The longer a team bats, the more referrals there are.
While Haroon Lorgat and Sanjay Patel provided an interesting sideshow that ultimately overshadowed the International Cricket Council’s chief executive’s meeting in Dubai last weekend, one thing seriously sparked my interest.
The outcome of that meeting must be raised at a later stage because I do need to focus on the technical points of the game.
I’m a big fan of the decision review system (DRS), not because it pisses off the Board of Control for Cricket in India, but because it simplifies the game.
Not that I’m in entire agreement with the topping up of reviews after 80 overs.
The last time I checked, reviews were introduced to ensure that umpires eradicated howlers.
They may have made the game interesting but they cast an ugly shadow on it.
The game cannot be allowed to deteriorate to the point of umpires making Shakeel Khan-like decisions.
Cricket has already been dirtied and it can’t get worse.
Even with the DRS around, human error is just that and if the umpires are brave enough to take responsibility for their mistakes, that’s fair enough.
The ICC would do well not to follow the International Rugby Board’s bad example of shielding its rotten apples.
They have given match officials more power but if it has to be viewed from Romain Poite’s perspective, they have yet to harness it, and there is a massive absence of responsibility.
Hanging your own officials out to dry is not the way to go but a modicum of responsibility would go a long way towards ensuring an official’s credibility.
Topping up referrals will make umpires look even worse than they did during the Ashes, when clear decisions were not given out.
Stuart Broad’s Trent Bridge nick must be the ultimate example of that.
Referrals should not be a tactical decision, but should serve as a tool to aid umpires.
Batsmen know when they are out or not out, and team-mates need to censure themselves for misusing reviews.
How many times did we see Shane Watson referring a decision that was clearly out?
Isn’t that a form of cheating on a batsman’s part in that it’s an effort to prolong his time at the crease?
It’s the same with bowlers who look for something that is not there.
The technology has not caught up with the game and the technology itself is not 100% foolproof either.
If it was, we wouldn’t have to charge our phones every four hours.
The longer a team bats, the more referrals there will be.
Let’s pray that the groundsmen do not prepare feather beds. If that happens, the game will start to border on purgatory.
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