captain, but this time it'll be more difficult; his batting needed a simple alteration in technique, the captaincy will require an adjustment to his temperament. It's always difficult to drastically alter what is nature's gift.

Cook's other problem is having to adapt mid-series. The amazing turnaround contrived by Agar and Hughes not only rescued Australia in the Test but it has given Australia inspiration for the remainder of the series. Captaincy could play a crucial role if this series remains tight and Michael Clarke is tactically superior to Cook. If the England captain can be frozen into indecision by aggressive Australian batting, that's another advantage to the tourists.

The other major influence on the first Test has been the umpiring. The main controversy has been around the DRS and its failings have emphasised flaws the ICC should have addressed long ago.

Firstly the Jonathan Trott lbw referral highlighted the absurd decision to allow the host broadcasters to play a part in the DRS. In Trott's case the operator was utilising Hot Spot for something else when suddenly the technology was required for a referral.

The DRS should always be the sole responsibility of the cricket boards; they should pay for and operate everything that's required for the decision-making process. Adjudication has nothing to do with the television coverage, which is there to provide entertainment for the viewers.

Hopefully this latest malfunction will convince the cricket boards to take charge of the DRS, and that way every Test will then be played under the same conditions.

Then there's the Stuart Broad controversy over a disputed catch. There's the irony in it of Australia's cause being hurt by an opponent not walking; cricket has a way of even-ing up over time.

More important is the principle of getting the right decision, which the ICC has constantly spruiked as one of the virtues of the DRS. In many cases it has done exactly the opposite, and Broad's case was just the latest example.

Instead of putting a limit on the number of referrals available, and leaving them in the hands of the players, the use of the DRS should be solely at the discretion of the umpires. The arbiters in the middle should be encouraged to make decisions and then, only if the video umpire sees a glaring error, should he intervene.

This way the umpiring standards could be raised and only the howlers, and not the 50-50 decisions, would be overturned. No system is infallible and that's part of the beauty of the game. The players make mistakes, which in turn require the umpires to come to a decision, which can occasionally result in an error. The human element is an important part of cricket's magic.

And so is drama. There has been no shortage of that at Trent Bridge as once again an Ashes series has captured the public attention.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist

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Posted by   on (July 17, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

For once, I disagree with Ian Chappell: it would be a disaster if the umpires were left to decide whether to review. The umps would go upstairs for virtually every decision for fear of being castigated if they don't and get it wrong and we'd end up with 70 overs a day. Look what happens with run outs - decisions get referred if the batsman is a metre short of the line or has passed the stumps when the bails are removed. I would actually scrap DRS completely and get back to the drama of the instant umpiring decision - it's a sporting spectacle not a forensic investigation.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 16, 2013, 21:09 GMT)

3rd time lucky - please publish. Nothing of offence to anyone

@popcorn on (July 14, 2013, 18:30 GMT) Just 2 things

1 - Maybe the square leg umpire was unsure or even if he thought there was a nick - unless he was 100% sure he'd prob presume Dar would have seen it better

2 - That part of DRS is to eliminate the howlers so that's why clipping the stump is not deemed as a howler. What I will say is that the fielding side should not lose a review if the ball is clipping the stumps on a reviewed LBW decision.

Posted by jay57870 on (July 16, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

Ian - It smacks of self-contradiction & double jeopardy to boot. DRS is an oxymoron: If the "principle" is to get the "right decision" but "in many cases it has done exactly the opposite" - then what good is it? If it's left "solely at the discretion of the umpires" then which upright umpire would seriously want to second-guess his own decision, let alone risk his head for a glaring bad call? As for bad calls "evening up over time" it's a total fallacy: Two wrongs don't make a right!! The only thing that's 50-50 in the game is the coin toss! Yes, "DRS should always be the sole responsibility of the cricket boards": BCCI by golly got it right! DRS flaws are systemic. Unlimited referrals will only perpetuate the problem, the "human element" included. As for successful captains, it's no "secret" (much as I admire Richie Benaud) there's already a 'Captain Cool' playing in the modern era: He has achieved since 2007 the highest in all 3 formats, with or without DRS! Just ask MS Dhoni, Ian!!

Posted by OOZZ on (July 16, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

Reviewing all marginal calls will take lot of time. However howlers need to be eliminated. I guess the solution is obvious. The howlers are ones which can be seen visually by the third umpire without any technological aids (snicko, hotspot etc.) These are few and far between and third umpire intervention for these ones would be acceptable to most and won't affect the ebb and flow of the game.

Posted by reddawn1975 on (July 16, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

Chappelli your right on the money leave it upto the umpires to use the system not the players let them worry about playing the game

Posted by svearike on (July 16, 2013, 6:43 GMT)

Leaving it to the umpires is impractical; the umpires are part of an unofficial union and as such, would be reluctant to tell their colleague on the field "hey, you've got that one wrong". Another possible problem with Chappell's suggestion is the danger that every appeal would be reviewed, resulting in loss of playing time.

There is an alternative: allow the players an unlimited number of referrals, but if the decision is not reversed then five runs is awarded to the opposing team. At a stroke, teams would be reluctant to take a punt on a speculative referral, and would only refer when they were pretty damn sure there has been a mistake, as in the Broad incident. Simple to implement too.

Posted by Cricket_Fan_And_Analyst on (July 16, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

Take hawk eye and hot spot out of decision making. That will solve the problem of correctness. Just use slow motion or super slow motion. The whole point of DRS is to remove howlers. (Super) slow motion is good enough to eliminate howlers.

If a LBW decision is howler it can clearly be seen using slow motion and third umpire can take a call. Similarly you can use stump camera, microphone along with super slow mo to judge on caught behinds.

For referral , let the current rule stay , just one or two more reviews. On top of that allow the leg umpire to make a referral if he is convinced that main umpire has made a wrong decision. That referral should only be done by leg umpire and main umpire can't ask him to do the review. That's another way to remove howlers without disrupting the flow of the game.

Posted by nickvegas on (July 16, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

Chappelli is the only commentator/ex-player that has mentioned that the narrow loss will be good for Australia. It proves that a) Australia has more room for improvement than England and b) the 2 sides are not as far apart as "experts" were predicting. I don't think Australia can win the series in England, but it does bode well for the future and in particular, the return leg in Australia.

Posted by mrgupta on (July 16, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

Comon Mr Chappel! I thought you were so against BCCI for not supporting the DRS. Why the sudden change of heart? A senior pro like you should realize that if Umpires are given the responsibility of referral then every minor decision will be referred.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2013, 2:53 GMT)

Posted by Nigel Hales on (July 15, 2013, 11:51 GMT) "Why did not not track the wide the Pattinson bowled first ball?"

If you mean the one that he bowled in over 34.1 straight at slip, it was tracked along with all the other balls in the Test. There's an interactive website where you can see them all.

Posted by kitten on (July 16, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

Agree with Chappell. Players can very often make wrong decisions, and even if they are marginal, they lose one appeal, which is wrong. That is why I also feel that the third umpire should overturn any howler that takes place(like the Broad one), which can influence a match, and in this case, won it. Hopefully, common sense will prevail in the future, and we will see better results, and more enjoyment for the fans. I, like many other fans would like to see my team win, but I would also like to see it win, fairly and because they were the better team.

Posted by Nampally on (July 15, 2013, 23:20 GMT)

When DRS is so expensive, why is there a limit for no of referrals/innings? It beats the logic. DRS is there to assist the Umpire in making the right decision to the satisfaction of all. So I totally agree with Ian Chappell in unrestricted use of the available technology. In a 5 day test match, time lost in these referrals is miniscule. When batsmen are clearly caught in the slips of a spinner & refuse to walk, it isn't Cricket. Not walking on caught behind or LBW's is justified of the batsman feels strongly about it. But not walking to a slip catch is carrying things too far.To top it all Umpire sides with the batsman is simply unbelievable. ICC needs to reprimand both the Umpire & the batsman. When the game falls this low, unrestricted use of DRS is the only solution. The third umpire needs to be also impartial & knowledgeable. If the DRS is inconclusive, the batsman gets the benefit of doubt.Great Umpires like Chester are rarity these days but DRS is a reality. Use it or lose it!

Posted by landl47 on (July 15, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

With regard to Cook, there's some truth in Chappell's comments, but on the other hand England had never seen Agar before, he was batting #11 and they hadn't prepared a plan for him. Cook is a planner and implementer, not an intuitive decision-maker. In the short-term that might cost him a game or two, but over the long haul he'll win more by planning than by ad hoc decisions.

With regard to DRS, what is the definition of a 'howler' or 'glaring error'? Hughes and Haddin were given out by the third umpire, contrary to the on-field umpire's decision. Both were indeed out, but were those howlers? Trott was given out- howler? Bell was given not out- howler? We all agree that the Broad decision was a howler, but the other decisions were all very close. However, of all of them, the only serious doubt was the Trott decision. The others were right, but were they howlers?

Let the umpires, working together, say out or not out. Forget howlers. No-one will ever agree what they are.

Posted by philvic on (July 15, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

I have been saying this for a long time and totally agree with Chappell. Technology is positive but the current system distorts the decisions. The umpires call means that close decisions are again up to the individual vagaries of umpires - either ball clipping stumps on hawkeye should all be out or all not-out. If umpires could confer before making the decision many more would be correct and certainly more consistent and fair. Games should also not be won and lost on how well a captain uses the DRS.

Posted by girijasankar on (July 15, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

I will not agree with Chappell. If it will be in umpire hand then the innings will take more time. Because like today for each run-out/stumping we are referring to third umpire and if we give the DRS to umpire then will refer each ball that will touch leg. This will take more and more time.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

While I totally agree that the broadcaster should not control the adjudication technology, the technical underpinnings of DRS are insufficient; leading to as much uncertainty in the DRS decision as there was in the original on field decision. Many many fine edges are difficult to tell even on replay with hotspot and snicko. Is the mark because the bat hit his pad or the ball on the way through for example? Is that tiny mark just a grainy blob or a hot spot? Then the 3rd umpire makes a marginal call, overriding the on field umpires marginal call! DRS should use modern, high speed, high resolution cameras like you see on the amazing, smooth, broadcast slow motion replays. Why does DRS technology use old grainy video footage with jump frame slow motion? Fix the tech, then decide how to use it...

Posted by JG2704 on (July 15, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

@popcorn on (July 14, 2013, 18:30 GMT) Just 2 things

1 - Maybe the square leg umpire was unsure or even if he thought there was a nick - unless he was 100% sure he'd prob presume Dar would have seen it better

2 - That part of DRS is to eliminate the howlers so that's why clipping the stump is not deemed as a howler. What I will say is that the fielding side should not lose a review if the ball is clipping the stumps on a reviewed LBW decision.

Re umpires discretion on reviews - do you not think that sides would be asking to review everything and with the umpire so much under the spotlight he'd more than likely adhere to every request. If he didn't then how bad would the the umpire look if he didn't review something which could have been overturned?

Surely you have to draw the line somewhere and 2 reviews is designed to put sides off overusing them ...

Posted by warneneverchuck on (July 15, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

It should never be left to umpire. If batsman has not edge the ball for a lbw or cought behind I feel batsman is the best to judge than umpire.

Posted by cricketdebator on (July 15, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

I agree with Chappell. The umpire should also be encourage to use the available technology when in doubt over making a decision. If doubt still remain after the use, then give the benefit of that doubt to the batsman.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

May be IC forgot that DRS means reviewing a decision, why would umpires want to give a decision and ask someone else to review their own decision, rather it will be good if you allow umpires to go to third umpire. Clarke and Australia just gambled with DRS, England and their batsmen discussed with other players before reviewing the decision.

Posted by blink182alex on (July 15, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

Disagree with Chappeli here, if the umpires were in sole control of DRS i can tell you right now they will have a look at pretty much every appeal for safety.

Let the fielding side have 2 reviews, where they don't loose one for umpires call lbw decisions, and no batting reviews instead just review every wicket quickly to check for any mistakes.

Posted by jackthelad on (July 15, 2013, 18:06 GMT)

The fact is that Clarke used DRS like a gambler doubling his stakes on a losing number (and so Australia couldn't force a review on the Broad catch); Cook left reviews basically to the players involved, and it worked in England's favour, because in at least three quarters of cases players are aware of whether a decision is pretty sound or is debatable. If we're going to have DRS at all it needs to be there for players on the receiving end of questionable decisions : it is not intended as a fail-safe for poor or inadequate Umpires to hedge their bets with. So, sorry, Ian, on this one I think you're wrong, and I think it's mainly Clarke's ineptitude with referrals that has led you to this place. Otherwise, as usual, I think you talk a lot of sense, as a man of your experience at this level should be expected to do.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

agree with a number here, the umpires having total control will slow everything down. The 2 chances are designed to force each team to consider carefully if there is any benefit in the review, i.e. has the umpire made a clear error, a howler. It is instead being used by some to challenge decent decisions and as a result some howlers are being missed. As for the Trott dismissal, here I agree with Ian Chappell, get the decision making aligned to those empowered to make those calls, TV production has no place here, and devalues the game where matches are being played under different rules.

Posted by Phreddie on (July 15, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Unlimited DRS reviews in the hands of upmpires? How utterly ridiculous. What point would there be in having on field umpires? May as well let the computers eun the whole game, if you are loking to get the 'correct' decision every time. And while you're at it, why not replace those inconsistent and wayward players as well? You could have the perfect game them, with no mistakes at all. How boring and sterile Test Cricket would become if those with a complete lack of soul, like Mr Chappell have their way. I would remove DRS from Tests altogether, and replace DRS in T20s with a live Twitter vote - giving the audience 20 seconds to vote on whoch they believe is the right decision, should a team make a referral.

Posted by bobmartin on (July 15, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

Firstly.. we are not discussing the efficacy of DRS here... we are discussing it's use as it stands... Whether or not it is good, bad or something in between is a completely separate issue..so let's please stick the point and forget these peripheral arguments... Having said that, two of the only times when an umpire can initiate a DRS review is on run-outs and stumpings... How many times have you seen an umpire now give a decision without referring it upstairs... Very very rarely..So I can only assume that if the power to refer rested with the on-field umpires for every decision, we'd spend more time waiting than watching... 90 overs a day would become a thing of the past. There's an old saying, if it aint broke.. so don't try to fix it... you'll probably wind up breaking it...

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 15:57 GMT)

@Philip Felton while you are right that the predictive part of Hawkeye is based on data gathered after the bounce its weakness arises from full length deliveries that hit the pad before enough data can be gathered to accurately predict its path. I have even seen it used to predict the path of a delivery that bounced on the batsman's boot - which is absurd.

Posted by Thomas_Ratnam on (July 15, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

The DRS decision is not going anywhere because no one has defined what the 'RIGHT DECISION' is in a particular situation. Viewers, commentators and journalists consider what THEY THINK is the the right decision after a review based on ill defined and non-quantifiable elements contributing to an opinion. Also arriving at the right decision can only be measured by a percentage of correctness. Not like the BCCI which is reaching for perfection that does not exist.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

Totally disagree with IC - give umpires total control over DRS and you will never get an on field decision. When did you last see an umpire not pass the buck to DRS on a run-out or stumping? Take DRS away from the on-field umpires and make them decide if it is in or out (including run outs and stumpings). Then give captains unlimited reviews and penalise them 5 or 10 runs when the on-field umpire is shown to be right. Mind you, IC was right about the absurdity of Hotspot no being available for the Trott decision - surely it cannot be a major technical problem for the data capture side of things to be divorced from the replay?

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

My issue with DRS in the match was the same as Ian's, the non-availability of the Hotspot because the broadcaster was using it. That shouldn't happen! Australia's problem with DRS is that they don't have a clue how to use it, they try to get a reprieve when they've given a thin edge (or in the case of their captain when he's hit it off the middle of the bat). The limited number of reviews is designed to prevent that, the England policy of not doing that means they can always review a 'howler' because they don't throw them away! Australia would do well to sit their captain and batsmen down and explain the system to them, because right now they just don't get it!

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

One area where Michael Clarke admitted that Cook was 'tactically superior', was in using DRS. Michael Clarke does that thing of making lots of changes, setting aggressive fields etc, which commentators tend to laud as good captaincy. But aggression in using DRS can mean, and did in Clarke's case, wasting the system on 50-50s, which left him exposed on the 'howler'. I do like Clarke, and I do think he'll learn, but in the context of this piece I think the *use* of DRS, which is a key tool for captains, Cook was far superior.

Posted by aplomb on (July 15, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

If we remove one part of DRS , Predictive technology by hawk eye, it could remove all major problems. So in case of LBW, we would follow actual ball trajectory in deciding where it pitched and on field umpire decision on predictive element (where it would have gone at stump level). In this case no player would take review if he has not hit the ball or fully sure that ball pitched outside leg stump. Major gambling of DRS review has been played in one this part. Other aspect like thin edges can't be eliminated by available technology (unless hot spot and snicko becomes more competent and work in tandem). This not only would preserve umpiring culture but also best includes the benefit of DRS which is to remove the howlers (which in my view is: edged LBW, outside leg pitched lbw, not edged catch)

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

"the predictive path of the ball by Hawkeye is rubbish and should not be used. How can it, for example, predict how high a ball will bounce in the first over of the match, when there is no data about how much bounce is in the pitch? Even at 500 frames a second, how can something which is 130m away and 30m in the air have a better perception than someone at ground level, 20 metres from the ball? Why did not not track the wide the Pattinson bowled first ball? "

You clearly have no idea how Hawkeye works so your opinion is worthless. It does not use prior trajectories to somehow assess the bounciness of the pitch, it uses the trajectory of the ball after pitching and extrapolates that to get future path. The future path of the ball is governed by the physics of projectiles, if we measure the velocity of the ball leaving the ground and know gravity we can accurately predict its path. Modern imaging is capable of determining the 3-D position of the ball, the umpire can't.

Posted by Stuart_online on (July 15, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

I agree with ReverseSweep: Fielding side gets as many reviews as they like, but with a 10 to 15 run penalty for every failed review (no need for any free ones). And how about this: every batsman gets 10 or 15 run bonus for a successful review. What would it do to fielding side appeals if they knew there was a risk of the on field ump giving it out wrongly, and the batsman getting a hefty bonus after a successful review ?

Posted by mqry on (July 15, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

Umpires are humans afterall & they are entitled to correct their mistakes.. & its only fair that they call for assistance from the official having the benefit of replays & technology. I feel that umpires should check for edges / nicks/catches with the third umpire as they currently do for run outs.. The LBWs are a different matter & should be decided by the onfield umpires only

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (July 15, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

this DRS debate does not look like heading anywhere. Say we put it in umpires hand, then why an umpire will review his own decision if he thinks that he made a right decision. Or like just in case of Broad issue, lets say Dar believe that he made a right decision and do not cross check it? Increasing the number of review, may slow the game down. I think we can have something like over and above 2 reviews, each review Penalty based. 5/10 runs penalty for each wrong review thereafter. So if a number 9 bat think he has been wronged and sure about that, he can use it. This system should be used to remove howlers rather than playing strategic mind games which test cricket have enough of in itself already. Haddin decision yesterday if given not out would not have been a howler. But Cook would not have tried to guessed it if he would stand to lose say 10 runs (just saying, he had been brilliant with his reviews otherwise).

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

Ian Chappel is absolutely right. Those who argue that it will affect the flow of the game are ASSUMING that every decision of the field umpires will be reviewed. Only in marginal cases, or when there is some lingering doubt in the minds of the field umpire or third umpire, DRS need to be invoked. In such rare cases alone the affected player may be asked to hold on and some time will be spent on the review. Such time spent on reviews should also be accounted before determining slow over rates. That is all what is needed. If the light permits 90 overs can still be bowled.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

I think it would work out a whole lot better if the fielding team had unlimited referrals while ever they stayed up with the over rate. If you are bowling at 15 overs per hour then you get to use DRS, when not then you don't get to use it. All batting dismissals to be checked by the 3rd umpire as the batsman trudges off.... It is not rocket science and would fix up the over rates at the same time.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Hmm. Considering the amount of time it takes for players to get on off/field, would it really harm the game if every wicket was quickly examined by the third ump? That would remove half of the problem (batting referrals) without having any real effect on the flow of the game.

As for the fielding side, it seems bonkers that they get the same number of challenges for an innings (that can go on for 10 hours+) as a Player who plays one hour-long set of tennis. If teams had 2 challengers per session, the flow of play would not be flowed so drastically and the recent howlers may not have occurred at all.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 11:51 GMT)

The answer is to put the DRS in the hands of the third umpire ONLY. The on field umpires must make decisions (even on run outs) and the third umpire can look at the replay and overturn the decision only in clear cases, not marginal ones. That would get rid of the howlers, improve on field umpiring, not unduly delay the game, and take the whole unsavoury element of "challenging" an umpire's decision out of the game. I also (surprisingly) tend to agree with the BCCI - the predictive path of the ball by Hawkeye is rubbish and should not be used. How can it, for example, predict how high a ball will bounce in the first over of the match, when there is no data about how much bounce is in the pitch? Even at 500 frames a second, how can something which is 130m away and 30m in the air have a better perception than someone at ground level, 20 metres from the ball? Why did not not track the wide the Pattinson bowled first ball? Surely it does not have that narrow a focus from that distance.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

No-one here understands the significance of Ian's suggestion. Imagine a game where EVERY single appeal and wicket is scrutinised by the third umpire? The game would take an age. I'm telling you all they tried this in the Ryobi cup in Australia and it was an abject failure. End of story.

Posted by shane-oh on (July 15, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

@cnksnk - no, you are incorrect. The rest of the cricketing world continues to laugh at the BCCI and their stubborn refusal to get into the modern age, simply because they are still throwing a years-long tantrum over their players mis-using the DRS. You need to get a grip - no-one ever claimed the DRS was perfect, but that argument is a pointless one because, getting some decision right that we were getting wrong pre-DRS is clearly an improvement. Remember, controversial decisions didn't suddenly appear when the DRS started being used. The short response to what you have said is 'No, there is zero merit in the stand that they have been taking. Zero'.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (July 15, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

cmscms; Ian Chappell has not written this article in response to Australia losing, to me it looks like an article he wrote a couple of years ago in the newspaper rehashed with a couple of modern day examples. Let me ask you what was the intent of DRS? and has it had the desired result? I'm not sure anyone is suggesting the DRS has anything to do with australias loss but in my opinion there is a far better alternative to the current system to get the result that everyone is looking for.

Posted by Captain_Crick on (July 15, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

Leaving the DRS to the 2 onfield umpires could further complicate the situation in many ways. The system should simply allow the 3rd umpire to intervene in the case of absolute howlers. Also it would benefit the teams if the existing DRS review of max 2 (trial demo version kinda package) could be increased to 5 reviews a side for a Test match. It's unfair to have the same max number of reviews for both a test match (max 450 overs) and an ODI (max 100 overs). Also 'spirit of cricket' concept is currently more in favour of a batsman compared to a fielder, wk or a bowler. Totally agree with what M. Holding said " Either have consistency of punishment across cricketing roles or redefine the term 'spirit of cricket'.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

I disagree, the entire idea of having a review system for players where they are not content with the decision would fade away.

Posted by cnksnk on (July 15, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

At the end of all the heat and dust, do we hear the folks in BCCI laughing and telling all of us - WE TOLD YOU SO. Technology was not perfect and even what is seen does not ensure elimination of errors. Clearly while technology will take time to improve further ( but it will) can we have a more pragmatic set of rules so that it is fair and genuinely reduces errors. While we can continue to blame BCCI for all the ills in the world or atleast in the cricket world may be there is some merit in the stand that they have been taking.

Posted by Tigg on (July 15, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

No. No. No.

Every appeal would end up being sent upstairs and the game would slow to a crawl. Umpires already only have to signal and make lbw/caught decisions as TV has essentially removed stumpings and run-outs from their mandate.

How often do we see runouts that are obviously in/out to the naked eye being sent to the third umpire 'just in case'. It would be awful.

Posted by 64blip on (July 15, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

This proposal would ruin the game. One thing DRS has done is reduce the amount of appealing, which teams would do to put pressure on the umpire. This would return with a vengeance and umpires would refer every close decision and quite a few besides. DRS was introduced for howlers, so teams shouldn't lose appeals most of the time. If they do it's because they're gambling and if they gamble and lose, as Aus did, tough.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

I agree that DRS should be used as decision-support by the umpires only and that the principle should be getting the right decision, not merely eliminating howlers. Not long before the Broad catch incident, the replay showed Broad was lbw padding away a delivery pitching outside off that would have hit two stumps. It wasn't a marginal decision. Was it a howler ? Michael Holding's comment was that the umpire shouldn't be guessing in this case, and he shouldn't have to. It is also important to speed up the review process to minimize the disruption - the review should be restricted to the point at issue, the specific uncertainty, and should not include hunting for front-foot no balls if they haven't been called. Tennis has this right, line calls are the issue, not foot faults.

Posted by cmscms on (July 15, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

Oh Ian, why am I not surprised. When Aus are on the wrong side of stick you want to make changes to the laws. in recent Aus summer when the wicket fell, the field umpire consulted with third umpire to check if it was a no-ball. replays clearly showed that the (aus) bowler had overstepped, albeit marginally, and you disagreed the decision and suggested that the delivery would have been no different if the bowler had not overstepped. Agreed, but we live in a world where there is a line to everything and overstepping by any margin is not allowed. I have a few questions for Mr. Ian, what if: batsman only misses marginally to complete run, should he be given runout? fielder marginally touches the rope when completing the catch? how do you restrict umpires from abusing DRS?

Posted by Cyril_Knight on (July 15, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

Chappell is right, DRS was effectively invented by Sky to entertain the viewers, if ICC aims for an overall improvement in the percentage of correct decisions made (as it keeps quoting, 90% up to 95% or whatever) then every decision will have to be reviewed. In its current form DRS is an extra part of the entertainment on offer.

I don't like it. I prefer the honest appeal and wait for the finger and that's final. But I go to watch a lot of cricket live in the ground. While cricket is dominated by television money from ECB contract with Sky to BCCI holding the global media to ransom, ICC is only interested in television viewers. They can quote percentages all they like, to me an increase of 3 to 5% is not worth the hassle.

Fundamentally DRS challenges the authority of the umpire, therefore falls outside the spirit of cricket. But to give umpires sole control will ruin the spectacle of a wicket being taken. The umpire raising his finger will eventually mean nothing.

Posted by RJL4124 on (July 15, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

The problem with leaving it to the on-field umpires is that (as happens with ALL run outs now) there will be pressure to refer ALL decisions. Every close (or not too close) LBW, every claim of a caught behind... and so the play will stop much more frequently. In rugby a potential try is once or twice a game. In cricket - it can be as often as once an over.

The only issues with the DRS in this Test were caused by the lack of evidence for Trott (the fault of Sky - so turn it over to the Cricket Board) and for Broad - which was due to a gamble by Clarke which removed his last challenge. Captains MUST learn to look for the howler - not the 50:50.

England tend to do well - as they have learned this lesson. Haddin's wicket (note that he knew he was out and did not walk - but no Broad-like moaning) was a clear case of the value of the DRS.

It is not broken - so don't try to fix it. Chappell's suggestion would make it much worse.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (July 15, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

I have always wondered why the failings of the DRS system have always benefited England in competitions when the failings have been brought to light in the public domain. A few examples:

1. It was found only during the last ODI WC in India, during the India-Eng match that the ball tracking in DRS is not accurate when the ball is intercepted way outside the crease and there's an LBW appeal. Benefit : England.

2. It was found only during the last India-Eng Test series in England, that the ball can actually snick the bat leaving the Hotspot cold. The video umpire in fact overruled Hotspot in the absence of evidence when the onfield umpire had given NOT OUT! Who benefited? Obviously - England!

3. England have been pushing DRS on others and demonising those who resist. Little wonder that they now CHOOSE TO cry fowl when Trott was given out because it SUDDENLY realised that the broadcaster was busy using Hotspot on another incident instead of the live one!

Posted by vikart on (July 15, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Having said that, to me the easiest option is to increase number of referrals from 2 to say 5 , probably it ensures that more correct decisions are made, ( don't think the time spent on 2 referrals or 5 going to make much difference compared to the pluses it brings )

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (July 15, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

"only if the video umpire sees a glaring error, should he intervene. "

One great thing going is that the audience gets to see what the video umpire sees at the same time... and so can immediately spot a deviant behaviour when a video umpire deliberately doesn't see what he is supposed to see or when the local broadcaster doesn't always show the right frame needed for a video umpire to take the right decision. All of this do happen increasingly in modern day cricket and these are things that cause controversies and heartburns and these are the things that need to be ironed out before DRS is allowed in with open arms...

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

Need to think about DRS again, its good technology but the main question is how to use, i think that give all powers to on filed umpire, they must have authority to use on those conditions where they are uncertain to make a right decision, umpire can use as many times as they like, BCCI's decision to uppose DRS is right.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (July 15, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

"The main controversy has been around the DRS and its failings have emphasised flaws the ICC should have addressed long ago. "

This is precisely the reason why BCCI is against the current flawed DRS and equally baffling to the fair minded as to why the BCCI gets demonised for it particularly by the English and Oz cricketing establishment and media.

It's NOT surprising to me that England and Australia see the flaws and limitations of the current DRS ONLY when they are at the receiving end of decisions that don't go their way and adversely affect the outcome of the match.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

I think it is a fairer game now then it was than in, say, Edgbaston 2005 but the DRS still needs some tweaking. For instance, it seems absurb to me that a team loses a review for reviewing a decision which the umpire got wrong because the decsion wasn't wrong enough to be overturned.

In this regard, I think Rowayton has it right. If a team reviews a decision, it must be a hearing de novo with the 3rd umpire free to decide the matter without reference to the original decison. If it is being reviewed for error, why do we have this strange allegiance to the original potentially erroneous decision?

I think there must also be a contingency built in where the on-field umpire can clarify aspects of a decision with the 3rd umpire (like in Rugby Union) or where the 3rd umpire can communicate an obvious error to the onfield umpire. This should be in limited situations and, in the latter case, a limited timeframe to avoid interrupting the flow of the game.

Posted by Kak-mal_Khan on (July 15, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

I would like to see a contest and crowd entertainment making the umpires to compete for their place as per day of each match. The 3rd umpire has to spot the glaring mistake that an onfield umpire makes, and then press a big red button which plays comedy music on the ground speakers and projects the word "HOWLER" on screen. At the end of the day the umpire with the most howlers switches place with the 3rd umpire for the following day's play. Incase of a draw the 2 teams competing can make a joint decision on the umpire they want off for the following day. At the end of the match the umpire with most onfield time receives giant bonus cheque during the presentation ceremony.

Posted by vikart on (July 15, 2013, 4:24 GMT)

To certain extend I agree with Ian, in current form of DRS, it's only going to eliminate say 40 to 50 % of howlers. Around 50 to 60% of referrals are been wasted.

So I think it's better to leave that with Umpires, but with these modifications.

1) Let's have specialist umpires, who is trained enough on all these technologies, as TV (third) umpires, because here the skill sets a bit different from on-field umpiring. 2) Most of the LBWs are debatable be it with or without technology. So Take out Hawkeye and give the umpires full right to decide on LBWs. But all the LBW out decisions will be scrutinized by TV umpire just for 'inside edges' to pad using hotspot. On-field umpire only have to worry about the direction of the ball, not inside edges. 3) Any caught behinds the umpires can check with TV umpire who can use hot spot to confirm, just like how it works for run outs.

Unlike in cricket, In tennis its easier as it only used to check whether the ball is in or out so referral system w

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

What I believe test cricket needs most of all right now it to bowl 5 overs from one end before switching. Bad decisions are not the biggest problem...slow pace robs the TV audience.

Posted by McGorium on (July 15, 2013, 3:25 GMT)

@ Pierre_Oxford: That's exactly what umps currently do with no-balls, bumped catches, catches taken adjacent the boundary ropes, probably inside edges on bat-pad catches(? not sure about that one... DRS has confused me). And, while they're at it, front-foot no-balls. I'm sure Dicky Bird was sure of the run-outs he adjudicated on... that didn't make them right. It just required a little bit of retraining of umps to not classify run-outs into just out or not-out, but out, not-out, and "don't know". If an LBW appeal looks like it could have had an inside edge, refer it. If it didn't, give it out. Or, have the 3rd ump overrule the on-field umpire on an egregious error. Or, reverse a decision and allow a batsman back on the field later if he's given out incorrectly. Batsmen retired hurt do this all the time, and I can't see why that solution is so bad.

Posted by GeorgeWBush on (July 15, 2013, 3:21 GMT)

You only have to look at what has happened with No Ball decisions and run outs to see that the umpires, who are under huge amounts of pressure, will refer a lot of decisions to the 3rd umpire if it was solely up to them.

I am inclined to agree with Ian Chappell that it should be up to the umpire but there needs to be a dramatic improvement in the software so that the 3rd umpire takes less time to make the review.

Why for instance do you need to actually play hawkeye. Surely the software can calculate the predicted trajectory and instantaneously give the result (ball pitched in line or not, ball hitting stumps or not).

Maybe a separate umpire could check the no-ball while another one is looking at hot-spot/hawk-eye.

I think for the moment the current system is the best option. Only problem during this test was Clarke gambling on decisions instead of being smart about when to review and also the 3rd umpire making some ridiculous calls.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

oh yes an IDEA SIR G ,it seems a workable idea that ICC gives one or two additional referrals in the umpires hand.if they see an appeal too big they should consult in the middle and if problems refer it to TV umpire/

Posted by Rowayton on (July 15, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

I agree that allowing the umpires to refer everything could lead to time problems. Can you imagine a game in India on a turner with five fielders around the bat and lots of balls popping off pads to the fielders. It would take about 10 minutes to bowl every over. My problem with DRS is in the LBWs. It strikes me as bizarre that on exactly the same set of facts the thrid umpire can give a batsman out or not out depending on what the original decision was. If you're going to use the ball tracking I would get the 3rd umpire to make what is called in the legal field a de novo decision. That is, when you refer an LBW to the third umpire he makes a decision on what he sees and the on field umpire's decision is ignored.

Posted by CowboySpin on (July 15, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

Allowing umpires full control over when to use DRS is not a good idea. From the umpire's perspective, the cost of not referring and therefore getting a decision wrong is quite big - i.e. a potential public lambasting. But the cost of referring unnecessarily is minimal - just a bit of wasted time that costs someone else. The net effect is that umpires will refer even when there is only the most trivial of doubts, just like they do now for run-outs or no-ball calls on wicket-taking deliveries. This would waste a lot of time.

On the other hand, by giving each team a limited number of referrals, you're giving the decision of whether to refer to individuals (i.e. the captains) who actually have an incentive to refer decisions only when there is significant doubt. This works fine.

Posted by   on (July 15, 2013, 1:42 GMT)

If the 3rd umpire can't relay a glaring error before the batsman leaves the field, its not a "howler"

Posted by Andrew73 on (July 15, 2013, 1:41 GMT)

Agree with RaadQ that the issue is the players use, not the system. If they are going to try to game it by reviewing close calls that aren't clearly wrong, they have themselves to blame when they have none left for the obvious howlers - to his credit Clarke has taken responsibility for not using it well post game. The system at the moment is as good as it can be.

Leaving it in the hands of the umpire will defeat the whole purpose. After a few incidents when they should have referred but didn't, they will all just start reviewing everything. Bowlers will appeal every time they beat the bat or hit the pad just in case, the umpire will refer it, and every innings will take a fortnight.

As an aside, the Broad call in normal speed was a lot harder than everyone is giving it credit - it wasn't a howler, it was just a mistake. If Aust hadn't wasted our reviews DRS would have corrected it and everyone would be trumpeting what a great system it is.

Posted by Shlok_Goyal on (July 15, 2013, 1:15 GMT)

Agree with Chappell for the most part but I wonder if it would be better, in addition to Chappell's plan, to also give the players more reviews (say 4), but the on-field umpire can always turn down the review if he chooses. If that happens, then a review isn't wasted.

Posted by David_Jockel on (July 15, 2013, 0:44 GMT)

The solution to the DRS problem is neither putting the referrals solely in the hands of the umpires nor the players. It is a COMBINED system. We have seen the problems with the current system, but if the umpires had sole authority to refer it would create huge pressure on them to refer almost everything. Imagine how heavily they would be criticized whenever they got a decision wrong which they could have checked but didn't. This is how a combined system could work: when players appeal the onfield umpire has the choice of making an immediate decision (out or not-out) if he feels confident, or if he's not certain he makes a gesture indicating the decision is being referred. In this way most of the really close calls will probably be referred by the umpire, and players should only need to use their referral power if the umpire has failed to refer a howler. It also means umpires would not feel under pressure to refer everything, because the players would still have recourse to do so.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 23:34 GMT)

Absolutely agree. Already close runouts and stumpings are decided by the ground umpires who go up on a reasonable doubt. Why should the standards be different for lbw & catch? Why introduce an unnecessary rationing? If an umpire thinks an lbw is close enough (just like close runouts) he can decide to go up.

Posted by wgtnpom on (July 14, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

In the Broad case, the umpire can refer to the video whenever he wants, and he didn't, so clearly he was convinced that Broad wasn't out, although as everyone could see he was wrong. Aus had previously wasted their two referral opportunities; if they hadn't, Broad would have been given out on review and there'd be no issue. So no sympathy with Aus. Perhaps he should have walked, but no one ever does these days and what goes around comes around. Re captaincy: Cook has looked like a rabbit in the headlights a few times now when put under a bit of pressure (he wasn't totally assured in either of the NZ series) and so far his team has been good enough to win anyway. Hopefully that will improve soon.

Posted by Markus971 on (July 14, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

I agree with RaadQ, mostly! (July 14, 16:46) Give the Captains 2 reviews per Innings. It doesnt matter if they r right or wrong... 2 per Innings!! The Captains then will only use them if they r convinced !! about a decision. Done!

Posted by KiwiPom on (July 14, 2013, 22:38 GMT)

I'm torn between three basic principles. Firstly getting the right answer. Secondly giving the batsman the benefit of the doubt in the time honoured tradition. Thirdly the right of the fielding side to appeal to the umpires. I'd see the 1st & 2nd principles as mutually exclusive and the 3rd one as separate. I would retain something like the current appealing system for DRS but refer the technological evidence back to the umpires on the field who would make the final decision based on "benefit of the doubt".

The Hughes overturn in the 2nd innings I thought wasn't in the spirit of the game. Yes, we got the right answer based on technological evidence but it was a decision which, in the past tradition, definitely came into the category of benefit of the doubt to the batsman. By benefit of the doubt I mean benefit of the doubt according to the umpire on the field's judgement. Yes I know we'd need some guidelines as to when benefit of the doubt applies. I do hope we can tweak this

Posted by JG2704 on (July 14, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

@popcorn on (July 14, 2013, 18:30 GMT) Just 2 things

1 - Maybe the square leg umpire was unsure or even if he thought there was a nick - unless he was 100% sure he'd prob presume Dar would have seen it better

2 - That part of DRS is to eliminate the howlers so that's why clipping the stump is not deemed as a howler. What I will say is that the fielding side should not lose a review if the ball is clipping the stumps on a reviewed LBW decision.

Re umpires discretion on reviews - do you not think that sides would be asking to review everything and with the umpire so much under the spotlight he'd more than likely adhere to every request. If he didn't then how bad would the the umpire look if he didn't review something which could have been overturned?

Surely you have to draw the line somewhere and 2 reviews is designed to put sides off overusing them ...

Posted by gdalvi on (July 14, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

The primary objective of DRS is to ELIMINATE the howlers - not just to improve decision accuracy (from 94% to 98% as some claim). Howlers by definition are GROSS mistakes that any impartial person who sees the play or replay or slow-mo can immediately, without hesitation, declare decision to be wrong. To this extent, DRS has been a TOTAL FAILURE. Again and again it cannot accomplish its prime objective.Instead we are burden with expensive, time-consuming technologies like Hot-spot, Snicko, Hawk-eye which have their own limitations. DRS supporters keep saying it should not be used for 50-50 decisions - but the irony is that if you really need extra-sensory new tech like Hot-spot et al. to areach decision, then that decision itself a 50-50 decision - NOT a howler. The new expensive time-consuming technologies are actually NOT necessary for eliminating howlers at all. I say let 3rd umpire consult with umpire using just replay and/or slow-mo and reach a quick decision on every appeal

Posted by threeheadedmonkey on (July 14, 2013, 21:57 GMT)

The concept is one I've wanted for a long time. Why not have a fourth umpire just watching a replay of each appeal, if he thinks it's a major mistake he can just let the on field umpire know they need to have another look at it. He wouldn't be watching multiple replays, just a quick slow down to see if the call was obviously wrong. The current system is laughable and umpires these days routinely make decisions influenced by who has referrals left. Does anyone honestly think haddin would have been given not out initially for that catch last night if England had 0 referrals left? They already call for reviews on catches carrying so they should be checking more too.

The argument of taking too much time is also a joke, every appeal now sees the fielding team come together for a minute to discuss if they want to refer it anyway and time is wasted in other stupid ways anyway that can be cut back on and limited.

Posted by ada123 on (July 14, 2013, 21:49 GMT)

I agree. That is how it is done in baseball.

Posted by Timoff on (July 14, 2013, 21:41 GMT)

The usual flawed logic from Ian Chappell on this issue that we've heard ad infinitum. How is a third umpire to decide what is a howler and what is a 50/50 decision? He can't, he would have to overrule every incorrect decision, meaning lengthy, frequent stoppages in play, and the ridiculous proposition of batsmen nearly at the pavilion being called back to the crease. It happened like that a few years ago in Sheffield Shield when the reviews were solely in the hands of the umpires. It was roundly condemned by the players, and was quickly dropped.

Posted by dirick on (July 14, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

I would say take DRS OUT OF THE GAME or take on-field UMPIRES OUT OF THE GAME. The fact is Umpires are made to look very silly with the use of DRS. Umpires loose their composure after making a wrong call and you could clearly see that. In the past it was rare that one bad decision lead to another but now umpires are in a compensation mode. It is basically how a human brain reacts, Just like how a bowler tries to compensate his length bowling short after being hit for a four on over-pitching. So ICC should mark the above words, DRS or UMPIRES, you can have only one of them in 5 years from now !

Posted by Naumanmhm on (July 14, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

I think third Empire should have an active role in the game and if he sees a blunder like Dar/Broad, should intervene even if not referred to him. Also hotspot should be used as an additional support not the only deciding factor.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

Let's just get rid of the on field umpires while we're at it. The scorers can just work out if it is runs, byes, leg byes etc. We'll have a buzzer for a no ball, a siren for wides and the fielding side can just appeal directly to the TV umpire. For an umpire to refer to DRS then they have doubt about it, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the good old term "if in doubt, it's not out". The referral system definitely adds a good element to Test cricket and Australia have shown that if you purely do it tactically rather than based on the fact you're almost certain the umpire has it wrong, then you'll miss out when you need it.

Posted by mustaq.pradhan on (July 14, 2013, 21:17 GMT)

I would rather concentrate on the game more. Lets play.

Posted by Pierre_Oxford on (July 14, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

Wait a minute, so the umpires are meant to eliminate howlers by realising they might be wrong and referring it? That is a laughable concept - one would assume an umpire is fairly convinced of his decision when he gives a man out. The fact is that howlers aren't going to be solved by those who commit them! Either that, or every decision would be reviewed, which defeats the point of having an umpire. No, I like the system as it is.

Posted by currie_I_G on (July 14, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

This is a silly logic used by Ian Chappell. The present system of 2 referrals per innings and DRS only capable of overturning decisions which are not 50-50 is perfectly fine. The 3rd umpire in the 1st test Erasmus sucked big time. Get a proper TV umpire. Leaving DRS to the umpires without the captains given a chance to challenge is silly. The challenge system is working fine in tennis. Keep it as it is. Get better TV umpires.

Posted by Spofforth1877 on (July 14, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

This is new technology and the best way to implement it is still being found out. Hot spot, snicko and Hawkeye are great advances in the game as forensic tools for determining a player's guilt or innocence. The issue is the interpretation and admissibility of evidence it still too gray. If Hawkeye says its hitting the stumps it should be out. Tennis is a great example, no arguments from players even when the line is touched by a whisker because its black and white and fair to both sides. To preserve the concept of benefit of the doubt, if all three techs are employed during a referral then all should confirm dismissal to result in dismissal. If one fails to prove dismissal then the batsman stays in. Howlers. Why not empower umpires to ask batsmen if they hit the ball. If he says no he stays in. BUT if later its seen he clearly hit it and there is evidence to suggest he knew beyond reasonable doubt that he did hit it, then ban him from the next Test.

Posted by popcorn on (July 14, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

There is no reason why Aleem Dar could not have consulted the square leg umpire who had a clearer view,or the third umpire, if he felt he was unsighted by Brad Haddin's glove in the Stuart Broad case.I agree with Ian Chappell that the DRS should be in the hands of th umpires, not the players, and should be used by the umpires WITHOUT A CEILING ON THE NUMBER OF REVIEWS.Also, this Umpire's Decision holding good when a batsman or fielding side asks for a review of his decision in the case of an lbw is silly.If a ball is hitting a stump,WHICHEVER PART OF THE STUMP IT MAY BE,IT IS OUT. Ask Mark Waugh,if you don't know.He's the guy who gave us this simple home-truth.

Posted by Indian_Tiger on (July 14, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

Players are there to play Cricket, and not gamble with their luck. Ian Chappell is absolutely right in saying that responsibility of decision making, reviews, etc should be left to the umpiring folks. Last few years of this DRS will definitely go down as a dark patch in Cricketing history.

Posted by McGorium on (July 14, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

I agree with Chappell. The whole business of strategy when it comes to review is ridiculous. The purpose of DRS is not to provide a strategic advantage, but to correct errors in umpiring. When viewed in that light, limiting DRS usage to one unsuccessful appeal makes little sense. A team that loses an appeal simply because the broadcaster's cameras didn't have the adequate frame-rate, or didn't have the right angle is particularly robbed. If DRS takes too long, it's a flaw in DRS, and that needs to be fixed. Be fair, or don't use it at all. How can a captain predict that he'll get a bad decision rejected on the lack of evidence, and then lose out on another bad decision? THis isn't strategy, it's injustice. Chappell has a point that if DRS must be used, it should be done the way run-outs are handled. The umpire decides if an LBW decision requires to be referred to the 3rd ump. Or, have the ability to recall a batsman if DRS later finds he's not out. Why is that so hard?

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

Ian - Completely agree on Cook's lack of initiative during the Agar innings. He went by the way of modern captains to give the senior partner a single rather than get them out, which is ridiculous. Also agree on DRS - the initiative should be with the 3rd umpire to review all decisions and prevent the howler that Broad's was. I am not sure if Clarke was tactically superior in this match. His eagerness to squeeze a wicket out of DRS cost him dearly when he ran out of reviews when he most needed one. He is better off using DRS for what it is supposed to do - prevent howlers, so the onus is on captains just like it is on administrators. Australians criticizing Broad for not walking seems ironic - Symonds vs. India, Clarke vs. India and numerous other occasions when an Aussie stood his ground to make a significant contributions. What goes around comes around.

Posted by Wacco on (July 14, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

I agree 100% with Ian. The sole aim should be to make the right decision and not to test the judgement or strategy of the opposing captains in the process of helping to rectify the umpiring errors. This is ridiculous. If the TV umpire sees anything wrong then he should have the power to overrule on-field decisions .

Posted by RaadQ on (July 14, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

Absolutely disagree. First, it would pretty much remove the need for professional umpires. Literally anyone could umpire the games. Secondly, it waste time, and make the flow of the game a lot worse. Lastly, the Dar decision was a howler, the DRS is FOR HOWLERS, Clarke and other captains who use DRS selfishly/in hope should learn to use it for howlers, especially the last remaining one. In my opinion, instead of 2 correct decisions, only one should be given. This will make captains like Clarke who play around with DRS to use it for howlers...

Posted by seniorgators on (July 14, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

Mr Vigo 223

No sir, Chappeli would NOT be the first one to be jumping in his seat and criticizing if an Australian is given out by an on-field umpire without referring to the TV umpire. To say that shows your ignorance not only of the impartiality of the man and his love for the game at the expense of team bias but also his penchant for letting the umpires take control.

As for Clarke, you clearly have not played much cricket. The miniscule feather edge like that which was on Clarke's bat is often not felt by a batsmen. Why do you think Clarke referred it? He was risking Australia's last referral . Clearly he did not think he had hit it and if you were watching the TV coverage I saw, there was a hotspot mark on his bat from brushing the pad.

Posted by alexrdavies on (July 14, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

Chappell ignores that the umpires can already refer calls to the DRS. We saw this with Clarke's decision, when first the umpire judged (OUT); then the umpire referred him (OUT); and finally Clarke referred the decision (still OUT).

The reason Dar didn't refer Broad was that he didn't see the nick. If you haven't seen anything, why would you refer? And that's we can't leave things with the on-field umpire... you're still relying on one man's infalliability.

The system we have works fine, as long as you respect it. If you waste the crowd's time with spurious reviews, you may find you have none left when it matters.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

I totally disagree! Umpiring mistakes should have no role in deciding matches. It is crazy to think 50-50 decisions should be part of the game. Human error should be eliminated to the extent possible. A TV umpire should view all decisions. Instant Replays must be provided on a giant screen for all the spectators to see. This will avoid all glaring errors and possibly even minor errors.

But for the shameful Broad episode, it is entirely possible that Australia would have won the first test.

In this day and age, I see no need for on field umpires. They should all be in a TV booth.

Posted by APPRDI on (July 14, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

to an extent I agree with Mr Chappell. But also agree with people that too many reviews will stop the flaw of the game. Over the last six weeks have seen enough of DRS to see the positives and the negatives. Enough negatives to justify BCCI stance on this matter. Of course there is issue with DRS and a separate issue with Hot Spot.However, with few minor adjustments these can be overcome. In the long run DRS is here to stay and will only get better. Too improve the accuracy and fairness, I would bring in the following measures: 1. keep the limit to 2/3 three for LBW. But no limit on catches and other. Far more reviews are called for for leg before and very few for caught/run outs/stumpings. 2. During LBW cut out the grey areas. If any part of the ball is hitting the stumps than that should be out. Currently umpire's call is a lottery as it could be out or on the other hand it could be not out. A decision should be the same and correct regardless of which side has called for review.

Posted by Clyde on (July 14, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

Everyone except the umpire knew the batsman in question was out and the umpire could have done with his assistance. Some players give this assistance (it is not an infrequent occurrence that an umpire doesn't know) and some don't. The DRS can fill the gap and umpires should be able to use it any time they like. Good on you Chappell. I wonder, by the way, how it feels to bat on after you are out and who you talk to about it afterwards.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (July 14, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

Chappelli, you have been putting forward this argument for a few years now and I totally agree.

DRS should never be a tactic used by players in an attempt to overturn 50-50 umpiring decisions at critical moments of games.

Australian summer last year situations such as the Broad one happened to both S.A. and Sri Lanka, Australia was beneficiary of both howlers. These are not isolated incidents but are becoming more common and, as we saw in this test, whoever uses DRS better as a tactic can have a clear advantage in close games.

Posted by cloudmess on (July 14, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

He's a bit hard on Cook - Hughes/Agar was one of those freakishly brilliant/nothing-to-lose partnerships which can happen once in a while, and it can make any captain look impotent. It happened at times even to the great Aussie sides of recent years. It also seems a bit premature to suggest Clarke is the greater tactician - does this also apply to usage of the DRS? However agree about putting DRS solely into umpires' hands; never mind Michael Clarke, it's the umpires and officials who need to be trained in how to use the technology more intelligently. Umpires should be in charge of 50-50 decisions in the field, with only the glaring errors being overruled.

Posted by shillingsworth on (July 14, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

Reading this otherwise well argued piece, I was surprised that Chappell doesn't address the obvious objection to his solution - the time taken out of the game by multiple referrals.

Posted by RodStark on (July 14, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

Or don't allow anyone on the field to refer decisions, including the umpires. Require the on-field umpire to make his best effort at a decision. Instead allow the third umpire to intervene (quickly) when necessary. But I suppose that would lead to controversy too if the third umpire failed to intervene on a wrong decision.

Posted by vigo_223 on (July 14, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

Mr. Chappel,

Do you want each decision to be referred by the TV? You would be the first one to be jumping in your seat and criticizing if an Australian is given out by an on-field umpire without referring to the TV umpire.

I would rather propose exactly the opposite. Give only one unsuccessful review to the batting team for the entire test. The batsman knows if he's out or not, so he will not try to fool the system (like Clarke attempted yesterday and later defended with brushing the pad comment; when the bat was nowhere close to the pad). For the bowling team, it can be more relaxed because sometimes the bowling team genuinely feels it is out and can err; but then the current rule about marginal calls takes care of the errors.

Posted by RottPhiler on (July 14, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

I have long opposed the BCCI's opposition to the DRS as a completely lead-footed anachronistic refusal to accept new technology, but boy, this match has given them and their blind supporters plenty of ammunition. When other sports have embraced technology, in this day and age, it is only natural for cricket to do so as it improves the fan experience where they don't really have to blame human error. That being said the ICC is as lead-footed and inane in its approach of implementing restrictions on the use of technology like 2 unsuccessful referrals. That's akin to saying use the GPS to get to the city you want to visit, but not to your hotel. Its absurd. Granted, the law is in place to prevent indiscriminate use, and therefore I propose a pay to use system, wherein after exhausting the 2 unsuccessful reviews, a team can ask for unlimited additional reviews at a cost of 10 (or X) penalty runs per unsuccessful review. This would deter tactical or indiscriminate use, and eliminate howlers

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Despite all the legalistic arguments above, Broad hit it, the technology showed it and he was given not out. This decision cost Australia the test. You can go on forever about the flow of the game etc but this singular glaring error changed the Ashes as England go one up only having to draw the series. There is the power to fix it and the disagreers do not want to use that power.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 14, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

I agree with Chappell. Leave the DRS to umpires and NO they won't refer everything upstairs. They are human beings with common sense, most of the time anyway. They will perfectly use the technology to deal with howlers and nagging calls. Unlike when the captains use it more out of frustration and raw emotion. The DRS will then become a huge hit and INDIA will finally agree to use it.

Posted by brittop on (July 14, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

I have always thought that it would be a problem leaving the umpires in sole charge of DRS, because, as others have said, they would end up referring everything, since they would be afraid of getting one wrong. Didn't realise that it had been tried in Australian domestic cricket. If, as people are saying, it was abandoned as a failure, then that seems a good reason not to go down that route.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

After introduction of technology in cricket, respect for umpires has been gone done. Everyone forget umpires too are human beings and they cannot be all the time correct. The role of technology must be in such a way that no player is given out in unfair manner. But there will be some decisions even sometimes DRS,etc won't be 100 percent accurate, so, a player must accept and go on instead of complaining. Agar innings did surprise the world, no one expected that he will score a big knock but I do not agree that Clarke is better captain than cook. It was just that one good innings from Agar came because he took the risk and done something amazing and credit cannot be given to Clarke and it is nothing to do with captaincy. Sometimes top order fails and suddenly from no where a tailender will come and hit a ton like a top order batsmen. It will just happen once not all the time. Cook has done whatever he can.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

On some occasions, Steve Bucknor had made the wrong decisions on run outs and stumpings, but he refused to refer. Referrals would have overturned Bucknor's decisions. So you can't solely rely on umpires to make referrals.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (July 14, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Beg to disagree with IC on topic of who has power to exercise the right of a DRS referral -the ump, or the player/captain /bowler. DRS as it is working well for as long as has been implemented in Tests. The efficiency and percentage of correct decisions made - or bad on field call /howlers made to overturn, whichever way you look at it - has progressively gone up over time and as it stands now, it is more than achieving its main purpose, I.e, rid the game of howlers and at a rate of about 98 p.c as said by ICC, a clear 4-5 p.c up on about 93 p.c the umps get on avg. These 5 p.c are some of the most crucial, game changing 1s which before DRS made those umps the villain of the piece and subject to the contempt of the suffering team and its fans, media. The issue gets most blown out when the teams/series is high profile, e.g the Ashes. The game is much fairer with the DRS in play and high time to rid rigid stance by certain Ckt Bs resisting DRS. As to it not 100 p.c, nor are humans!

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 10:56 GMT)

Do not agree with Chappell here. See what happens in case of run outs and stumpings these days. Even if the umpire can see that if a batsman is out by half a mile, still umpires refers it to the third upmire just to be sure. Likewise, if DRS is at the discretion of the upmire, umpire will refer DRS even for plumb outs. Further, if the umpire makes a mistake of not using the DRS where he should have, again he would be under radar. The decision of the upmires at the ground adds to the drama, flow of the game when it is intense, and the charm of human error...Leave things as it is IMO.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

They tried this in the Australian domestic 50 over competition and it was such a failure, they had to abandon the idea half way through! Would be a truly terrible idea. Sessions with 20 overs bowled and bored spectators!

Posted by Cobra0077 on (July 14, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

I think the best technology available should be used to help decision making of the umpires. Having said that, I have noticed in the last few years that most of the umpires are reluctant to make close calls & actually many more calls that are not even close which a person with a good eye and knowledge of the game can call by just watching the internet streams. Many easy calls on run out & stumping are immediately being referred to the 3rd umpire. If others feel the same, then where are we going, are the umpires afraid to make calls which may be found wrong by DRS or are the current umpires not just up to the standard or is politics playing part here with some countries wanting new technology & some not wanting it. We know that technology can be manipulated, because there were times when one was sure that the ball was hitting the stumps(in LBW's) and then the review shows the ball is missing by quite a bit.Question is if corruption is involved then we will end up going in reverse.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

I entirely agree with Ian Chappell on the DRS question. The third umpire should be able to intervene to prevent bloomers! And the onfield umpires to refer decisions they feel they can't make themselves - with the presumption that they will make decisions themselves unless in real doubt.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 14, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

Current DRS workflow is flawed. It should be like this. Field umpire should refer something they did not see properly and they can refer. But not every decision. More decision they refer more money should deducted from their salary. So in order to fix bad decisions third umpire can make their decision. Sometime 3rd umpire can be sleeping , so coches can appeal. One of advantage of coaches appeal is that it won't stop the game flow until appeal is accepted. As long as next ball is not bowled , to stop the bowler from bowling stumps color can change or the bowlers line can have LED light show stop . appeal process is going. There are many ways to implement that. Players appeal is not gona improve decision accuracy instead it gets worse. Thats whats happening. ICC has incompetent people as technical team. I could design better DRS that can remove all howlers. Technology should not be sole part of DRS. Bad idea. Only slow motion camera others should be just for entertainment.

Posted by bobmartin on (July 14, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

Pre-replays and DRS ... run outs and stumpings were given by the umpires... Some were wrong.. but nearly all were right and nobody complained.. Now it is a rarity for an umpire to give such a decision without going upstairs...Time Out. Again, pre TV.. boundaries were in the on-field umpires hands.. very few if any complaints.. Now we have endless replays just to decide what normally boils down to a difference of 1 run.. Time Out.. Pre-TV.. contentious catches were decided by the on field umpires in consultation.. again very few complaints... Now they are referred upstairs... Time Out.. I guess you can see where I'm going here..Leave things as they are.. we already have enough time wasted in the game as it is.. without adding any more....

Posted by DesPlatt on (July 14, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Inclined to agree with James Ashforth that umpires would refer almost everything . Nevertheless, found Ian Chappell's view very interesting ; for years have thought him the most interesting thinker on the game and in particular, his insights into captaincy are always fascinating. Despite Clarke being the more inventive skipper, both Strauss and Cook have been better at DRS because they refer by committee.

Posted by getsetgopk on (July 14, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

"The DRS should always be the sole responsibility of the cricket boards; they should pay for and operate everything that's required for the decision-making process." hmm, its a great idea but it aint practical. For each board to take ownership of the technology? There are only two companies for ball tracking, hawkeye and virtualeye and I guess just one company that provides hotspot facility. Some of the cameras used in hotspot are military grade equipment so no, nobody can take ownership of that one. And as for ball tracking, I dont think these two companies will just wash their hands off their product and allow someone to take its ownership and even if they do, its gona cost individual boards loads of dollars and btw, if a technician of home broadcaster can have a bad day, so can a technician employed by a board. Both humans at the end of the day. Good thing is that every technology needs time to mature so might just wait a little longer to be foolproof.

Posted by Playfair on (July 14, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

The guidelines and laws that DRS is governed by are flawed. More so in the adjudication of LBW decisions and thats where all the confusion lies. My problem is with the on field umpires decision

Posted by fredfertang on (July 14, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

One day, probably not too long in the future, the technology will produce an instant decision - at that point you can abolish the limit on referrals and have as many as you like without slowing the game down very much. But until then you'd just have fielders trying to persuade umpires in two steps rather than one. That said to deal with the Broad type incident I do think that, once the two have been used, the third umpire should have the right/ability to intervene if, in his sole discretion, he feels it is warranted

Posted by Inspector_Clouseau on (July 14, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

@Geoffrey Anthony Plumridge, such behavior by batsmen can be easily discouraged by punishing them just the way it is done for showing dissent.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 14, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

I think this may be kind of knee jerk. I'd say with a system of umpires referring anything they're not 100% sure about would lead to alot of start/stop stuff. I'm sure umpires are very wary of their performances and would be referring too many decisions in case they get one or 2 wrong. I mean how bad would it look if they didn't refer one which was incorrect. Maybe you could have the 3rd umpire overruling any obvious decisions but you still get the when does grey become black or white decision. I think this was one of the worst decs I've seen but let's not also forget that pre DRS you'd have had the same result/decision and it also teaches a side to be more careful with reviews

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

Whilst the idea of putting DRS is very attractive the reality is that umpire are human and we've already seen umpires start to use reviewing to check for the front foot no ball and run outs far more than they used. This is not necessarily because they doubt their judgement but they know what will happen if the broadcaster replays it and they've made the wrong decision and haven't checked. If DRS is put in the hands of the umpires then more and more decisions will be reviewed undermining the umpire to the point that all decisions will be questioned by the players regardless of merit of an appeal. This has already been seen in T20 where umpires are subject to harassment if they don't refer run outs and stumpings for TV review

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

People asking for changes in the DRS shows that the system is still imperfect!..and hence makes the decisions of few Boards of not using it - credible!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 14, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

Hmm. Lots to take on here - a full menu! I'll do captaincy, thanks. Cook v Clarke. I'd agree with you, Ian, that Clarke is more savvy & so is likely to try different & interesting ideas. But Cook is beginning to learn & his introduction of Root just before tea, whilst hardly a new ruse, shows some degree of flexibility. The demeanour/facial expression/ body language of each on the field also becomes important at crunch times. Clarke makes assertive movements - waves his arms to some purpose. Cook tends to move fielders more tentatively with smaller gestures, after a committee meeting. It's my opinion that Cook goes on to the field, session by session with his plan in his head & he doesn't cope too well if things don't go according to. Clarke, I think, has a set of guidelines, subject to constant revision, responding to the evolving situation. But Clarke is much the most experienced Test player on his side,& Cook has others with vast experience round him - captaincy by committee, prhps?

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

It works very well in rugby, there's very little of that: "It was the Ref!" anymore. Everyone's got used to it. It's how the game is now played. TV is now the medium through which sport is observed and with that level of spectator scrutiny possible (e.g. slow mo replay) which the umpire does not have at his disposal, the use of technology is not only logical it's imperative.

Posted by aus_trad on (July 14, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

Totally agree with Chappelli. IMO the DRS technology works well, but is being used improperly. Firstly: the rhetoric has always been that DRS is there to "eliminate the howler". In practice, the majority of times a decision is overturned, it is a "line ball" decision which really could have stood without anyone complaining too much (the Phil Hughes dismissal last night was a classic example). Secondly: human nature is such that if a system can be cynically exploited, it will be, and this is what happens with DRS a lot of the time. The answer is to put the technology at the service of the umpires, to help them to get it right in the first place, instead of the ludicrous situation where people with vested interests (players!) have the ability to manipulate the system to suit themselves. Of course no solution is perfect, and a certain amount of tweaking would be necessary to get it right: but it's the only way to go.

Posted by mango88 on (July 14, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

It's funny to hear Chappell harp on about fairness after Australia are on the wrong end of a decision or two - didn't hear him being so outspoken when the third umpire overruled the Trott on-field decision without having access to all views because of 'technical error' or when Agar was reprieved on 6. The current system is pretty good and can prevent howlers, except now the players try to game the system. But when you try to game the system as Australia did, you can loose out.

Posted by fahad_pakistani on (July 14, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Another great article by the finest cricketing brain under the sun, Ian chappell. A man who truly knows the value of dotting his i's and crossing his t's

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (July 14, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

Cricket is a game between players not between players and umpires. Therefore DRS is a must with all the human error.You may argue that the DRS is operated by a Humans but DRS manages to narrow the spectrum down so there will be no doubts in the decision which 3rd umpire will take. A Better way is to have 2 or 3 third umpires. Thus the decisions will become more accurate.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

I agree with this completely.DRS should be removed from player's hands.

Posted by Sticky_Dog on (July 14, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

I very much agree with Chappelli's position DRS. Leave it in the hands of the umpires to use the technology as they best see fit and keep the players out of it. Challenging the decision of the on-field umpires is contrary to the spirit of the game!

Posted by jango_moh on (July 14, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

agree with this totally!!! use the third umpire for all howlers!!! and leave the LBW to the onfield umpire's discretion, we need that human element where technology does not take part... the ball tracking system is a farce anyway... it does not take the pitch into consideration!!!

Posted by pereirapet on (July 14, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

Re Glen1. I believe India has already requested that this occur (sans Hawkeye). I suspect this may be the reason the rest of the cricket world opposes this move. I agree with this article. Every delivery deserves the opportunity for a fair battle between leather and willow (Not just the first 2 per side per innings). The umpires should be provided every means of making the right decision, the technology exists. Thus empowering their authority rather than the current system than undermines their central role.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

Disagree totally. They tried this system in domestic odi cricket in Australia and it was a farce. Batsman stood there for minutes after every decision (or walked really slowly back to the pavilion) waiting/hoping for their out decision to be overturned. The game quickly turned into a joke. Leave the decisions with the on-field umpires and give each captain ONE referral per innings to avoid the speculator and leave it just for the pure howler.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 3:42 GMT)

Although I have serious doubts about the accuracy of Hawk Eye and HotSpot... it still makes more sense to have the DRS authority in the hands of the Third Umpire who can overturn glaring errors by an umpire.

This will ensure the marginal decisions stay as I believe the onfield umpire is a better judge than a camera. Also it will ensure the game moves faster and not all decisions are reviewed.

Posted by VishnuTheAlmighty on (July 14, 2013, 3:03 GMT)

I just cannot agree to this. There was a time when umpires gave run outs but now even if all the players on the field know that the batsman is out (including himself who wants to go back to the comfort of the dressing room), the umpire uses the third umpire. The game would become too boring. In terms of strategy and points of discussion after the game, the present format of the rules gives such a lot to both the players, the 'pundits' and fans like us. Otherwise we would have to totally abolish umpires and make an automated system give out no-balls (like tennis lets on serve) and hawk-eye for lbws, hot-spot or other technology for catches.

Posted by glen1 on (July 14, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

If DRS is put in the hands of the umpires, we will have a more civilized game, and possibly even India will fall in line. Ian Chappell has a very good point; umpires should run the show.

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Ian ChappellClose
Ian Chappell Widely regarded as the best Australian captain of the last 50 years, Ian Chappell moulded a team in his image: tough, positive, and fearless. Even though Chappell sometimes risked defeat playing for a win, Australia did not lose a Test series under him between 1971 and 1975. He was an aggressive batsman himself, always ready to hook a bouncer and unafraid to use his feet against the spinners. In 1977 he played a lead role in the defection of a number of Australian players to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which did not endear him to the administrators, who he regarded with contempt in any case. After retirement, he made an easy switch to television, where he has come to be known as a trenchant and fiercely independent voice.

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