New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd Test, Wellington, 1st day March 23, 2012

New Zealand 'pretty confident' of Smith dismissal - Bracewell

37

Doug Bracewell is convinced Graeme Smith's dismissal on day one of the Wellington Test was correct, despite DRS replays casting doubt over whether Smith had edged the ball. Umpire Aleem Dar adjudged that Smith had got an inside edge off Bracewell and was caught behind but Smith reviewed the decision after consultation with his opening partner Alviro Petersen.

Although Hot Spot did not give any indication that contact had been made between bat and ball, with no white mark visible, Billy Doctrove upheld the on-field call. However, ESPNcricinfo understands that a noise heard on the footage of the dismissal came two frames before the ball passed the bat, casting further doubt over the decision.

Despite the uncertainty, South Africa's assistant coach Russell Domingo played down the controversy, saying it was something his camp would "not lose too much sleep over", and will not seek further clarification on.

"The players all know the umpire's decision is final and no matter how much you scream and shout or disagree with it, it is not going to change it," Domingo said. "I think there is a little bit of understanding that the technology is there to eliminate the howler. It wasn't blatantly obvious that he didn't nick the ball."

Smith kept his emotions in check when he was given his marching orders. Although he did shake his head, he did not show any aggressive signs of dissent. "I think he was more disappointed with the stroke he played," Domingo said. "I suppose all batters are unhappy when they get out and will vent some frustration, but it was nothing untoward."

New Zealand remain certain that Smith had edged the ball. "All the boys were pretty confident they heard a noise behind the wicket," Bracewell said. "I saw a little bit of deviation. It was a little bit of a tough one because Hot Spot didn't give much away. It was one of those decisions that was pretty tough to call."

DRS has come under scrutiny twice before in this series. In Dunedin, both Bracewell and Jacques Kallis questioned the legitimacy of ball-tracking. Kallis said "99% of cricketers" were not convinced that ball-tracking was as accurate as officials want them to believe, prompting Virtual Eye inventor Ian Taylor to threaten to withdraw his services from the series.

In Hamilton, Taylor admitted that Virtual Eye had made a mistake in their data capturing with regard to the dismissal of Ross Taylor. The New Zealand captain was struck on the full by a Dale Steyn delivery that Virtual Eye showed would bend back to take out middle and leg. Taylor explained that the predictive path can sometimes be incorrect because of the failure to capture enough data. He urged umpires to overrule the DRS if necessary and make more decisions based on their own discretion.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 24, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    see! technology and the third umpire is just a waste in such cases. I think the field umpire(s) should be given a tablet or laptop with the technology to see if they want to clarify the decision rather than have a third person who is not even on the scene to make the decision. I say the same should be done in the case of an lbw. The field umpires should have the chance to review a the replay and change or uphold their decision. For lbws, just have the umpire check for no ball, line, height and its predicted path (if possible) and decide accordingly. No need to have reviews. The video replay in Smith's case was very clear that he did not nick it but I am surprised that he was given out. Change this DRS system please. Give the field umpires a little but more freedom of their opinion and instead of correcting a decision, make a right one by looking at the review like in most other sports.

  • xylo on March 24, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    gee... a frame before the ball passed the bat? and if it passed, a rocket would have launched that would have sent a satellite into orbit that would prevent all natural disasters? if you want to scrutinise umpires to a hair's breadth, you must be insane! Smith showed the way to other batsmen about what you got to do when these things do not go your way. peace!

  • on March 23, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    Maybe it's time Darryl Harper made a comeback. If the umpire can't see a TV monitor under his nose properly, where do they get these people......

  • Ra_Thore on March 23, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    Mr Aleem Darr needed a coffee and 3rd umpire needed a glasses.

  • mabless on March 23, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    @SafferBob you're right mate, every1 must just allow NZ to enjoy whatever little piece of joy their gonna have. knowing that they are up against it, they need such things to happen in their favor if they want to atleast not loose within three days again. Not much joy is heading the way of NZ in the next few days. Petersen does not look like his going anywhere, JP knows only a big score will do interms of enhancing his chances in the future. SA will post 480, bundle out NZ for a sub 200 score again, ENFORCE the "follow-on" on them, brush them aside for below 200 for the forth time in a row to win by an innings and all of this within the next two days. From a NZ perspective however, they'll be hoping rain continues to hamper the progress of this test match. that way they can be able to drag it to the last day where, even if their chasing a very big second innings score, they can defend for a draw like INDIA did when they visited SA last season. 1-0 won't be that bad for NZ!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 23, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    DRS has been great for the game and needs to stay. The problem is human error in judgement. DRS says Smith was not out, all the New Zealand commentators say Smith was not out. Blake must have been watching another game as he says it's out! There is clear daylight between bat and ball + no ball deviation! noise is before ball passes the bat, but not available to umpires. Pls get ur facts right or watch the highlights

    Anyway DRS has reversed so many poor decisions it has to stay. Interpretation needs to improve.

  • Swaer on March 23, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    Here's something interesting: other reports are different to Blake's understanding in that 1. The noise occurred before the ball passed the bat and 2. There was daylight between bat and ball. If wall-eyed NZ commentators can make a comment like that, then I think it likely that it did miss the bat. Just shows how differently it can be seen by different people, so why should the umpires be different...erm. I didn't see it at all so depend on the commentators and the wise comments in these posts, but it doesn't sound good.

  • SalmanHaider on March 23, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    DRS = Dar Review System. Case closed. Let's move on and let Kiwis enjoy the wicket. People really need to enjoy the game...can't believe how much attention this stuff gets. There is enough empirical evidence showing how top umpires are very good when compared to DRS. (Even premier league football in UK can't manage goal-line technology due to unknown reasons...money, influence, etc, or retaining some human interaction necessary... who knows...)

  • on March 23, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Both wickets taken were NOT OUT. Amla's rash shot was off a no-ball - the bowler's foot clearly going over the side crease line. Seems the Kiwis are desperate to win this one. First test match where benefit of the doubt keeps going to the bowling side. Don't worry, when SA bowls, benefit of the doubt will resume back to being with the batsmen. The idea of technology is to prove the batsman is out upon review. If the technology shows this is not the case - it amazes me that a decision can simply be upheld because the bowling side had a good feeling about it. The point of technology being a benefit is mute. Good feelings still rule the roost...

  • BellCurve on March 23, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    @biggyd - Clearly you don't play cricket yourself. Or maybe you do but bat like Crhis Martin.

  • on March 24, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    see! technology and the third umpire is just a waste in such cases. I think the field umpire(s) should be given a tablet or laptop with the technology to see if they want to clarify the decision rather than have a third person who is not even on the scene to make the decision. I say the same should be done in the case of an lbw. The field umpires should have the chance to review a the replay and change or uphold their decision. For lbws, just have the umpire check for no ball, line, height and its predicted path (if possible) and decide accordingly. No need to have reviews. The video replay in Smith's case was very clear that he did not nick it but I am surprised that he was given out. Change this DRS system please. Give the field umpires a little but more freedom of their opinion and instead of correcting a decision, make a right one by looking at the review like in most other sports.

  • xylo on March 24, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    gee... a frame before the ball passed the bat? and if it passed, a rocket would have launched that would have sent a satellite into orbit that would prevent all natural disasters? if you want to scrutinise umpires to a hair's breadth, you must be insane! Smith showed the way to other batsmen about what you got to do when these things do not go your way. peace!

  • on March 23, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    Maybe it's time Darryl Harper made a comeback. If the umpire can't see a TV monitor under his nose properly, where do they get these people......

  • Ra_Thore on March 23, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    Mr Aleem Darr needed a coffee and 3rd umpire needed a glasses.

  • mabless on March 23, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    @SafferBob you're right mate, every1 must just allow NZ to enjoy whatever little piece of joy their gonna have. knowing that they are up against it, they need such things to happen in their favor if they want to atleast not loose within three days again. Not much joy is heading the way of NZ in the next few days. Petersen does not look like his going anywhere, JP knows only a big score will do interms of enhancing his chances in the future. SA will post 480, bundle out NZ for a sub 200 score again, ENFORCE the "follow-on" on them, brush them aside for below 200 for the forth time in a row to win by an innings and all of this within the next two days. From a NZ perspective however, they'll be hoping rain continues to hamper the progress of this test match. that way they can be able to drag it to the last day where, even if their chasing a very big second innings score, they can defend for a draw like INDIA did when they visited SA last season. 1-0 won't be that bad for NZ!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 23, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    DRS has been great for the game and needs to stay. The problem is human error in judgement. DRS says Smith was not out, all the New Zealand commentators say Smith was not out. Blake must have been watching another game as he says it's out! There is clear daylight between bat and ball + no ball deviation! noise is before ball passes the bat, but not available to umpires. Pls get ur facts right or watch the highlights

    Anyway DRS has reversed so many poor decisions it has to stay. Interpretation needs to improve.

  • Swaer on March 23, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    Here's something interesting: other reports are different to Blake's understanding in that 1. The noise occurred before the ball passed the bat and 2. There was daylight between bat and ball. If wall-eyed NZ commentators can make a comment like that, then I think it likely that it did miss the bat. Just shows how differently it can be seen by different people, so why should the umpires be different...erm. I didn't see it at all so depend on the commentators and the wise comments in these posts, but it doesn't sound good.

  • SalmanHaider on March 23, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    DRS = Dar Review System. Case closed. Let's move on and let Kiwis enjoy the wicket. People really need to enjoy the game...can't believe how much attention this stuff gets. There is enough empirical evidence showing how top umpires are very good when compared to DRS. (Even premier league football in UK can't manage goal-line technology due to unknown reasons...money, influence, etc, or retaining some human interaction necessary... who knows...)

  • on March 23, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Both wickets taken were NOT OUT. Amla's rash shot was off a no-ball - the bowler's foot clearly going over the side crease line. Seems the Kiwis are desperate to win this one. First test match where benefit of the doubt keeps going to the bowling side. Don't worry, when SA bowls, benefit of the doubt will resume back to being with the batsmen. The idea of technology is to prove the batsman is out upon review. If the technology shows this is not the case - it amazes me that a decision can simply be upheld because the bowling side had a good feeling about it. The point of technology being a benefit is mute. Good feelings still rule the roost...

  • BellCurve on March 23, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    @biggyd - Clearly you don't play cricket yourself. Or maybe you do but bat like Crhis Martin.

  • actonr on March 23, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    #biggyd...not sure you are right mate. Smith can clearly be seen asking Pieterson what made that noise? He didnt think he hit it, but obviosuly heard the noise himself and wondered. Anyone who has ever played the game at a reasonable level will know that sometimes, the faintest of touches arent obvious and its only the noise that gives it away. I dont know of any batsmen yet who has nicked it and gone for a review...that would just be silly and reveal him as a cheat. I personally dont think he hit it even before snicko confirmed he didnt. Having said that, as annoying as the decision was, there wasnt clear evidence he DIDNT hit it so the decision was right. I think DRS adds more to the game than it takes away. There is work to be done but to say we have gone backwards I think is doing the technology a disservice. I think more correct decisions have been given more often with DRS than without it. I think even the BCCI would admit that. :-)

  • samincolumbia on March 23, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    The irony is that had there been no technology, there would have been no controversy!! LOL. BCCI got it right this time!!

  • on March 23, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    One thing they should add to help the third umpire is snicko, according to SkySports, they're not allowed to use it to review a decision. In my book that is crazy! It was the first technological aid in cricket and combine that with hotspot you can tell when the noise was and if it was on the bat.

    SkySports showed snicko for Smith's dismissal to the viewers and as the artilce says it was 2 frames ahead of the bat and clear daylight between bat and ball. Wrong decision but credit to Smith for taking it like he did.Should be rectified for future Tests/ Series

  • Rally_Windies on March 23, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Ball tracking , after the ball hits the pad IS inaccurate ....

    DSR can be 100% sure of

    (1) over stepping No Balls (2) The ball Pitching in line with the stumps (3) The ball hitting the batsman in line with the stumps (4) Height no Balls

    Judging the path of the ball after it hits the pad should be left to the umpires - People have bowled directly to the keeper and showed that the DSR predicted path varies considerably from the actual path of the ball....

    ...... Edges will always be missed unless your cameras capture 1000 frames per second.

    there was an incident when Chanderpaul edged one and walked, but all the replays on TV showed nothing... no edge, no clear sound (it was muffled, not a spike), on sicko, no hotspot.... But in an interview after, Chander's confirmed he nicked it

  • indianzen on March 23, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    inst BCCI awesome to have foreseen all such nonsenses and call for no DRS in matches? thank you Srinivasan and Shrikanth... Tamils Rock...

  • MrBrightside92 on March 23, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    Woke up this morning, saw the headline and thought, more evidence for the detractors to have a dig at DRS. Then I read about the incident and it's a non issue...replays inconclusive, umpire maintains his decision! Agree with the criticism of the Swanns comments, whinging about Parrera...what happens on the field, stays on the field..the appropriate authorities can take action if they wish...I'm sure Flower's had a word! Well battled the saffers though it puts Australia's test loss to the Kiwis into even greater context...

  • Andre117 on March 23, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    Hotspot shows nothing so it's not out. What's the point of using "technology" if you're going to ignore it when it suits you?

    I can't tell you how many times I've seen prodigious swing after the ball has passed the bat even when there was daylight between bat and ball. It's called "swing".

  • Zahidsaltin on March 23, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    VIRTUAL EYES DATA CAPTURING MISTAKE has cost Pakistan the semifinal in the worldcup. Tandulkar was declared not out due to faulty ball tracking based upon limited data capturing

  • BillyCC on March 23, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    All of the technologies available in the DRS are about 90% accurate and no one can scientifically claim anything higher after what we have seen in the past few years. Hot Spot, Virtual Eye, Hawk Eye, Snicko etc. are all capable of getting decisions wrong. I don't care so much about the 90% accuracy, umpires probably also get 9 out of every 10 decisions right too. But sometimes, the one they get wrong is the blatant error which is when the technology has 100% accuracy. The technology should always spot the blatant error eg. hitting outside leg, big gap between bat and ball for a caught behind, etc. And sometimes, the technology has only 50% accuracy, like in the cases described in the article where not enough data is captured. This averages to the 90% over the long term, which is similar to an umpire.

  • on March 23, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    Doctrove's decision is typical of what Dhoni desribed famously as, "adultration of technology with human judgement"

  • on March 23, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Here are two diametrically opposite WRONG decisions using technology: 1. HOTSPOT: Even if the ball has graced the bat (really out), the contact has to impact ADEQUATE pressure to leave a mark. Actually snicked, but hotspot may say NO. 2. SNICKO: The ball has NOT snicked the bat. But the frictional force of moving air in between moving bat and speeding ball will show up as vibrations (like two aircrafts flying in opposite directions, not too far of from each other, giving 'chilling' vibrations to the passengers in both the crafts (which I had personally experienced, years ago). Technology will again rule wrongly: OUT -- seeing the vibrationary signage! What a shame in both the cases.

  • on March 23, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    @Clint_ZA: Those comments were made by Ross Taylor (NZ Skipper) not by the inventor of Virtual eye.. :)

  • burner1985 on March 23, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Agree with bigyd. I did not see the incident but after reading the article wondered why he would consult his partner on the other end on a nick? It's understandable if it was a leg-before. So clearly he must have nicked it or had doubt in his mind as well.

  • dh.aswani on March 23, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    seems, more and more player would agree with ( in their own words ) RICH BOARD AND PLAYERS, they just don't want to accept it bcz they are realising too late which rich board experienced in their first game,,, DRS HAS PROVED there hv been always controversial decissions more than once in every series. its to improvise human mistakes but how to do when Technology is lacking of its accurancy...

  • SafferBob on March 23, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    Smith is not crying about the incident, why is everyone complaining? At least it gave New Zealand some joy as they will not be experiencing much more of it in this test.

  • biggyd on March 23, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    he knew he nicked it, that's why he didn't throw a tantrum. c'mon it's the biff. if he hadn't nicked it, he would've gone straight for the review - not ask peterson first...

  • on March 23, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Half the time, we find that the umpires don't know how to use the evidence provided by the DRS and make poor decisions...and then lo and behold - people start blaming the technology for everything! Whatever said and done, the truth will always be that technology is *more* accurate than any human. The problem is with ICC hiring incompetent umpires. How many umpires wait till a wicket has fallen to go back and check a no-ball? They just don't know how to do their job and most don't know how interpret technical evidence. I know umpiring is a tough job (I have done it as well) but when technology is present, please learn how to use it knowledgeably! They are being paid extremely well to do this!

  • Highflyer_GP on March 23, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Obviously NZ are confident about the decision being correct, they need every little bit of help they can get!

  • on March 23, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Look, if they do as Taylor suggests "Taylor explained that the predictive path can sometimes be incorrect because of the failure to capture enough data. He urged umpires to overrule the DRS if necessary and make more decisions based on their own discretion." And basically give the umpires the ability to overrule, why bother having it at all? Go back to the old ways, thats one. And two, if we, the viewers see a blatant edge on hot spot but the umpire "overrule the DRS if necessary and make more decisions based on their own discretion" then us viewer will think What the heck is going on??? And we will mindge even more, i think the whole cricketing world must pick 1 way to do it and STICK with it

  • shillingsworth on March 23, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    @Clint_ZA - What he actually said was that umpires should be told if the screen showing the predicted path was potentially unreliable. In the particular incident, the predicted path was based on data from only two of the four cameras. Like any other technology, Virtual Eye is only as good as the data input.

  • on March 23, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    Hot spot is 'pretty confident' you are wrong.

  • on March 23, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    @ Blake EXACTLY. The umpires aren't stupid, They saw the event with their own eyes, then again in slo-mo - then again with snicko and hotspot. At the end of the day - with all that evidence THEY decide - and they decided he was out. End of story.

  • on March 23, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    They use the technology to find conclusive proof that the decision is incorrect. If conclusive proof is not found the umpires decision stands. The umpires still makes the primary decision.

    The ball made a noise exactly (with the technology available) when the ball passed the bat, no gap can be seen between the ball and bat and the ball looked to deviate. Therefore there is not enough proof that the decision is wrong.

    Had it been given out then it would have stayed out, as there is not enough proof that he is out, as hot spot did not show contact with the bat.

    The point of the technology is remove cleary incorrect decisions!!!

  • satish619chandar on March 23, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    This is the real real problem with the DRS.. Please draw a line where to check the decision.. Is hotspot the main tool or the mike? There was a bit deviation too but nothing in hotspot.. It is almost similar to the Strauss decision against Pakistan.. Both the occasions, the batsmen caled for review as they never felt the edge.. And, both are quite well experienced guys too.. Atleast the common sense prevailed when umpire took the correct decision inspite of howler from hotspot.. Some nations still stick with DRS though they are still not convinced by it.. Are they pressurised by certain forces to stick with DRS to prove something to ONE rich board?

  • Clint_ZA on March 23, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    "He urged umpires to overrule the DRS if necessary and make more decisions based on their own discretion" - Seems like a silly thing for the inventor of virtual eye to say. Why even use it then?! Comments like that undermine the whole idea behind the use of technology and result in a decision like we had today with Smith. Extremely proud of the South Africans for the way they have reacted to this though. I know more than one nation that would have been throwing their toys out of the cot about this.

  • ProteaMan on March 23, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    You'll get dubious decisions in all sport. Nothing will ever be always right all of the time. I don't think in today's professional sport any umpire, referee or "technical device" will blatantly make a call which he/she knows is wrong. So........take it as part of the game and get on with the game. Sorry to say, but the Poms still find this hard to do. Always "blame it on the ref stuff!"

  • anuradha_d on March 23, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    "despite a review from the batsman, and Hot Spot showing nothing, Dar's decision was upheld. .......it's still very very discretionary

    in fact DRS should be renamed Discretionary Result System

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  • anuradha_d on March 23, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    "despite a review from the batsman, and Hot Spot showing nothing, Dar's decision was upheld. .......it's still very very discretionary

    in fact DRS should be renamed Discretionary Result System

  • ProteaMan on March 23, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    You'll get dubious decisions in all sport. Nothing will ever be always right all of the time. I don't think in today's professional sport any umpire, referee or "technical device" will blatantly make a call which he/she knows is wrong. So........take it as part of the game and get on with the game. Sorry to say, but the Poms still find this hard to do. Always "blame it on the ref stuff!"

  • Clint_ZA on March 23, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    "He urged umpires to overrule the DRS if necessary and make more decisions based on their own discretion" - Seems like a silly thing for the inventor of virtual eye to say. Why even use it then?! Comments like that undermine the whole idea behind the use of technology and result in a decision like we had today with Smith. Extremely proud of the South Africans for the way they have reacted to this though. I know more than one nation that would have been throwing their toys out of the cot about this.

  • satish619chandar on March 23, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    This is the real real problem with the DRS.. Please draw a line where to check the decision.. Is hotspot the main tool or the mike? There was a bit deviation too but nothing in hotspot.. It is almost similar to the Strauss decision against Pakistan.. Both the occasions, the batsmen caled for review as they never felt the edge.. And, both are quite well experienced guys too.. Atleast the common sense prevailed when umpire took the correct decision inspite of howler from hotspot.. Some nations still stick with DRS though they are still not convinced by it.. Are they pressurised by certain forces to stick with DRS to prove something to ONE rich board?

  • on March 23, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    They use the technology to find conclusive proof that the decision is incorrect. If conclusive proof is not found the umpires decision stands. The umpires still makes the primary decision.

    The ball made a noise exactly (with the technology available) when the ball passed the bat, no gap can be seen between the ball and bat and the ball looked to deviate. Therefore there is not enough proof that the decision is wrong.

    Had it been given out then it would have stayed out, as there is not enough proof that he is out, as hot spot did not show contact with the bat.

    The point of the technology is remove cleary incorrect decisions!!!

  • on March 23, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    @ Blake EXACTLY. The umpires aren't stupid, They saw the event with their own eyes, then again in slo-mo - then again with snicko and hotspot. At the end of the day - with all that evidence THEY decide - and they decided he was out. End of story.

  • on March 23, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    Hot spot is 'pretty confident' you are wrong.

  • shillingsworth on March 23, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    @Clint_ZA - What he actually said was that umpires should be told if the screen showing the predicted path was potentially unreliable. In the particular incident, the predicted path was based on data from only two of the four cameras. Like any other technology, Virtual Eye is only as good as the data input.

  • on March 23, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Look, if they do as Taylor suggests "Taylor explained that the predictive path can sometimes be incorrect because of the failure to capture enough data. He urged umpires to overrule the DRS if necessary and make more decisions based on their own discretion." And basically give the umpires the ability to overrule, why bother having it at all? Go back to the old ways, thats one. And two, if we, the viewers see a blatant edge on hot spot but the umpire "overrule the DRS if necessary and make more decisions based on their own discretion" then us viewer will think What the heck is going on??? And we will mindge even more, i think the whole cricketing world must pick 1 way to do it and STICK with it

  • Highflyer_GP on March 23, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Obviously NZ are confident about the decision being correct, they need every little bit of help they can get!