South Africa v England, 4th Test, Johannesburg, 2nd day January 15, 2010

Harper howlers undermine UDRS

Not for the first time Daryl Harper has been caught at the centre of controversy over the Umpire Decision Review System
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Not for the first time Daryl Harper has been caught at the centre of controversy over the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) and this time it sounds as though his failure to turn up the volume on his television set is to blame. It beggars belief.

When Graeme Smith, on 15, flashed a cut at Ryan Sidebottom England went up as one for the top edge, but Tony Hill, the on-field umpire, turned down the appeal and Andrew Strauss quickly asked for a review. There was no noticeable deflection on the replays so the noise from the stump microphone would have to be the decisive evidence. Except Harper couldn't hear anything, so he simply upheld Hill's decision.

It soon became clear that an edge was clearly audible on subsequent replays. How did Harper fail to hear the nick, which commentators said was as clear as they come from the stump microphone? Before the series an agreement was reached that the third umpire would set his volume level to four out of 10, but there is nothing to prevent him turning it up to assess a decision, should the need arise. Initially it was suggested the feed provided to Harper hadn't included the audio, but it later emerged that he had merely committed a bungle of the highest order, and this coming from an umpire who has a history of embarrassing errors.

It led Andy Flower, the England coach, to make an official complaint to Roshan Mahanama, the ICC match referee, who has also had a curious part to play in the whole affair after first telling Flower, incorrectly, that he had a different TV feed. It was only after England made further investigations and found out this wasn't true that Mahanama admitted Harper had failed to adjust his volume.

Harper was also the TV umpire during the England series in West Indies early last year, when he was unable to rule on a caught-behind appeal against Darren Powell. It transpired that, on that occasion, he was let down by the hardware because his TV screen wasn't wide enough to include the whole picture and the ball was lopped off. The ICC have put measures in place to ensure such situations don't arise again.

But later in the series, at Barbados, Harper failed to overturn an lbw against Shivnarine Chanderpaul that was clearly heading over the stumps, although at that stage of the UDRS trial, the predicative element of Hawkeye wasn't available to the TV umpire. All the same, regardless of the possible defences for Harper in those situations, a system is only as good as the people operating it - and faith in Harper's decision-making is currently at rock-bottom.

On the whole, the review system has emerged from this series with its reputation boosted after an iffy start in Centurion, during which the main issue was the length of time taken to ask for reviews. At Cape Town it was especially impressive as it overturned three glaring errors; a caught-behind against Ashwell Prince, an lbw against Kevin Pietersen when he inside-edged the ball and, most crucially, a first-ball slip catch at the start of Paul Collingwood's match-saving rearguard, when the ball deflected off his back leg. Ironically, the Prince and Pietersen errors were both made by Harper, the standing umpire, but that is what the system was designed for and it worked.

However, this latest controversy again highlights the problem of UDRS's inconsistent implementation around the world. In this series there is neither HotSpot nor Snickometer technology, and either of those would have offered a definitive answer to the question of Smith's edge. The lack of HotSpot is due to there being only four cameras in the entire world and they are all in Australia where, despite Mark Benson's walkout at Adelaide following an overturned decision against Chanderpaul, it has proved effective.

If the ICC wants to implement the review system successfully it has got to go the whole hog with the available technology. The current piecemeal compromise isn't acceptable. HotSpot isn't cheap, but the ICC isn't so short of money that it can skimp on the provision of enough cameras to deploy around the world as required. This isn't to say ICC should be left with the entire cost of the system, but HotSpot is looking like an important piece of equipment that should be made available.

Of course, as the Chanderpaul incident showed, it won't eliminate controversy 100%, but the ICC has admitted that such a situation will never be achieved and they are aiming for a success rate of around 98% of correct decisions. There has been enough evidence in this series to prove that the system does work, but only with people more competent than Harper in the hot seat

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • drinks.break on January 17, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    StJohn: The England team's demands for the review system to be cancelled on the basis of the Smith issue are absolutely ludicrous and yes, nationality aside, is nothing other than whingeing. Think about it ... if the review system hadn't been in place, then Smith would have been given ... ummm ... let's see ... NOT OUT! What would they have gained by it not being there? Zippo!

    Furthermore, the audio feed on its own is never enough to finally adjudicate on an edge ... yesterday in Hobart the Pakistanis asked for a review when Ponting was given not out. There had been a definite noise, which even showed up on "Snicko", but the other evidence pointed away from an edge, so the review was dismissed. A noise can be caused by any number of events, so it should be the least important weapon in the technological armoury. Yes, it's a shame that Harper didn't hear it, but it's whingeing of the highest order now to demand that the whole system be scrapped.

  • Harrow2 on January 17, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    You are right lamd, quite rediculous. Same thing happened yesterday in Hobart. Ponting flashed at a wide one, there was a noise but no deviation. Given not out by the standing umpire, on review yes there was a noise but was it bat on ball? Not sure, still not out, the noise could have been anything. No controversy in Hobart should not have been one at the Wanderers either.

  • Noel-Kalicharan on January 17, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Don McGrath, what you suggest IS what obtains in the current system. (In my note, when I spoke of reviews, I meant unsuccessful ones.) Each team has two unsuccessful reviews per inning but any number of successful ones. The problem really is what to do with howlers AFTER the two unsuccessful reviews have been used up. A team has no recourse after that hence my suggestion to increase the fielding team's amount to five (unsuccessful) and let EACH BATSMAN have has many as he wants. As long as he is successful, he can bat on. He can, of course, have only ONE unsuccessful review for then he is out.

  • goen on January 17, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    The howlers that've been reversed in this series vindicate the review system totally - Prince, Collingwood, Pietersen. The critisism of the system lacks consistency of thought. The ECB are against the system because, they say, they are against players questioning the umps decsion. One would expect their response to be "come on boys, the ump didn't give him, the tv ump never gave him (and he couldn't on the basis of a noise only), Smith didn't walk as all gentlemen like Geoff Boycott used to, so let's get stuck in now and try and get more than 180 in the 2nd knock". Instead THEY now say the system is flawed & have asked the ICC to reverse the lost referral! The basis of the system is sound i.e. let the ump decide & if anyone is unhappy he can appeal & if the available evidence shows he's wrong, the decision can be overturned - as in a court of law. If Snicko and Hotspot aren't available, that's tuff. We've already seen that we don't get those aweful animated appeals for bat pads etc

  • Don_McGrath on January 17, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    Noel-Kalicharan,

    I think a better system than having x number of revues per batting or fielding side is that each team has a limited number of unsuccessful revues available, but until they run out of unsuccessful revues, they can have as many successful revues as they like. That gives both teams the chance to review every decision they genuinely believe is wrong, but should stop them from trying to review every decision that goes agianst them.

  • StJohn on January 16, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    The bottom line is that it's very poor sportsmanship by Smith: he should have walked. But as for all the comments about "whinging Poms" - sounds like you're the whingers to me, Belltower most of all - still chirping on about the Ashes. The point isn't about the nationality of the team making the complaint. It is about the complete stupidity of having a review system and then that system doesn't work: it's absurd to have a system that is supposed to utilise technology to enhance the quality of on-field umpiring decisions but then the 3rd umpire doesn't use that technology. Get it? As for the comments that the non-dismissal is not relevant to the match: how do you know? Sure 180 is a poor total, but with Smith out for 15 England might have restricted SA to a smaller lead. And if you want to bring past luck into it, if Smith had been given out to Panesar in the 4th inns at Edgbaston in 2008 as he should have been, then England might have won that series 2-1 instead of losing it 2-1.

  • Zahidsaltin on January 16, 2010, 22:19 GMT

    ME and many more are able to write a software which can read all the parameters from sound and picture and give you a summery. No Tv umpire wil be needed to make a decision but just some one who can read the summery and convey it to ground umpires- We can even work out yhe possiblities of conveying the decision direct to ground umpires iphones without having to use a tv umpire. Software can give to pitch of the ball Line of the ball Impact point Hight while leaving the wickets edge sound yes - no hotsot yes - no noball yes no etc.

  • keyser_sozey on January 16, 2010, 22:00 GMT

    Surprised why a cricinfo editor would enter into the flap that the ridiculous England team management are generating. The English team are embarrassing themselves at the moment.

    The poms are getting a flap over one decision that didn't go there way. Blame sub-par performance on the technology. Yes get rid of the system. Then Smith is NOT OUT. Also, feint edged don't always show up on hotspot. So get over it.

  • lamd on January 16, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    This controversy is a bit ridiculous. Even if the umpire had turned the volume to 10/10, how could he have given it out if there was no visible deflection? A sound at the same time as the bat passed the ball could have been anything.

  • crazyhead on January 16, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    This is not the first howler from Mr. Harper. I can recall several of them starting from Tendulkar's 'Shoulder before wicket' way back in 1999. But this particual howler as a Third umpire is inexcusable and he made several of them in 2009. He is as bad as Asoka Desilva except that he gets ICC all the way, while Mr. Dsilva was out of panel for sometime.. If you look at statistics, I am 100% sure that he will come out on top on the number of howlers made by Umpires in last 10 years in Intenational Cricket.Still he gets away. AUS has given some wonderful umpires like Simon Taufel and even Darell Hair was not bad except the Murali episoure and the Oval saga where Pakistan had to forfeit the match in 2006. High time to get rid of Mr. Harper from ICC panel, send him back to some domestic umpiring in Australia. ICC has to start accepting facts about Umpires howlers and make some corrections, whether URDS is there or not, some umpires continue to give many poor decisions and they need TO G

  • drinks.break on January 17, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    StJohn: The England team's demands for the review system to be cancelled on the basis of the Smith issue are absolutely ludicrous and yes, nationality aside, is nothing other than whingeing. Think about it ... if the review system hadn't been in place, then Smith would have been given ... ummm ... let's see ... NOT OUT! What would they have gained by it not being there? Zippo!

    Furthermore, the audio feed on its own is never enough to finally adjudicate on an edge ... yesterday in Hobart the Pakistanis asked for a review when Ponting was given not out. There had been a definite noise, which even showed up on "Snicko", but the other evidence pointed away from an edge, so the review was dismissed. A noise can be caused by any number of events, so it should be the least important weapon in the technological armoury. Yes, it's a shame that Harper didn't hear it, but it's whingeing of the highest order now to demand that the whole system be scrapped.

  • Harrow2 on January 17, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    You are right lamd, quite rediculous. Same thing happened yesterday in Hobart. Ponting flashed at a wide one, there was a noise but no deviation. Given not out by the standing umpire, on review yes there was a noise but was it bat on ball? Not sure, still not out, the noise could have been anything. No controversy in Hobart should not have been one at the Wanderers either.

  • Noel-Kalicharan on January 17, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Don McGrath, what you suggest IS what obtains in the current system. (In my note, when I spoke of reviews, I meant unsuccessful ones.) Each team has two unsuccessful reviews per inning but any number of successful ones. The problem really is what to do with howlers AFTER the two unsuccessful reviews have been used up. A team has no recourse after that hence my suggestion to increase the fielding team's amount to five (unsuccessful) and let EACH BATSMAN have has many as he wants. As long as he is successful, he can bat on. He can, of course, have only ONE unsuccessful review for then he is out.

  • goen on January 17, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    The howlers that've been reversed in this series vindicate the review system totally - Prince, Collingwood, Pietersen. The critisism of the system lacks consistency of thought. The ECB are against the system because, they say, they are against players questioning the umps decsion. One would expect their response to be "come on boys, the ump didn't give him, the tv ump never gave him (and he couldn't on the basis of a noise only), Smith didn't walk as all gentlemen like Geoff Boycott used to, so let's get stuck in now and try and get more than 180 in the 2nd knock". Instead THEY now say the system is flawed & have asked the ICC to reverse the lost referral! The basis of the system is sound i.e. let the ump decide & if anyone is unhappy he can appeal & if the available evidence shows he's wrong, the decision can be overturned - as in a court of law. If Snicko and Hotspot aren't available, that's tuff. We've already seen that we don't get those aweful animated appeals for bat pads etc

  • Don_McGrath on January 17, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    Noel-Kalicharan,

    I think a better system than having x number of revues per batting or fielding side is that each team has a limited number of unsuccessful revues available, but until they run out of unsuccessful revues, they can have as many successful revues as they like. That gives both teams the chance to review every decision they genuinely believe is wrong, but should stop them from trying to review every decision that goes agianst them.

  • StJohn on January 16, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    The bottom line is that it's very poor sportsmanship by Smith: he should have walked. But as for all the comments about "whinging Poms" - sounds like you're the whingers to me, Belltower most of all - still chirping on about the Ashes. The point isn't about the nationality of the team making the complaint. It is about the complete stupidity of having a review system and then that system doesn't work: it's absurd to have a system that is supposed to utilise technology to enhance the quality of on-field umpiring decisions but then the 3rd umpire doesn't use that technology. Get it? As for the comments that the non-dismissal is not relevant to the match: how do you know? Sure 180 is a poor total, but with Smith out for 15 England might have restricted SA to a smaller lead. And if you want to bring past luck into it, if Smith had been given out to Panesar in the 4th inns at Edgbaston in 2008 as he should have been, then England might have won that series 2-1 instead of losing it 2-1.

  • Zahidsaltin on January 16, 2010, 22:19 GMT

    ME and many more are able to write a software which can read all the parameters from sound and picture and give you a summery. No Tv umpire wil be needed to make a decision but just some one who can read the summery and convey it to ground umpires- We can even work out yhe possiblities of conveying the decision direct to ground umpires iphones without having to use a tv umpire. Software can give to pitch of the ball Line of the ball Impact point Hight while leaving the wickets edge sound yes - no hotsot yes - no noball yes no etc.

  • keyser_sozey on January 16, 2010, 22:00 GMT

    Surprised why a cricinfo editor would enter into the flap that the ridiculous England team management are generating. The English team are embarrassing themselves at the moment.

    The poms are getting a flap over one decision that didn't go there way. Blame sub-par performance on the technology. Yes get rid of the system. Then Smith is NOT OUT. Also, feint edged don't always show up on hotspot. So get over it.

  • lamd on January 16, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    This controversy is a bit ridiculous. Even if the umpire had turned the volume to 10/10, how could he have given it out if there was no visible deflection? A sound at the same time as the bat passed the ball could have been anything.

  • crazyhead on January 16, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    This is not the first howler from Mr. Harper. I can recall several of them starting from Tendulkar's 'Shoulder before wicket' way back in 1999. But this particual howler as a Third umpire is inexcusable and he made several of them in 2009. He is as bad as Asoka Desilva except that he gets ICC all the way, while Mr. Dsilva was out of panel for sometime.. If you look at statistics, I am 100% sure that he will come out on top on the number of howlers made by Umpires in last 10 years in Intenational Cricket.Still he gets away. AUS has given some wonderful umpires like Simon Taufel and even Darell Hair was not bad except the Murali episoure and the Oval saga where Pakistan had to forfeit the match in 2006. High time to get rid of Mr. Harper from ICC panel, send him back to some domestic umpiring in Australia. ICC has to start accepting facts about Umpires howlers and make some corrections, whether URDS is there or not, some umpires continue to give many poor decisions and they need TO G

  • rmc2 on January 16, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    Wow England. Amazing - one wicket and all this controversy. Where were all these self-righteous howlers when Englad stole a series (or was it two) from SA in the 90's. Wicketkeeper appealing for, and being given, a catch that bounced 1 m in front of him. Repeated crummy LBW's. At least 1/2 doz bad decisions, and not a word.

    And administrators interfering with officials??

    Like England said in the 90's: read the paper in the morning.

  • Monkeyboy330 on January 16, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    Belltower: The reason England won the Ashes in 2005 & 2009 was beacause they were the best team and likewise Australia were the best team in 2006/07. The team who claims to have had bad luck over a game/series is nearly always the loser.

    To be fair, i'm an England fan, but South Africa deserve at least a draw from this series; they could of easily won the series 3-1 instead of - more than likely - ending up with 1-1 scoreline.

    One thing that is for sure, the aftermath of this controversey will be overlong dismissal of Daryl Harper from elite umpiring panel. I think everyone cricket lover around the world will join me by raising a glass to that!

  • JackKelleher on January 16, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    If the ICC are seeking to eliminate shockers, why don't they just give the 3rd umpire a more active role in the game? Surely that would be preferable to this totally ridiculous review system? The 3rd umpire should be given access to hawkeye, snicko and all the other gadgets so that he can check on the rectitude of the on-field umpire's decisions. If a decision is incorrect, he can give the on-field umpire a call on the radio and they can correct the decision.

    The only weakness with this that I can see is the potentially long time taken to reach a decision, but let's face it, if a batsman know he's inside-edged it and has been given out LBW and knows that the decision is being reviewed as he walks off, he's going to trudge off pretty slowly isn't he? The same with bowlers: if they are convinced of an edge or LBW that hasn't been given, the walk back to their run-up marker is going to be pretty slow. To be honest I'm amazed a system of this kind hasn't been discussed before.

  • Noel-Kalicharan on January 16, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    If the purpose of the UDRS is to eliminate glaring errors, what is the point of restricting a side to just two unsuccessful reviews? If you have used up two and then a 'howler' is made, you have no recourse - how can that be right or fair? For example, if each opener has used up one review each and the No 5 is given out LBW when he clearly edged the ball, he has no chance of correcting this error.

    I understand the need to eliminate frivolous reviews, but surely giving EACH batsman the right to review is not going to slow the game and it seems right that his fate should be in his own hands, not others. In any case, he can only have one unsuccessful review for then he is out.

    How many to give the fielding team is more difficult to determine. One against each batsman? A fixed amount for the team? Clearly, two seems like a small number. I would suggest 5 but would have to think some more on that.

  • bjg62 on January 16, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Perhaps the solution to this is a UDRS Review System which can also eliminate 'howlers' made by the reviewing umpire? Or better still, may I recommend a fourth umpire who checks to make sure the correct button is pressed when a decision has been reviewed? What I'm trying to say is.... absolutely no system is going to be totally foolproof! Get over it!

  • emarald on January 16, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    hei.what about cook's dismissal in th first innings......that was a noball from morkel.it was reviewed ..the backfoot of morkel is in the air and it was a definite no ball..time to go for harper....

  • dinosaurus on January 16, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    It is the Umpires Decision Review System, meaning the umpire's decision is presumed correct and changed only if there is compelling evidence to the contrary. If enough technology is present, the system makes perfect sense - and has worked very well in the Pakistan Australia series. If you don't understand the system, and what it intends to achieve, you really shouldn't be commenting (and so harshly) on it. The system pretty much has to be how it is, because no system can be *absolutely* correct (the pictures are two-dimensional, the world is three-dimensional). The way it has worked in this series is that frivolous reviews (the ones that provide endless copy for the media) are quickly exposed and dealt with. Some decisions which could not have been made without the technology have been successfully made (this is like the much higher level of accuracy we now have with respect to run-outs and stumpings). The umpire's decision should not be changed if the review is a 50-50 situation.

  • Shashi.55 on January 16, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    Harper's howlers are nothing new to cricket followers, but what is to be critically noted is the typical reaction of the Match Refree and the ICC through all this fracas. The MR often goes overboard trying to protect the ICC and the Umpires, sometimes even at the cost of fair play. It is a cosy relationship between the MR, Umpires and the ICC Officials, wherein they protect their mutual interests while even sacrificing the interests of the game. Hence some umpires and MRs continue to enjoy the privilege of being repeatedly nominated to oversee matches, inspite of obviously goofing up. Hence, even though there are certain provisions, ICC is just not interested in hauing up the MRs and the erring umpires because of the unholy nexus. And cricket lovers like us continue to get a raw deal. But who the hell cares ?

  • Rahul_78 on January 16, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    I have different view on this episode. The amount of international cricket played around the cricketing world has increased many a fold. Tests, odis and t20 being played relentlesly across the diff part of the world. But there arent enough umpires to cope up with it. While a very ordinary umpire like harper is surviving there is atrocious decision to bring back ashoka de silva to international matches. This is clearly due to lack of good umpires with icc. Icc should look ahead and may be start a center or academy for buding umpires across the dfferent nationas and educate them with best possible means so that they can stand in the toguhest environment of gruling tests. Also make umpiring a lucrative profession with attractive benifits and perks. Otherwise very soon we are looking at cricketing world where the umpires position will be in the broadcasters van with pressing only green or red butons to give the decisions.

  • 2107gc009 on January 16, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    I agree wholeheartedly with the last comment: the English are just whining. I guess South Africa would whine to if Strauss had been given not out on 15 and gone on to make a century. But you probably would not have a whole article dedicated to it. The Poms are just embarassed by the fact that they are being pummelled in this test and any excuse for why they are doing so badly would do for them. Its far easier for Andy Flower to say "the third umpire made bad decisions" than to say "we made a mistake, we should not have dropped Onions for Sidebottom, we should have bowled first, we should have batted/bowled better..."

  • Belltower on January 16, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    The english shouldn't complain, if the technology was used in the ashes in 2005 & 2009 they would have been soundly thrashed with the number of absolute howlers that went against the Aussies

  • Parth_Pala on January 16, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    The whinging poms are out in force again. The sub-continent teams and South Africa are constantly on the wrong end of bad decisions, especially against England and Australia. Yet a whole article doesn't come out every time we get a bad decision. Get It matters very little when you score 180 in the first innings. End result is most likely going to be same regardless. The poms really need to get a grip. They have really been slipping with the whole NZ ODI incident and now allowing Smith a runner. It sounds more like a desperate nation trying to hold onto some form of respect which certainly won't be gained by being unsportsmanlike. Show some class bad decisions happen.

  • kathers on January 16, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Everybody knows Harper is a very poor umpire. With his pathetic history as an umpire, surely the ICC should be able to note the many complaints/controversies against his umpiring and get him retired/demoted. To all those complaining about bias against England, have you watched him against a sub-continent team? I do not even support them but I feel their pain.

  • CricFan78 on January 16, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    I cant believe English are moaning so much about ONE decision. When Sydney Test happened all these English hypocrites were accusing BCCI of bullying and saying umpires decisions are final.

  • The_Wog on January 16, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    We're facing a similar situation in AUS at the moment. There's a good reason all the HotSpot cameras were shipped to AUS (and 2 more ordered for the square boundaries): We have the hapless da Silva and Koertzen standing in the same match!

    In a post-UDRS world, the most important question facing the game is "Are the Harpers and de Silvas of the world safest hidden in the 3U role (where there is a field umpire buffer AND 90% of decisions are made by technology) or on the field (where their howlers can at least be caught rather than form the final line of defence)?" I was reasonably happy to have AdS making howlers on field getting corrected, but inability to operate a TV set is a new, unforeseen problem.

    The ICC needs to take note, otherwise one day we will have AdS on the field backed up by Harper behind the TV and the game could never recover from this chain of ineptitude.

  • TMS8137 on January 16, 2010, 2:53 GMT

    If technology is deemed to be used in referrals by the ICC, then the ICC will have to shell out cash for the technology. The three types of technology; HotSpot, Hawk Eye and the Snicko will have to be paid for by the ICC as it certainly wasn't the idea of the local board's to use the technology. Agreed that the use of this will bear a significant price tag but then maybe the ICC should increase it's "membership fee".

  • andrew-schulz on January 16, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Harper did exactly the right thing here. Your last sentence is an absolute disgrace. Stop whingeing you stupid poms.

  • tfjones1978 on January 15, 2010, 23:40 GMT

    I think it is time that ICC start investigating the possibility of corruption, in particular the umpires association with others or financial gains. Eng failing to win this series will mean SA will remain higher in the rankings then Aust. One or two incidents is one thing, but a constant string of bad decisions where 1 team benefits over another is robbing the game of the true sucessors. Which means that either the unpires have a preference (eg: "IPL" umpires wanting India to do well long term), have direct financial gain (1990's question players, but not umpires?) or are just highly incompetent, but magically ALWAYS favoring one team over other. If 1st or 2nd, there should be prison terms involved. If its 3rd, one have to ask HOW? How can an umpire constantly get decisions wrong that favor one team over another? Come on ICC, the corruption is destroying the game, its time to stamp out Umpire corruption.

  • zingzangspillip on January 15, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    A sound is not always a guarantee that the ball hit the bat. In the Adelaide Test match, there was a referral for a different Chanderpaul edge. There was a clear sound as the ball passed the bat, but according to Hotspot, there was no edge. This may sound bizarre, but hear me out. When two objects traveling in opposite directions at great speed pass by one another very closely, they each have a shield of air surrounding them. When the shields of air collide, there is a sound, which sounds like a nick. It doesn't mean the objects have hit each other though. This could be why there was a sound, yet Graeme Smith claims he didn't hit it.

    Of course, he could be lying his britches off, and he smashed it, in which case he's a lucky duck.

  • EVH316 on January 15, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    I used to feel that Bob Willis, Botham et al. were being harsh with their constant criticisms of Harper, but as the mistakes continue to roll in it is clear that his judgement is so poor - almost Koertzen-like - that not even the video and audio evidence of the UDRS can save him. The ICC will soon realise that he shouldn`t even be allowed into the umpires` room to empty the bin.

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  • EVH316 on January 15, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    I used to feel that Bob Willis, Botham et al. were being harsh with their constant criticisms of Harper, but as the mistakes continue to roll in it is clear that his judgement is so poor - almost Koertzen-like - that not even the video and audio evidence of the UDRS can save him. The ICC will soon realise that he shouldn`t even be allowed into the umpires` room to empty the bin.

  • zingzangspillip on January 15, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    A sound is not always a guarantee that the ball hit the bat. In the Adelaide Test match, there was a referral for a different Chanderpaul edge. There was a clear sound as the ball passed the bat, but according to Hotspot, there was no edge. This may sound bizarre, but hear me out. When two objects traveling in opposite directions at great speed pass by one another very closely, they each have a shield of air surrounding them. When the shields of air collide, there is a sound, which sounds like a nick. It doesn't mean the objects have hit each other though. This could be why there was a sound, yet Graeme Smith claims he didn't hit it.

    Of course, he could be lying his britches off, and he smashed it, in which case he's a lucky duck.

  • tfjones1978 on January 15, 2010, 23:40 GMT

    I think it is time that ICC start investigating the possibility of corruption, in particular the umpires association with others or financial gains. Eng failing to win this series will mean SA will remain higher in the rankings then Aust. One or two incidents is one thing, but a constant string of bad decisions where 1 team benefits over another is robbing the game of the true sucessors. Which means that either the unpires have a preference (eg: "IPL" umpires wanting India to do well long term), have direct financial gain (1990's question players, but not umpires?) or are just highly incompetent, but magically ALWAYS favoring one team over other. If 1st or 2nd, there should be prison terms involved. If its 3rd, one have to ask HOW? How can an umpire constantly get decisions wrong that favor one team over another? Come on ICC, the corruption is destroying the game, its time to stamp out Umpire corruption.

  • andrew-schulz on January 16, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Harper did exactly the right thing here. Your last sentence is an absolute disgrace. Stop whingeing you stupid poms.

  • TMS8137 on January 16, 2010, 2:53 GMT

    If technology is deemed to be used in referrals by the ICC, then the ICC will have to shell out cash for the technology. The three types of technology; HotSpot, Hawk Eye and the Snicko will have to be paid for by the ICC as it certainly wasn't the idea of the local board's to use the technology. Agreed that the use of this will bear a significant price tag but then maybe the ICC should increase it's "membership fee".

  • The_Wog on January 16, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    We're facing a similar situation in AUS at the moment. There's a good reason all the HotSpot cameras were shipped to AUS (and 2 more ordered for the square boundaries): We have the hapless da Silva and Koertzen standing in the same match!

    In a post-UDRS world, the most important question facing the game is "Are the Harpers and de Silvas of the world safest hidden in the 3U role (where there is a field umpire buffer AND 90% of decisions are made by technology) or on the field (where their howlers can at least be caught rather than form the final line of defence)?" I was reasonably happy to have AdS making howlers on field getting corrected, but inability to operate a TV set is a new, unforeseen problem.

    The ICC needs to take note, otherwise one day we will have AdS on the field backed up by Harper behind the TV and the game could never recover from this chain of ineptitude.

  • CricFan78 on January 16, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    I cant believe English are moaning so much about ONE decision. When Sydney Test happened all these English hypocrites were accusing BCCI of bullying and saying umpires decisions are final.

  • kathers on January 16, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Everybody knows Harper is a very poor umpire. With his pathetic history as an umpire, surely the ICC should be able to note the many complaints/controversies against his umpiring and get him retired/demoted. To all those complaining about bias against England, have you watched him against a sub-continent team? I do not even support them but I feel their pain.

  • Parth_Pala on January 16, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    The whinging poms are out in force again. The sub-continent teams and South Africa are constantly on the wrong end of bad decisions, especially against England and Australia. Yet a whole article doesn't come out every time we get a bad decision. Get It matters very little when you score 180 in the first innings. End result is most likely going to be same regardless. The poms really need to get a grip. They have really been slipping with the whole NZ ODI incident and now allowing Smith a runner. It sounds more like a desperate nation trying to hold onto some form of respect which certainly won't be gained by being unsportsmanlike. Show some class bad decisions happen.

  • Belltower on January 16, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    The english shouldn't complain, if the technology was used in the ashes in 2005 & 2009 they would have been soundly thrashed with the number of absolute howlers that went against the Aussies