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Test cricket

August 6, 2013

Should umpires continue to decide when players come off for bad light?


Players shouldn't have a say in this, since they will exploit the situation to suit themselves.


Only batsmen are at risk in poor light. If the batting team wants to stay on, play should continue.


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August 10, 2013, 4:08 GMT


When day and night tests have been sanctioned by ICC why not just use the lights and continue playing, but this is only possible in stadium with lights.

Safety should come first and umpires should have the total rights to suspend the play. Players would definitely overlook the risk.

August 8, 2013, 11:58 GMT


The real issue for me is that the threshold at which umpires deem playing conditions unsafe is ludicrous. I do think it is preferable for the umpire to make the call rather than offering it to the batsmen, but with the current threshold (what is it by the way? Was it 8.9 at Old Trafford?) the batting team don't really seem to be in danger. Naturally batsmen would base their decision on the match situation - but how is that being fair to the fielding team? I really hated previously seeing batsmen take the light just to escape a situation. The umpires making the call based solely on the conditions removes the bias against the fielding team, but the umpires need to get a grip on what risks are reasonable for the circumstances - at Old Trafford they were willing to kill a potentially thrilling Ashes match even though the floodlights were on! Cricketers are willing to put their bodies on the line for much less even at club level.

August 8, 2013, 11:52 GMT


I am firmly in favour of the umpires keeping control of the light, provided they are consistent with the regulations and applications. How long should it stay 'dark' for before players are taken off, I've seen the light deteriorate for 10-15 minutes only to brighten up with a shift in clouds.

Ideally each ground should have a minimum light level based on its own particular environment, these should then be presented to the two teams who are told if leight goes below that level they will be taken off, with the Senior Batsman and captain of the fieldin side witnessing the reading.

That way there is no argument.

August 8, 2013, 11:19 GMT


Should be simple. Every ground should be surveyed, and fixed light metres installed. Ex-players used to determine "dangerous" light levels according to those fixed metres in fixed locations for each ground. This should automatically trigger the decision to suspend play. Take judgement and players pantomiming pathetically to trigger the umpires checking light metres.

While we are at it, get on top the pathetic time wasting tactics we saw England employ, and stop allowing subs unless an injury can be substantiated.

August 8, 2013, 10:22 GMT


I'm afraid this issue is not actually up for debate. This from the Laws of Cricket: (2000 code 4th ed)

Law 3.8. Fitness for play (a) It is solely for the umpires together to decide whether either conditions of ground, weather or light or exceptional circumstances mean that it would be dangerous or unreasonable forplay to take place. Conditions shall not be regarded as either dangerous or unreasonable merely because they are not ideal.

***end of argument, everyone!!!***

August 8, 2013, 9:56 GMT


Players have themselves to blame as ever - in the past bad light has been used as a tactic. I have even seen team CHOOSE to come off when smashing the bowling to all parts and in total control.

Let the umpires decide, but make the conditions for leaving the field much stricter - properly dangerous. Cannot see the ball rather than 'its a bit gloomy'. Given the famous match in Pakistan it just shows what you can play in if it is worth it!

August 7, 2013, 14:31 GMT


Until we can get a technology solution to this, it should be the batting team's call. I am not so much FOR the batting team as I am AGAINST umpires taking the decision. The reason is this: There is no ICC rule that only ex-international players can become international umpires. Thus, there can be (and there are) umpires who have never bowled, batted or fielded in an international match, alongside quality batsmen, bowlers or fielders. Given this, how can such umpires be in the best position to judge when the playing conditions are dangerous? They have only their personal faculties to go by, but then those faculties may not be as good as a batsman's or a fielder's. A decision by an umpire is more likely to be wrong and ill-informed than correct. So it has to be a batting team's call. Having said that, whatever happened to the light-meter? Can it not be calibrated for a given ground? Umpires can use it as a check if the batsmen try to play unfair.

August 7, 2013, 8:04 GMT


No. Remember the 2007 Australia vs Sri Lanka World Cup final? If the Umpires had called off the game due to bad light, the remaining three overs would be played the next day, with no one really interested and it would have put a damper on the whole tournament.

If the batting team gets to make the decision, the worst that can come off it is allegations of gamesmanship. But, when the umpires make those decisions that can drastically hurt/help either team, it can bring up the question of bias, which is far worse for the game.

If the ICC wants, it can have a light level below which the Match Referee, not the Umpires, stops the play for safety, regardless of the either team's wishes. The actual level should be decided well before the match starts (at least an hour before the toss takes place, with both captains duly informed), so each side knows when the game might be force-stopped.

August 8, 2013, 11:07 GMT


Such cricket rules like 'the umpires must have the final say' originated from the fact that in older days no technology was available and everything was dependent on human perception. Since technology is available, and it is all about making the unbiased decision, the reading of the light meter can decide if the match should continue or not.

August 8, 2013, 11:04 GMT


The umpires use the light meter too measure the amount of light; but strangely the decision is taken by them, and/or by the teams. Such flexibilities in the decision making process often leads to dissatisfactory consequences. In order to avoid it, the ICC can rule about the amount of light needed for the match to progress. Then the decision can be made solely on the light meter reading. Simple!