Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Field Umpires c ICC b TECHNOLOGY 2008

Now cricket has gone one step too far in using technology in the game. The latest – the teams can appeal against the umpire’s decision. The new rule is to be test fired by ICC this autumn, when India travels to SriLanka in September for 3-tests and 5 ODIs. About all cricket boards have accepted this decision of ICC, the English Cricket Board and South African Cricket Board are yet to give their consensus about the issue.

The decision was taken following complaints from Boards and players about the incorrect decisions given by the on-field umpires. Some times these decisions proved to be vitasl in the Game’s result.

The rules say that the two sides can have up to 3 appeals to against the umpires decision. If after the appeal, it is confirmed that the umpires decision was right, one of those 3 appeals is lost, but if their appeal is approved after the referral, it is replenished, i.e. they will still have the same number of appeals left as many as they had before the umpire declared his decision.

Now, is it required all? What is the use of having on field umpires, then? As it is, there are only a few umpires on the Elite Panel, and only a few other umpires look like making into the panel. Instead of coaching the umpires to hone their skills, use of technology for umpiring is going to have an impact on the umpires. Lesser people may want to take up the respected job of umpiring. The confidence of the present group of umpires would’ve sunk. Had the cricket boards enforced fine on players; who do not walk after they are out, or who claim dropped catches, batsmen who stay put after being caught at slip, or those who give wrong assurance to umpires while riding the boundary; this issue may not have been heard at all.

It is no use measuring the speed of the ball bowled, or how far the ball was hit, or what part of the field a fielder can protect, or how far the ball might have gone “had it spun” or “had it bounced”. The umpire has to be the best one on the field to give the decision, which remains final (or will remain so for only some more days). Enforcing the umpire to go for the TV umpire is not in the spirit of the game, no matter what may be the state of the match.

The best umpires in history, like Dicky Bird, and even some of those off late, like Srinivas Venkatraghavan, David Shepherd, Steve Bucknor did not refer to the Hawk-Eye or snick-o-meter or Hot-Spot to give their decision. And they were, and are still respected, world over.

I think the Boards should rethink this all over. At least, this should’ve been tried in all domestic circuits before being put into international scenario.


  1. I feel that UDRS must be in use since a team should not lose for no fault for theirs. Umpires are after all humans and bound to make mistakes. The UDRS is present to correct those mistakes only. But the technology used for UDRS must be improved to much higher quality before its put in use.. As seen in recent times, the third umpire with all the technology at hand seems to be giving wrong decisions (WTH!?!?). Either the umpires are getting stupider by the day or depending too much on tech.

  2. and btw steve bucknor lost almost all of his respect among fans due to a serious of bad decisions near the end of his career.. UDRS will rectify all that..