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India was right all along to refuse the DRS

Editor
15th June, 2016
30
2088 Reads

If this past week doesn’t convince the cricketing world that Hawk-Eye and the Decision Review System’s a blight on the game, nothing will.

First, Sri Lanka was denied an LBW wicket against England because hawk-eye said the middle of the ball wasn’t hitting the middle of leg stump. In fact, it was millimetres outside the required threshold and therefore the umpire’s on-field verdict wasn’t going to be changed.

Hawk-Eye ruling against Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan legend, Kumar Sangakkara took to twitter to voice his frustration at the ruling.

Any cricket fan could see that enough of the ball was crashing into leg stump on the evidence provided. The middle of the ball hitting the middle of the stump rule is in place to give some benefit to the original umpire’s call. It therefore presumes there is doubt with the system.

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That was embarrassingly made clear in the Caribbean when Josh Hazlewood bowled South African batsman AB de Villiers with an in-swinger. To analyse the swing of the ball, the TV crew used the ball tracking at their disposal, mainly to show how much the ball had moved, but low and behold the ball tracking went on to show the ball bouncing over the stumps! That’s right, despite de Villiers being clean bowled, ball tracking had it missing by a good 10 centimetres.

AB de Villiers dismissal

If the ball tracking was so horribly wrong on this occasion, how can any one trust what it says, especially on LBW decisions?

It may have been a glitch with the system in the Caribbean but it’s not an isolated case.

Those behind Hawk-Eye admitted the projection was wrong in 2014 when Pakistan batsman Shan Masood was given out LBW from an in-swinger that was projected to be hitting the stumps when it was clearly going past leg.

Unlike tennis where Hawk-Eye is monitoring exactly where a ball lands and making an in or out ruling, cricket’s complexities mean that it’s predicting where the ball will finish up. As we’ve seen in the AB de Villiers case, the prediction is not fool-proof.

World cricket shouldn’t be happy to accept these glitches. It’s a sign that India was right all along and Hawk-Eye is not suited to the game.