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Cricket : Introducing Third Umpire Referrals introduces Controversies

We all know How Poor and Bad Umpiring Decisions ,sometimes deliberate and biased,can spoil a Match and often change the Course…..we all saw how Steve Bucknor of West Indies did us in when we were on a winning course against Australia in a Sydney Test match last year and how the tour was nearly called off and the Prime Minister of Australia had to caution the Australian Team to play the game in the Spirit of the Game

All this brought about welcome changes….One of them was introduced for the first time in the ongoing India and Sri Lanka Test Series in Sri Lanka…..It allows three Referrals to the Third Umpire by each team in each innings of any Umpiring Decision

The Problems that have cropped up are several….Referrals show

  • Third Umpire Bias….Dravid was given not out by Umpire Billy Doctrove for a lbw appeal by Bowler Murli and his team mates…Captain Jaywardene took his time to see the angle,walk up to the Umpire inquiring why he had made such a decision…this in itself should  not be allowed….and then asking for a referral to the third umpire….here the third umpire is Dsilva,a Sri Lankan…and as he has shown earlier too in this test match,he ruled Dravid Out when the ball had pitched outside the off stump and was spinning in and Dravid was well forward 2 meters when he attempted to sweep the ball…Doctrove had to change his decision and give Dravid Out
  • Technology is not the Final Answer…..Another Leg before Decision was given Not Out and Gambhir survived….Captain Jaywardene took his time,asked the Umpire why the decision was Not Out and asked for a referral to the Third Umpire….It was given Not Out even by the Third Umpire…but the point here is that Technology was simply not able to decide the turn… Replay showed that the ball pitched on middle and was spinning away way past leg stump…probably would have missed a fourth stump too…However Hawk Eye showed the ball would have hit Leg Stump…this was simply not possible…Fortunately Hawk Eye visuals are not allowed to be seen by the Third Umpire on a referral…..Camera angles cannot be used to gauge the spin and turn
  • Referrals should be instantaneous and not after more than a few seconds

  A Simple and Beautiful and a Gentlemen’s Game of Cricket is being made Complicated….as Chris Cairns,the New Zealand Cricketer, stated on Television later that a Bowler does not get another chance to bowl the ball,the batsman does not get another chance to play his shot then why should a Decision be referred to the Third Umpire who refer to the replays and takes several minutes to decide….even if this referral system continues there should be a Review of the Third Umpire’s Review on the Referral

Cricket is a Big Money Game now…Careers and Reputations and I dare say Advertising Sponsorships are at stake for Cricketers……How then can it remain a Gentlemen’s Game ?!

The Serpent will continue to have Feet drawn on it… other words Simple Things will continue to be made more and more complicated  


1 thought on “Cricket : Introducing Third Umpire Referrals introduces Controversies”

  1. Just to clear the confusion, the third umpire does not decide whether the batsman is out or not out, he is only supposed to provide feedback to the on-field umpire to better equip him to make the right decision.. e.g. the umpire might give a batsman out lbw, and a referral may be requested, then if the third umpire informs the on field umpire that the ball pitched outside leg stump, it is upto the onfield umpire to use that information to reverse his decision.. of course this is a very straightforward example.. the review system definitely needs some tweaks though.. it takes way too long even for obvious decisions..

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