MCC backs Chappell’s DRS call

By Julian Guyer, Julian Guyer is a Roar Guru

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    The world cricket committee of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has backed a call from former Australia captain Ian Chappell for the sport’s authorities to take complete control of the controversial Decision Review System (DRS).

    DRS came under fire during England’s dramatic 14-run win against Australia in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge last week.

    England were incensed when third umpire Marais Erasmus, on the field at Lord’s for this week’s second Test, overturned Aleem Dar’s not out lbw verdict against Jonathan Trott, despite not having the full range of DRS replays available to him.

    It later emerged that as the host broadcaster was using the side-on Hot Spot replay to look at the dismissal of Joe Root the ball before, it was not available to Erasmus when the Trott decision was referred to him.

    Australians were not alone in thinking it wrong a system brought in to overturn the umpiring “howler” or major error was unavailable to the tourists when England’s Stuart Broad was given not out, despite edging the ball to slip, because by then they had used up both their innings reviews.

    The MCC panel, made up mainly of eminent former players, insisted DRS was fundamentally sound, with problems in Nottingham down mainly to basic human error, and called for its use across all international matches.

    Cricket powerhouse India has long objected to DRS and, consequently, it plays no part in bilateral matches involving the Asian giants.

    “It (the decision) was a unanimous view of all members of the World Cricket Committee present at its meeting that the Decision Review System works, and undoubtedly helps the umpires to bring about more correct decisions on the field,” said a MCC statement released after a two-day meeting at Lord’s.

    “The committee was unanimous in its opinion that it was the poor implementation of DRS (at Trent Bridge) that led to the controversies, rather than the system itself.

    “Human error will always play a part in the game for both players and umpires but the DRS is successful in limiting this.

    “With the DRS, more correct decisions are being made and so the committee strongly reiterates its desire to see the universal implementation of the system in international cricket matches.

    “A further benefit from universal use would be the ownership of the whole process by ICC rather than by television companies.”

    Chappell, in a column for the ESPN Cricinfo website, wrote: “The DRS should always be the sole responsibility of the cricket boards; they should pay for and operate everything that’s required for the decision-making process.

    “Adjudication has nothing to do with the television coverage, which is there to provide entertainment for the viewers.

    “Hopefully this latest malfunction will convince the cricket boards to take charge of the DRS, and that way every Test will then be played under the same conditions,” he added.

    Chappell also argued that the referral system be scrapped, with decisions as to when to call upon DRS being a matter solely for the umpires.

    “The arbiters in the middle should be encouraged to make decisions and then, only if the video umpire sees a glaring error, should he intervene,” he said.

    “This way the umpiring standards could be raised and only the howlers, and not the 50-50 decisions, would be overturned.”

    MCC, which owns Lord’s, stopped running the English first-class game in 1969 but retains worldwide responsibilty for cricket’s rulebook or Laws.

    © AFP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • July 18th 2013 @ 10:48am
      Sideline Comm. said | July 18th 2013 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      Definitely agree. The players should not have the ability to review a decision, only the umpires. If there is a big appeal by the fielding team, or the on-field umpire requests it, the third umpire should quickly review a ball and make a judgement. It’s simple and takes the power away from the wishful or desperate captains.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 18th 2013 @ 11:28am
      Rassie said | July 18th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

      What got hotspot to do with LBW’s?

      • July 18th 2013 @ 11:39am
        Chui said | July 18th 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        Was there any contact with the bat before the pad?

        • July 18th 2013 @ 1:21pm
          JohnB said | July 18th 2013 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

          Yes, but if he gave it out on review doesn’t that suggest he was satisfied (by looking at it) that there wasn’t? Hotspot (as shown in the Haddin dismissal) doesn’t necessarily give you the clearest evidence of anything.

          Have to say, I remain dubious about hawkeye’s accuracy in predicting the path of the ball, and I wouldn’t mind at all if it wasn’t used for that purpose.

          It’s always seemed to me that the umpire should be able to make the referral. I’d see it working this way – on every dismissal, where the umpire thinks it is out, the umpire asks the 3rd umpire whether there is any reason he can’t give the batsman out. There is then (when relevant) a check for a no ball and:

          – for a caught dismissal, if there is any question about it (and any of the umpires could decide whether this should be done), an examination whether the batsman hit the ball and/or whether it carried.

          – for an LB dismissal the 3rd umpire would look at the line questions – where the ball pitched and where it struck the batsman, and then look at whether the batsman played a shot and whether he hit the ball (and whether before or after the ball hit the batsman). The 3rd umpire would not look into whether or not the ball was going to hit the stumps – that would be left to the original decision of the umpire on the field.

          – on rare occasions the 3rd umpire would look at whether it was the ball that hit the wicket in a bowled decision.

          – for hit wicket, the 3rd umpire looks at what hit the wicket and when

          – run out and stumping (which of course mostly get referred anyway now unless they’re extremely clear) – even if clear, the 3rd umpire could on one viewing see if there is any suggestion of the ball having been taken in front of the stumps (for a stumping) and (for either) whether the wicket was broken properly. Otherwise it comes back to the line decision for which TV reviews are generally very good (regardless of what you think of the Agar decision).

          – the “exotic” decisions – handled the ball, hit the ball twice, interfered with the field – would generally all be referred anyway now I suspect so can be disregarded here.

          So I’m saying when the umpire thinks it’s out, the 3rd umpire automatically does a quick scrutiny to see if there is any issue. Generally that would take very little time.

          When there is a not out decision, I think the referral should still not be in the players’ hands the field umpire has to be able to refer anything to the 3rd umpire saying “I think it’s not out but can you confirm that he didn’t hit it” (or “I think it struck him outside the line/he hit it etc”) or “I don’t know whether he hit it, can you check”. The umpires should be instructed to put the ego away and if they’re not certain, refer it. If they don’t and they get more than the occasional one wrong, there should be consequences for them.

          That might lead to more decisions going to the 3rd umpire than now. I think that’s a necessary evil and that getting more decisions right justifies it. I also suspect there wouldn’t be that much time wasted applying the system.

          Two things that might need to happen – clear instructions (backed up in practice) regarding excessive appealing not being on, and regarding anyone saying to the umpire “refer it”

          • Roar Rookie

            July 19th 2013 @ 11:23am
            Rassie said | July 19th 2013 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            So you would prefer a umpire to make that calculations rather than a computer who computes the conditions, flight, deviation and angle all in a split second? Hotspot are 20 to 30 percent more accurate than umpires. And teams have analyses and its showed some umpires the more appeals the more they lift the finger. So instead of technology sussing out umpires for team they use technology to keep the umpires confidence level up.

            @Chui

            What if the bat has hit the pad?

            Like video replays, Hot Spot will not provide clear evidence in all cases. In addition to low intensity impacts that generate little friction it is also likely that the clarity of its output will be affected by ambient conditions. For example, the image should be clearest when conditions are such as to allow the heat images of the line, the impact point and the ground to be clearly different. Other factors that may also explain the relatively low take-up of Hot Spot, especially outside cricket, are the high costs of the cameras, the need for specialist operators, and the limited scope for re-using the data generated.

            There are also zones of uncertainty in respect of the other two judgments that have to be made to apply the lbw rule correctly. These concern the impact point of the ball on the ground as it bounces before striking the batsman and the impact point of the ball on the pad. These also have similar rules that determine when the RTD can be used to over-rule the on-field umpire and when the original decision should stand.

            A further feature recognising the fact that an RTD cannot entirely replace human judgement is the following rule used by the ICC:

            If the point of impact [on the pad] is greater than 250cm from the stumps, the third umpire will inform his on-field colleague of the exact distance, the approximate distance from the point of pitching to the point of impact and where the ball is predicted to hit the stumps. The on-field umpire will then apply the normal cricketing principles concerning levels of certainty in making his final decision

            Marginal decisions will, of course, remain so some element of controversy will persist when spectators refuse to agree that a difficult decision was fairly taken (transparent justice) or that no-one could have done any better than the on field official (presumptive justice).

    • July 18th 2013 @ 4:41pm
      Nick said | July 18th 2013 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

      I have to say I disagree with Ian Chappell. I think the current referral system (similar to tennis) is the best way to utilize the DRS system.
      We don’t want cricket turning into the farce of the NRL where on-field referees never call any tries and refer everything upstairs. The vast majority of decisions are correct already in cricket (which is so impressive of the umpires) so the DRS should be used only to correct glaring decisions. If Clarke didn’t screw up wasting his DRS referrals on 50/50s in hope there wouldn’t be an issue.

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