South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 4th day December 29, 2010

Smith calls for uniformity in UDRS


Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, has once again called for the ICC to establish uniformity in the use of the UDRS. "The ICC needs to take responsibility for that," he said after South Africa's loss in the second Test against India in Durban. "They can't leave it up to boards to negotiate. They must lead the way."

The decision not to use the UDRS was taken by Cricket South Africa (CSA), in consultation with the BCCI in November. CSA were keen to use the system, but the BCCI refused. At the time of negotiation, Smith said he believed UDRS could only be effective if it was used in all Test matches and not a selection of them.

He reiterated his stance on Wednesday. "Using it once every seven series is not going to benefit anybody. If the technology is available and they want us to use it, then we must use it. Then you can have a proper idea of whether it works or not." Smith's statements were fuelled by three decisions that did not go South Africa's way in the match.

Zaheer Khan got away with an lbw shout off Dale Steyn's bowling on day three when he was on 10 and his eight-wicket stand with VVS Laxman was worth 33. He went on to make 27 and share in an 70-run partnership with Laxman. Umpire Steve Davis was responsible for that decision. Two of South Africa's batsmen were unlucky to be given out on the fourth day. AB de Villiers was adjudged lbw by Asad Rauf off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh. Replays showed the ball was going over the top of middle stump. Mark Boucher got an even worse decision when Davis gave him out lbw to Zaheer, to a delivery that was too high and missing off stump. There was also an incident where India might have benefitted from a referral. Harbhajan Singh had an lbw appeal against Ashwell Prince turned down when there was a suspicion of an inside-edge, but replays showed the ball had hit pad first.

As per the ICC's regulations, the host country must decide on the use of the UDRS in consultation with the visiting nation. It was in South Africa's power as the host nation to insist on the use of the UDRS, but they did not do so. CSA and the BCCI have a history of friendly relations, which dates back to South Africa's readmission into international cricket in 1991, and presumably, South Africa did not want to put that relationship at risk.

Prior to this series, South Africa had used the UDRS in three of their last four Test series, with the exception being their tour of India. India have only used the UDRS once, in a series against Sri Lanka in 2008.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vijay P on January 1, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    @Bob Young, "How can you be so misguided".. take it easy Bob.. it was supposed to be humorous.

  • Dummy4 on January 1, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    @magnum: yes exactly my view. I mean when a batsman leaves a ball and it cuts him in half and goes over the stumps , we say it is a good leave. Plus the commentators say something along the lines of "don't play at a ball unnecessarily". Glenn mcgrath got a lot of wickets lbw when the ball was missing the stumps. This is where udrs makes a fairer decision for both teams involved and not just the team who sledges/ has muscle power/ is higher ranked.

    @rameshsubramaniam: yes the batsman will be out but the batting side won't lose a review , assuming of course, the on field umpire gave him out caught behind originally and not lbw (which will be confirmed from the on field umpire by the third umpire). Also, it's not fair to assume that "all fans and umpires and commentators don't know what will happen". On the contrary, most of us do know. Just saying:)

  • ramesh on December 31, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    @Bob Young: You do not need to play cricket on the same pitch to say whether the ball will hit the wicket or not.ICC hasto prove UDRS is correct before makaing this as mandatory. Incase of marginal decisions, anyway decision stays with on-field umpires. If the ball hits the bails and umpire says not out , then it is not out. In that case, why you are not believing the technology? I think BCCI took this stand because umpires do not follow the consistency in over turning the decision. Tell me if the umpire give out for caught behind and bats man reviews it, he finds there is no nick but it is plump. Will he give that out lbw? Noone knows. ICC do not know, umpires do not know, fans do not know. WHo will know?

  • saurabh on December 31, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    I request ICC to implement this UDRS now to all test cricketing nation in all format of the game if no one agrees then fine them.

  • Philip on December 31, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    The UDRS is here to stay. It may not be at the moment in certain quarters. But it will eventually. My main issue is not the UDRS but the way it is being introduced. The first option should be for the third Umpired to be given the powers to change the decision. The third Umpire should also be strong and be willing to turn the decisions in saying that I mean, he should not be seen to undermine the onfield umpire. If this was the case we would not be arguing with the 2 attempt per inning rule. If you are out you are out. If you are not out then you are not out. Why should fairness be ignored? We have seen time and again how good the UDRS has worked so far this year. The challenging captains must ensure that he is not being emotional and act on the spur of the moment. Decision should be based on fact and reasonability. Indians have not used this system effectively. That is the bottom line in them rejecting it. Time to think objectively. Philip Gnana, Surrey

  • Ahamed on December 31, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    All the Indian Fans are giving various reasons to neutralized why UDRS not used.If this happen to IND and eventually if they (IND) loss this match, by then you can see differant kind of comments in this column for sure.But here SA is the victimised team so they will give differance reasons.This is the world.Smith is spot on in this regard.After they lost by an innings even they will give excuses like Toss.Then imagine what will they say if IND will effected by this.Just imagine.

  • HARIHARASUDHAN on December 31, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    for all who commented for using UDRS.. jus one question.. why ICC giving only three chances to use per team...?give it for all doubtfull decisions...? it ll be better debate and ll be balanced answer to every cricket boards.... jus think about this point.

  • Dru on December 31, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    For those of us who are incapable of understanding the issue, Smith clearly stated that India played better cricket and deserved to win and SA played bad cricket and it was a great come back by India. The point here being why is the BCCI adament on not using the UDRS when the rest of the world are happy with it and using it for correct decisions to be made. The issue of caliberating ect are non-sensical reasons for not adopting technology. Even it its not caliberated it will be consistent which is the key requirement in umpiring. Using technology for correct decisiosn is used in most international sports except it seems for cricket and soccer!!

  • Max on December 31, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    What saddens me is the attitude of some of the commentators. I know SA fans are no angels themselves, but my experience of Indian cricket fans has always been that they are deeply knowledgeable, respectful and considerate of others. Clearly success has not been good for the attitude of some Indian commentators on this site, who are every bit as arrogant, hypersensitive and opinionated as the Aussies they so love to bash. Shame on you, you're doing a GREAT cricketing team and nation no favours at all. Also remember that UDRS would probably have saved the Sydney 08 test, and it was not introduced as a measure to cheat India out of deserved test wins

  • Max on December 31, 2010, 9:25 GMT

    Let's put the cards on the table. I am a Proteas fan and the team did not deserve to win the Test. To put in the opposition and then trail by 70 on the first innings means you haven't done yourself justice, and India clearly used the conditions better in the field. Period. I also think UDRS should be given a chance - surely logic dictates that "unproven, not necessarily 100% accurate" technology that will give you the CORRECT decision when the umpire has clearly been 0% accurate on that decision, is better than sticking with the mistake. And to the commentators who think the batsman offering no shot automatically gives the benefit of the doubt to the bowler, the ball still has to be HITTING THE WICKETS!!! You don't just get an lbw decision because the batsman has been foolish enough to pad up? I know it's a batsman's game, but come on!

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