England v Australia, 3rd Investec Test, Old Trafford, 1st day August 1, 2013

CA ask ICC to explain Khawaja call


Cricket Australia has asked the ICC to explain why Usman Khawaja's dismissal was upheld after a decision review that appeared to show no evidence that he had edged behind off Graeme Swann.

Khawaja was visibly mystified by the outcome of his referral, shaking his head as he walked off following third umpire Kumar Dharmasena's decision to back Tony Hill's on-field call of out. There was no mark on Hot Spot and the raw vision, while not conclusive, appeared to suggest that the ball had not made contact with Khawaja's bat.

"Cricket Australia has sought an explanation from the ICC on the dismissal of Usman Khawaja," Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement. "In our view, the on-field decision and referred decision using DRS were both incorrect. CA remains a strong supporter of DRS and believes it is important that cricket continues to improve and build confidence in the DRS.

"We understand and accept that from time to time mistakes can be made, however in this instance, on behalf of the player, the team and all cricket fans, we feel duty bound to seek further explanation as to how this decision was arrived at."

The DRS is designed not with the idea of giving the benefit of the doubt to the batsman but the on-field umpire's call, which meant that Dharmasena had to be completely certain that Hill was wrong in order to overturn the decision. Chris Rogers, who was at the non-striker's end when the dismissal occurred, said even the England players appeared resigned to Khawaja staying at the crease.

"He said he didn't hit it and I said he didn't hit it. That was about it," Rogers said. "I was up the other end. Even in real time I didn't think he hit it; I didn't think he was anywhere near it. The umpire must have had a different view on it. I thought it was not out and that's why we reviewed it. From what we saw on the replays I think even the England guys had given up hope of it being out. It was disappointing and another question-mark.

"It's a weird thing because it's people's careers on the line as well, so you want these decisions to be right. I felt for him, but it's been happening so we've just got to get on with it and not worry about that and try to have a good day."

Rogers said despite the apparent error costing Khawaja his innings, there was still a place for technology in assisting umpires. "I still think it's important," he said. "We want technology to make sure these decisions are correct. Sometimes it goes for you and sometimes it goes against you. You just have to take it."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    The problems occur when the umpires and technology are being asked to find evidence that the player is not out. Anyone who has done any science lab work knows that finding evidence uses a process called "scientific method". By this, a null hypothesis (nothing happened) stands unless there is evidence that something happened. If no evidence is found, it is assumed that nothing happened. The null hypothesis is never that something happened; disproving that is often impossible - you can't show the "something" that happened to show that nothing happened. In cricket your null hypothesis is not out. You can readily find evidence of out - a snick, or a pad in line. Finding the "nothing" to overturn an out decision is as impossible as finding the non-existent "something" in science. The only way round this is to assume "not out" once the DRS is invoked, and look for evidence of dismissal. To reduce the bias to the batting team, change the DRS appeals to 1 for the batsmen and 2 for the fielders

  • Aniket on August 2, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    Contd...hitting the stumps is not at all foolproof.Even if we leave atmospheric and pitch conditions out of consideration, in a highly regarded article in a peer-reviewed journal, Mr. Collins and Mr. Evans have shown that Hawk-Eye struggles with predicting the trajectory of a cricket ball after bouncing when the time between a ball bouncing and striking the batsman may be too short to generate the three frames (at least) needed to plot a curve accurately.

    I'm quite familiar with development life cycle of a new technology.Regarding your last couple of sentences about new technology, I request you to look at my 1st comment where I've cited my Professor's words(which I support) and made my views on development of technology clear. Has HawkEye made any radical improvements over 4-5 years(which for a technology is a long time)? Nope! Just cosmetic modifications and new statistical models have been put in place. I'm not opposed to technology, just opposed to technology that doesn't improve.

  • Aniket on August 2, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    @Posted by Babu22 on (August 2, 2013, 7:49 GMT): I didn't say Khwaja dismissal was technology failure. Neither is my view that current technology is insufficient based on one dismissal or this series. As you say with ball tracking, the issue is with predictive part, isn't that the part we need ball tracking for in the first place? The point is predicting the path is the function that BT has to do correctly. And yes the factors I mentioned do have " a great effect" in the last 2m of the path. I don't say that because I'm an Indian, being a Caltech doctoral candidate for experimental physics, I can assure you I've researched enough material to know about the laminar and turbulent air flows, Magnus effect etc. which affect movement of spherical/round objects in the air all the time. As little distance as 25 cm enough to change trajectory of the ball. Predictive part of Hawk-Eye doesn't take any of these into account.So the predictive part where ball has a long way to go before Contd.....

  • Asheesh on August 2, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    Ha ha ha. Cricket is a great leveller indeed.

  • arun_cric_fan on August 2, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    People will hate me for this - but i think the "DRS process" worked. Onfield umpire gave a call. Third empire "felt" he did not have evidence to overturn the onfield call. So he let the onfield call stay. Fair process. All this argument is really about -"was the info presented to third empire conclusive or not". In the spirit of cricket - if your appointed Third umpire says "it is not conclusive" then everyone including CA should let it go. Otherwise it is no different than player showing dissent. I like Sachin_VVSFAN comment that if DRS is inconclusive then do not reduce reviews. I think that is fair and will reduce this issue.

  • Chirag on August 2, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    I fail to understand when they say " to overturn the decision, DRS has to have clear evidence" ... Well if there is no evidence of Khawaja being out surely that shows "clear evidence" that he should be not out! Instead they stick to the decision! I would like to see how ICC defend this obvious blunder!

    I am glad Cricket Australia has taken this forward because DRS is or should I say the use of DRS is seriously confusing the hell out of everyone!

  • Ashok on August 2, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Its a clear case of either technology wrong or the tv umpiring is wrong.

    The ICC has to answer which one is wrong.

    To me its the tv umpiring. What if it turns out to be a close game where Aus lose by slightest margin, Usman's wicket/scoring could have made the difference ??

  • Guru on August 2, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    I find it incredibly myopic the argument, that DRS is fine, because the technology is good and only the usage is incorrect. Can Khwaja stand his ground saying that he is not out since technology said so? If not, that is a moot point. DRS is the sum total of everything - until you make it reasonably perfect, don't impose it on everyone.

  • Mark on August 2, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    I agree its not the on field umpires fault. If there was no technology, the on field umpires decision would stand as it should. However, in this instance technology was used with the 3rd umpire solely employed for the purpose of using technology. I can't for the life of me understand with the aid of advanced technology the TV umpire could get it wrong. Maybe cricket should only make the two onfield umpires make all the decisions like in the old days.

  • Swapnil on August 2, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    BCCI officials must be laughing their heads off. The use of DRS is getting a bit ridiculous now considering there have been so many "howlers" with the use of it in the Ashes. There are dual issues here. One is that the technology is not foolproof and the use of it by the umpires is not clearly defined. I think the technology should be scrapped until we have a 99% accuracy rate with respect to any umpiring decision.