Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Howzat Fair?

The ICC have just announced that the England tour of the West Indies will use the umpire decision review system, along with the West Indies v New Zealand, India v Pakistan and South Africa v Australia tours next near.

Nightwatchgirl is in two minds about this.

Yes, it will end contentious LBW decisions and players may well feel that they have slightly more control over their batting destiny. But (and it's a big but), will the teams feel comfortable openly undermining an umpire? Will that effect future decisions? What happens if a team uses up their three attempts early on and leave a batsman needing the winning runs and feeling like he was not out? Will the captain have more of a right to use it than a tailender? Who should get the final decision? Will the umpiring become more timid knowing that their decision could be scrutinised so quickly?

When the ECB experimented with the system in county cricket, players hardly used it at all. Will England have the courage (well, South Africa and Australia will) to use it? Will it be used in the Ashes?

So many questions and so few answers. The only way to find out is obviously to use it, but it may well be a step too far, after all, umpires are paid fairly well and that is their whole point of existence. The ICC are denying their destiny.

Nightwatchgirl is not yet entirely convinced.


Unknown said...

Imagine it had been used in the 05 Ashes, Martyn could still be batting, and Kaspa would have hit the winning run Edgbaston.

Am liking this review system already

Anonymous said...

Like you rightly point out, its the only three chances to refer per innings I do not understand.

A fairer system would be to not cap the number of referrals - instead have penalty runs (added or subtracted) for referrals proved incorrect.

That will certainly reduce the numbers of unnecessary referrals, whilst leaving the option open right upto the very last ball.

In my ideal world of cricket, it will be umpires only - no third umpires, no hawkeye or snickometer no lightmeters. Just old fashioned honest and fair human judgement (and errors) and a lot of common sense.

Its sport for god's sake, we do not need techonological perfection, we are not sending the players to the moon.

The Nightwatchgirl said...

In NWG's dream land, she'd have Ricky Ponting, Steve Harmison and Monty Panesar in a spaceship to the moon. What fun they'd have. Interesting conversations about space and scars.

Though who would do the cooking? Who would empty out the pee? Most importantly, who would be the one to be trusted to stay on the ship whilst the other two went down to the moon? NWG's choice would be Monty. Definitely trustworthy (read timid).

David Barry said...

What happens if a team uses up their three attempts early on and leave a batsman needing the winning runs and feeling like he was not out?
It'll teach those top-order batsmen to not ask for referrals when they're out....

Damith S. said...

Did you catch a glimpse of it in the SL v Ind series. It has a lot of loopholes.

SL were caught up in a few situations where we used up our 3 referrals and after that a bad decision was made and we couldnt refer it lol.

Also the time taken between the actual appeal and the refferal is not clearly defined.

Mahela would take about 5 mins to call for a review after checking with his keeper, close in fielders etc.

And of course the onfield umpire eventually makes the decision. He only gets clues from the 3rd. Im still not sure why the 3rd umpire cant make the decision himself.

Maybe its a way to retain the human element of it.

Barring all this , the system went down well with the players and umpires in that SL v Ind series. Both captains liked it but said it needs tweaking, certainly one is the time taken to go for a review.

Anonymous said...

Interesting issue to speculate on, when the mind is idle.
Moon cricket - at 0.17G and no atmosphere.

One thing I am certain of, if theres $$$ to be made, BCCI will soon be blasting off into space.