West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 3rd day April 17, 2012

Gibson critical of DRS use


West Indies have found it hard enough playing against Australia without the added obstacle of an inconsistently applied and supported Decision Review System, the coach Ottis Gibson has said. Adding his voice to the growing number of international cricket figures calling for consistent use of technology or none at all, Gibson said the hosts were finding it hard to understand a system that has given them more hindrance than help.

Expecting to be censured by the ICC for his comments, Gibson said his team had wanted to provide a sterner fight for Australia than had so far been the case, but had their task made more difficult by the DRS. Its use in the series has been affected by WICB budgets precluding the host broadcaster from using Hot-Spot or Snicko technology, leaving many replays ambiguous and decisions based on the interpretations of the umpires Ian Gould, Marais Erasmus and Tony Hill.

"I can't say what I really want to say about the DRS because the ICC will sack me or ban me or whatever," Gibson said. "If the ICC is going to use DRS I think they should use all the technology and I think if we haven't got all the technology we shouldn't use it at all.

"Over the course of the two Test matches, the way that it's panned out, the decisions that have gone against us. In Barbados we had a man out [Michael Clarke] and then he was given not out with the use of the cameras and so on. To us sitting watching it, we didn't see anything conclusive to say that he had hit it or not hit it so therefore we thought that the decision the umpire made in the first instance should have stood instead of being overruled.

"There's been a lot of little things that have gone against us in Barbados and here as well and it's tough. We know the Aussies are better than us and we know we have to give them a challenge but then all these little things go against you. You can't cry over spilt milk, you've got to keep getting yourself up and keep going. It's tough but the guys, credit to them they've kept coming back and they've been very competitive."

Gibson said the system was one of the problems he was trying to negotiate with his young team, which fought well to tie the ODI and Twenty20 series against Australia. They are now staring squarely at a 2-0 deficit in as many Tests after Nathan Lyon's spin tore through the Caribbean side in the final session of day three in Trinidad.

"Everything in coaching, especially when we're trying to build a side is hard," he said. "It's hard sometimes to keep the guys motivated as well when they come off the field after a long hard day and feel like all the little 50/50s are going against them in the middle as well. You have to talk them through those situations as well. I think to be fair to the guys they have managed to stay tough.

"The guys have hung in. They played some pretty good cricket for the most part but, like was mentioned before, it was just those little parts - one bad hour - and we have to try and overcome that hurdle. We've got over a lot of hurdles to get to where we are that moment to play some pretty competitive cricket but we just need to overcome those little situations where one bad hour is killing us."

As for the 20-minute delay at the start of the day's play, caused by a power outage that robbed the ground and the world of television pictures, Gibson said it had been another sign of the fact that television was such a major player in the conduct of professional sport.

"I suppose most things in cricket, and sport in general, are controlled by TV and there was no TV feed for the umpires and the officials to deal with DRS and all that sort of stuff," Gibson said. "The umpires brought us back off the field then we had a little discussion that we're here to play cricket and cricket used to be played without TV so let's get on with it, so we came back on - it wasn't much of a distraction for us.

"There was no TV feed in the whole ground at the time so the officials would not have had DRS for instance, so they came off the field and together they had an opinion, with the match referee and the two captains and the management from the two teams, and we decided let's go play cricket."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    Most people who are supporting DRS here are talking how it is supposed to be used only to correct major blunders and not to be used for very close calls... I have only one question for these people... Are there any major blunders that cannot be corrected by just viewing the TV replays??? Do we need this very expensive technology that has not been yet tested to be accurate and may or may not be available depending on lighting, frame rate, budget constraint etc etc etc???

  • Andrew on April 19, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    @zenboomerang/johnny Rook - in actual FACT the 3rd Umpire does NOT "overrule" the on field Umpire at any stage. They advise. The decision to overturn a decision rests SOLELY with the on-field umpire. The benefit of the doubt factor in umpiring decisions has been eroding for 20 years now, particulalrly in refernce to fron foot LBWs. So MAYBE zenb maybe you need to improve your understanding??? @johnny rook - the benefit of doubt to the on field umpire only really exists in the interpretations of what can over-rule a decision, mainly regarding LBWs, whether the middle of the ball was hitting the stumps or not. With limited technology available to a 3rd umpire, then the umpire has less to advise the on-field umpire. Not hearing the interractions but I would say the on-field wasn't satisfied wiith his original decision. If the 3rd Umpire says he has nothing to show that Clarke hit it, the relay of that info MAY of been what caused the reversal.

  • Phil on April 18, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    Most people seem to think that Clarke didn't hit it. The third umpire (or more precisely the on-field umpire in consultation with the 3rd umpire) obviously agreed and thought the evidence was conclusive, so overturned it. @aiksa & @zenboomerang - not sure it actually says in the laws or ICC regulations that the batsman should get the benefit of the doubt.

  • Tim on April 18, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    You can't polish a Television Umpire Review Decision System!

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    Gibson...Gibson...i am sick of Gibson...selecting the wrong team...talking about young team....i thought teams ...were selected on merits of players...but not so for W.I....we will continue to be second to every team...Sammy should quit.......stop taking the embarrassment...u r not a test player...come on Gibson...Chanders...Gayle...Sarwan...Bishoo..Ramphal..Narsingh.. Ramdin...etc..is not good for you...know u r complaining about DRS...again Gibson is totally in competent as coach...W.I will never go any where with Gibson.

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    I'm a big fan of the DRS, but Gibson's right: it's either all or nothing. The complete package must be offered, and if it can't be offered, then DRS shouldn't be used. Hopefully the full DRS package eventually becomes standard in all Test series. I also think that, if the intent is to prevent major errors, they might want to think about giving coaches or the third umpire the responsibility to refer/make calls on decisions.

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    I like the DRS, but as usual the umpires will use the system to favor the bigger teams.I know that it was only one incident but in this short series clarke's wicket would have made a deference, just like how the last wicket partnership made a deference for Australia.

  • Sammy on April 18, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    This cannot be happening...somebody agreeing with India on DRS!! Let's insult and ridicule him for doing so. LOL. Thank you Gibson for speaking your courage and giving a resounding slap to the "we-oppose-everything-BCCI-does" camp!!

  • Mohamed on April 18, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    Gibson should stop the crying foul. The fact is Gibson is playing with one man short and he would not admit it. Sammy is a decent player but not up to test standard. He plays every match as if it's a T/20. His bowling strategy is to contain not get wickets and his stats is average at best when compared to other bowlers in the same matches in which he has played. His batting also leaves a lot to be desired. For him, it's either a big hit or nothing. Yes, he will score an occasional 40 or 50, but that's it. Gibson throws people like Deonarine under the bus with his comments before the match and really puts more pressure on his own players. He mentally messed up Sarwan and wanted Shiv to retire. He should apologise to Shiv for asking him to retire & how to bat. In the last ODI WC, his strategy was to play every match as if it's T/20e & misread the pitch in the 1st test match against Pak last year and the Pak captain was laughing about. Otherwise, I think Gibson is a nice guy.

  • Zorina on April 18, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    DRS has joined the long list of things and people that Gibson does not want... Gayle, Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Deonarine (he is waiting for Samuels to return). and possibly Rampaul. Too bad. He wanted a young team, well he has that. Turn them into world beaters just as you are trying to make Sammy into a cricketer

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