Umpires need help April 28, 2005

Bacher calls for more use of TV replays

Cricinfo staff

Ali Bacher: 'Limited advances in assisting the umpires have not kept adequate pace with the growing sophistication of the technology' © Getty Images
Ali Bacher, the man who did so much to introduce new technology into international cricket, has said that umpires should be allowed to use television replays to help them in making lbw decisions.

In an interview with Mihir Bose in the Daily Telegraph, Bacher said that unless this was done, the authority of officials would continue to be eroded. "Umpires are increasingly being placed in unreasonable positions," he explained. "They are, in a sense, competing against ever improving technology and are destined to fail. The limited advances in assisting the umpires have not, in my view, kept adequate pace with the growing sophistication of the technology."

"Current legislation is placing umpires in an untenable position by not allowing them access to the same information as is readily available to the public. Media are in a position to determine more accurately the decision-making ability of an umpire.

"My proposal seeks to permit the standing umpire to consult the TV replay umpire whenever he chooses on specific matters aimed at assisting him in arriving at the correct decision." Bacher pointed out six scenarios where the umpire's naked eye was not infallible. These included balls pitched fractionally outside leg stump and whether the ball struck the pad on or outside off stump.

He concluded by saying that while he wanted more use of third officials watching television, he was not in favour of extending that to include using Hawkeye-type technology.

Bacher has been increasingly vociferous in putting forward this argument, and on a recent trip to the West Indies he outlined his plans at the prestigious Sonny Ramadhin Memorial Lecture in Trinidad.