Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day June 24, 2012

Whatmore upset by DRS absence

The mounting umpiring errors, several of which hurt Pakistan, prompted their coach Dav Whatmore to question why the DRS was not in place for this series

At the end of the third day of the Galle Test, the mounting umpiring errors, several of which hurt Pakistan, prompted their coach Dav Whatmore to question why the Decision Review System (DRS) was not in place for this series, when it had been for Sri Lanka's home Tests against England earlier this year. Whatmore added his voice to the growing chorus that DRS should be uniformly implemented across all series.

To examine the inconsistent implementation of technology, you only need to go back to March and April, when England toured Sri Lanka. The two Tests had the DRS without Hot Spot, but Snickometer was available to help detect an edge. The cost of Hot Spot cameras was beyond the cash-strapped Sri Lankan board. Pakistan's ongoing tour, however, is without DRS in any form.

"I think the home board [Sri Lanka Cricket] had it against England? Why aren't we having it here?" Whatmore asked. "It doesn't seem right to me where you have it for one series and not for the other. It's difficult to understand.

"What is more important is that the DRS should be made mandatory for every series. That will go a long way into fixing a lot of things."

Pakistan's struggle in Galle - they are 474 away from victory with seven wickets left - is a story of many layers. Their collapse for 100 in the first innings was because of a combination of poor application from the batsmen and equally poor decision-making by the umpires, Ian Gould and Steve Davis. The contentious issues involved several undetected inside edges.

Whatmore chose not to comment on the quality of umpiring but said his complaints would be made through official channels. "There will be a bit to say, but I cannot make a public comment. We have ways of communicating with those who matter."

There were several examples to illustrate his point. Saeed Ajmal cut a forlorn figure when Tillakaratne Dilshan steered him to the third-man boundary in Sri Lanka's second innings, their lead swelling past 400. Ajmal's expressions, in joy and sorrow, are as natural as they come. On this occasion, he kicked the ground in frustration and had to be comforted by his captain Mohammad Hafeez. The issue was not the boundary, but the wicket he was denied the previous ball. Dilshan had attempted to sweep, and the ball had brushed the glove before settling in the wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal's gloves. The umpire failed to spot the edge, though, and not for the first time in the match.

It had begun when Umar Gul's appeal for a catch behind was turned down on the first morning. Tharanga Paranavitana had inside edged the ball on to his pads, after which it lobbed to Akmal. Gul was denied again later on, this time against Mahela Jayawardene. Batting on 21, Jayawardene was hit below the knee roll by a sharp incoming delivery adjacent to leg stump, but was given the benefit of the doubt perhaps on the presumption there was an inside edge. He scored 62.

When Pakistan came out to bat late on the second day, the opener Taufeeq Umar got a questionable lbw decision against Nuwan Kulasekara. He had asked for trouble by not offering a shot, but the ball hit him above the knee roll and was climbing. Ajmal, the night-watchman, played forward to a delivery from Suraj Randiv that climbed, but there was no evidence of it hitting bat before lobbing to short leg.

This morning, another rough decision claimed Pakistan's most senior batsman, Younis Khan, who was desperate to regain his form and confidence, especially in Misbah-ul-Haq's absence. Younis lunged forward against Rangana Herath and played for turn, but the ball straightened and hit the pad in line with the stumps. However, the umpire failed to notice an inside edge and gave him lbw. Pakistan had already been reeling at 48 for 5 overnight and Younis' dismissal ended any ambition of achieving a substantial score.

In Sri Lanka's second innings, Dilshan's reprieve against Ajmal deepened Pakistan's wounds but the batsman was later adjudged lbw to a ball that struck him too high. But when Prasanna Jayawardene also gloved a ball from Ajmal on to his pads and was caught behind, but the umpire was unmoved. Sri Lanka had another bad decision going their way, when Kulasekara batted, but it didn't matter.

The odd howler is pardonable, but when there are so many errors in three days it is cause for concern. And while it isn't fair to blame the umpiring alone for Pakistan's struggle - they failed to read Kulasekara's movement and Herath's spin - it's possible that the rough decisions affected their morale.

The ICC, during its annual conference in Kuala Lumpur this week, will decide on their cricket committee's recommendation that the DRS be universally applied. This series is timely evidence.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    whatmore is right worst umpiring ever i have seen ! very poor there must be mandatory DRS for every oneday and test

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Seems to be one of the worst tests in terms of umpiring standards. They seem to have outdone even the infamous Sydney test by quite a margin.

  • Shakti on June 25, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Sri Lanka definitely got a good deal.Younis Khan seemed to be on track for an innings for the ages but Sri Lanka got their way again.

  • xxxxx on June 25, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    It is really quite simple. DRS results in many more correct decisions. Use it wherever possible. What are the BCCI afraid of?

  • khurram on June 25, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    poor umpiring 16 wrong (11 vs pak - 5 vs SL) in 4 days. But SL played well. & very poor batting by pakistan in 1st inings.& top order in 2nd again.positives junaid got some rythem in 2nd with asad,younas, akmal doing some batting. problm hafez out of form badly.toufeq played after 4 months last played vs Eng but also failed there. over all its 1st inings batting display. Abut umpiring DRS should b used or even reviews for simple ones with simple replay or 3rd umpire to allow overturn simple ones, scrutiny of umpires also required.a ranking system perhaps. as these 2 were experienced ellite pannel umpires & missed pretty simple ones.

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    very bad umpiring put DRS in system for remaining games younis today was again not out

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    if he had a problem he should have reaised it before the series started. This was agreed and both teams have to abide by it. This very unportsman like and unpreofessional behaviour.

  • Deleepa on June 25, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Don't shout at SL Mr Whatmore - India completely ruled out DRS even with Money!! If it's going to be implemented across all Tests first talk to India what they have to say about it.

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    looks as if the umpires had no eyes on the edges of the bats...they just gave out on assumptions. A cricket fan feels very sad when cricket is ruined by bad umpiring. DRS would be a good solution but the best solution is to deduct points from umpires on the base of every bad decision.

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    Umpiring errors are to be avoided in a cricket match. But the implementation of DRS wouldn't help in totally eliminating the errors. For instance if the team makes use of both the DRS attempts in an innings and then there is a wrong decision which cannot be stopped. This results in wrong umpiring decision even when DRS is available.

    I hope ICC needs to look into this seriously and then consider revamping the whole review system. ICC should also make hot spot an integral part of the DRS system and should work with all cricket boards to implement the hot spot technology.

    I think there shouldn't be a limit for number of the attempts to use the DRS in an innings for both the batting and bowling side.

  • No featured comments at the moment.