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02 Aug 13 09:52
Date Joined: 16 Dec 02
| Topic/replies: 7,747 | Blogger: bigpoppapump's blog
The introduction of TV pictures to assist the umpires is a flawed concept for the following reasons:

The premise that removal of human error from cricket officiating is widely desired is not a given.  I admit, it's a widely held view by those with a voice that removal of the howler is desirable.  However, I would contend that those who happily comment on the game once they have retired, were also quite happy to capitalise on umpire error while they were playing.  (Not walking for snicks, appealing when you doubt it's out etc are all examples of active cricketers hoping for an umpire to make an error).  Today's cricketers are no different; they'll play and hope for an error to go their way. 
I would therefore suggest that premise number 1; is actually a piece of propaganda.  What cricketers actually want is to "not be a victim of an umpire error".  There's no (genuine) desire to remove human error from officiating per se.
Furthermore - the system whereby onfield players can challenge an umpiring decision they believe to have gone against them further enhances the premise that technology is being used "so we don't get shafted" rather than for the noble goal of removal of error. Two challenges is an arbitary number and (while I accept Australia have been major victims during this series) it was England's onfield experience yesterday which shows the fallacy of the Two-challenges system.  Because Both England challenges yesterday (neither of which were overturned) were actually shown to also have been decisions which would not have been overturned had they originally been given the other way.  Smith may or may not have snicked the caught behind from Anderson (hot spot showed no snick; snicko showed a sound as ball passed by bat).  He probably made a very faint edge on the ball.  Next the LBW - correctly appealed as the ball was shown by hawkeye to be hitting the middle of leg stump.  Not given and not over turned because it wasn't hitting the stumps enough.
Now in neither of these instances could England be accused of attempting "sharp practise" to exploit the use of the technology by challenging everything (presumably the number of challenges is limited to two to stop everything being challenged).  Both challenges were genuine (and both were probably "out").  England therefore also had the double whammy of being unable to challenge a genuine later howler (middle stump LBW, not given). 
If there's a real desire to remove the howler from the game then it's very simple - remove the ability to challenge onfield umpires from the players entirely.  Have all the power with the third umpire to check anything he wants to.

However.  MOST IMPORTANTLY; the second false premise is this:  That TV pictures CAN provide you with a definitive answer to the "what just happened" question is a false expectation.  Often they can; but not always.  And that gentlemen, is NO DIFFERENT to what you get from very good international-class umpires.  Technology simply cannot be used in cricket to prove snicks/lbws in the way it can be used in tennis to prove where a ball bounced.  All that has happened (since the introduction of the technology) is that the focus of the controversy (who got it "wrong" in the eyes of the commentators) has moved from the field to the third umpires box.  And the game now suffers longer delays, to leave decisions with the onfield umps, and to provide the commentators with an (at times disgraceful) opportunity to question decisions.  If the guy in the umps box sees it differently from Warne/Botham/Gower then he is "wrong" etc etc. 

It's not desirable to remove human error from the game.  It's been a great game for hundreds of years with human error.
You cannot remove human error anyway - the technology falls short.
The system as set up encourages something which should be discouraged - challenging onfield authority of the umpires by players.
Inexperienced teams (or those with inexperienced captains) are unfairly disadvantage from the system - it should be the cricket skills of the teams which provide any advantages.
Two challenges is arbitrary and can create unfairness.
The commentators are a disgrace to not appreciate their own view is not definitive.  (Compare and contract Richie B's restrained response to the Kattich lbw at OT in 2005 which pitched a foot outside leg stump versus this shower of sh1te).
It's a pitch Straussy, not a wicket.  (Otherwise good work though, enjoying your contributions).

Carry on.
Pause Switch to Standard View DRS - the issues
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Report Live Forever August 2, 2013 10:11 AM BST
I always wonder when people argue that human error is part of the rich fabric of the game (in any sport). The assertion often follows that the game has muddled along ok with all these errors in the past. And then often comes the claim that umpiring/refereeing mistakes give us all something to discuss and are part of the interest for the fan.

If that's the case though, let's make it even more interesting and partially blindfold officials, meaning they might introduce even more of this exciting and fun concept of human error. Of course, we won't do that because fundamentally we all know that human error and play not being rewarded in the way the laws determine it should be is a bad thing. If we wouldn't seek to increase human error then there is no reason that we would not seek to eliminate it. It's a negative.

(Obviously human error when officiating and human error from players are two different things. We are talking about officiating here and their job is to ensure that the laws reward play as they are designed to do)

Officials are there to ensure that good play is rewarded in the way that the laws of that game determine it should be. Anything that assists in that, whether it be technology or a new pair of glasses, should be used imo (barring extreme disruption to the game or a flawed system - which some might argue DRS currently is). I want to see a good shot or a good ball rewarded correctly. And I do not want to see a poor shot or a poor ball given rewards that are incorrect. Especially glaring errors.

The problems with DRS in this series have not been the use of technology. It has been the humans using the technology seemingly being confused and muddled as to how they interpret the results that the technology shows. Whether that is the fault of the system designed or the fault of the individual for not being able to follow it.

The perfect sporting scenario is that each bit of play is rewarded on its merits. The use of technology brings us closer to that aim and will continue to do so. This is currently just a blip that is flavour of the month imo. The system and, more importantly, understanding of it, will continue to improve and move forward.
Report bigpoppapump August 2, 2013 10:19 AM BST
Umpiring errors are part of the game but should be minimised by absolutely the highest possible standard of umpiring.  Claiming that there are only binary alternatives and then positioning the person you disagree with to the ridiculous alternative, is a very old, but transparent debating trick.

Officiating errors just exist. With DRS and without DRS.
Report Whisperingdeath August 2, 2013 10:20 AM BST
Good call pop,

Personally I think the system being used is pretty good.

The third umpire position is difficult.  The rules need rewriting.  In Rugby they ask the video ref a question like " is there any reason I cannot award a try ".  Yesterday the third umpire should have been asked " is there any reason why I cannot give the batsmen out " and he could have responded " yes, he did not bloody well hit it! "

I think you are right in that the players should take responsibility for their actions.  If you don't walk when you hit one off the middle then don't criticise when it goes the other way and don't have the nerve to make a complaint!

Also you are right about the commentators.  If they feel they have the expertise to ridicule the umpires let them have a button and make their call whenever there is an appeal before they have the chance of a slo mo and hawkeye view.  If they get it wrong let them sacrifice 20% of their match fee and we will see who calls a spade a shovel!

Up catches should be rewritten to something like absolutely without a shadow of a doubt it was not up so on field umpires call should be accepted as the technology is generally inconclusive.

Hot spot and snicko should just be used as tools to aid, not hard and fast.

2 reviews is fine for me otherwise they are likely to be used tactically

I am getting slightly annoyed at people thinking they can call decisions from their sofa's as experts with the aid of slo mo and hawkeye. It is not that easy at speed whatever the training. Mistakes are often made and that is part of the game.  Now we know for sure when a mistake is made but de post facto.  So what?  It doesn't give people the right to malign the guys in the middle to such an extent.
Report bigpoppapump August 2, 2013 10:27 AM BST
but that's one of the points - two reviews ARE (indeed have to be) used tactically.  The (potentially) desirable removal of the howler is not being addressed.  2 reviews is a just a new tactic.  There's times (late in an innings, last recognised batsman at the crease) when it's stupid (tactically) NOT TO review.
Report Whisperingdeath August 2, 2013 10:32 AM BST
If you use the review strategically then you take away your right to a fair trial.

Like you said we have had umpires decisions for 100's of years so if you want to give away your right to appeal it is your decision.

I guess part of the problem here is that we have had howlers from the on field umpires and the 3rd umpire has been making it worse!  That needs to be addressed.  I don't consider Smith's non lbw yesterday as a howler by the Umpire, just a mistake.  The ball was close enough to hitting him outside the line for doubt particularly as his leg continued to outside the line.
Report Latalomne August 2, 2013 10:41 AM BST
The thing that struck me yesterday more than anything was the question of what it would have actually taken for the 3rd umpire to overturn the on-field umpire's decision to give Khawaja out.  Are there circumstances in which there is absolutely no point wasting a review?
Report bigpoppapump August 2, 2013 10:42 AM BST
from what I saw yesterday the major thing that struck me was that we were getting what we always got:  The onfield decision (with its potential for error).  However - we now get a challenge to his authority, and a long delay, and then we get his decision anyway...

what have we brought in?  why?  who benefits from this system?  is what we have now better than what went before?

My view is that the major positive change to umpiring in recent years was the introduction of neutral umpires.  The current tinkering - without regard for the consequences - is crazy.
Report Wallflower August 2, 2013 10:44 AM BST
What's forgotten in all of this is.

Of all the decisions made using DRS how many "howlers" were over-turned as opposed to "howlers" not being exposed.

Far more of the former I'd suggest.
Report nigelpm1 August 2, 2013 10:45 AM BST
I don't think one bad day means you throw out the technology and go back to how it was.

Ultimately, the DRS is there to overturn umpires howlers and it does that generally pretty well.
Report d13phe August 2, 2013 10:48 AM BST
interesting read.  i cannot say i disagree with many of your points.

The disappointing aspect of DRS for me is that the presence of DRS and the number of reviews clearly impacts on the onfield umpires decision - which is where cricket is really losing out.
Report bigpoppapump August 2, 2013 11:00 AM BST
DRS failed to turn over the single biggest howler you will see in the next ten years.  Broad's refusal to walk when caught at slip.

If there's one single piece of evidence that this system doesn't work it's that.  And it didn't happen yesterday; this is not a knee-jerk reaction.  Australia had used their reviews so couldn't challenge - yes, sometimes this can be your own fault (but yesterday England used their reviews without it being bad decision-making to have used them, and lost them).  Let's stop pretending the system is there to remove howlers.  We should be asking why the system is really set up as it is...
Report The Priest August 2, 2013 11:04 AM BST
What gets people is that YES we all know the Umpire may may a mistake BUT if you're watching a replay on TV in the comfort of a air conditioned room with a large TV screen and you see all the things that we saw what happened in close up with sound technology and Hotspot technology and even your own eyes then there is absolutely NO EXCUSE to get that decision wrong , I wonder what his excuse was when he was surely asked after the game or more than likely about 60 seconds after the call was made back to the umpire when his boss ran into the room pulling his hair out.
Report Wallflower August 2, 2013 11:19 AM BST
Isolated incidents/failings doesn't decree a system doesn't work.

Its not a case something like this work infallibly. The real questions centre around it being an improvement on the previous situation?


Is DRS/technology an improvement on what we had ------   YES (just look at the % of CORRECT changes in decsion)
Can the improvement itself be further refined and improved  --  YES (in afew ways, but separate discussion)

Its here to stay - the discussion should be on how to get the best of it.
Report d13phe August 2, 2013 11:20 AM BST
i think the discussion needs to be a rocket up the arse of the on field umpires to tell them to do their job and forget about technology
Report BJT August 2, 2013 11:29 AM BST
Needs to be a panel reviewing decisions and they need to spot the potential mistake and review it, not players.  It should never come about that you can question the umpires in charge.
Minimum 2 people doing the reviewing, and they should be accountable, and talking through their findings, not just hidden away with no accountability.
Report bigpoppapump August 2, 2013 12:27 PM BST
woops.  looks like Warner/Clarke just spunked off their moral high ground.  Silly ****s.
Report Nailed_On August 2, 2013 12:41 PM BST
Prior having a horror series
Report Nailed_On August 2, 2013 12:41 PM BST
Wrong fred!
Report Gin August 2, 2013 4:31 PM BST
Report DStyle August 2, 2013 10:11 PM BST
there are five problems with DRS:

1. Third umpires who don't understand how it works

2. Players who don't understand how it works.

3. Everyone else who doesn't understand how it works.

4. That the lbws decisions have been reduced to a set of moronic heuristics instead of a qualitative degree of certainty (would help IMMENSELY with 1, 2 and 3)

5. Hotspot can give false negatives.
Report spassky August 2, 2013 10:43 PM BST
Totally agree with Live Forever in the last post.  I think people have forgotten just how awful the umpiring was. It is easy to overstate the case, but I remember finding it difficult to watch games that had been "ruined" by awful decisions on days one and two. Buckner was my particular "hate".

BPP thinks that Broad being caught at slip last Test was the "single biggest howler you will see in the next ten years" but two points : firstly it wasn't a patch on some of the howlers in years gone by. Do you remember in Australia when Andrew Symonds was virtually impregnable no matter how hard he snicked it (I think it was against Sri Lanka; might even have been the same series when Sangakarra was sawn off; caught off his helmet, whilst playing one of the greatest innings in history)....
and secondly BPP said "DRS failed to turn over the single biggest howler you will see in the next ten years.  Broad's refusal to walk when caught at slip." but then goes onto explain why it wasn't DRS' fault because "Australia had used their reviews so couldn't challenge".
In other words; blame Broad for not walking; the umpire for not being good enough; and Australia for wasting their two reviews - but the one thing you can't blame is DRS ! If anything you have given the best example to prove why we need MORE DRS, not less.

Finally, I totally agree with England not reviewing Bresnan this evening. We learnt very early on that feathery snicks are rarely conclusive. It is the easiest way to waste a review, even when the batsman MIGHT be correct (eg Khawaja). Personally I would give then five (or even unlimited) reviews. Lets face it; the crowd loves them, and it is not as though we need worry about a few seconds here or there !! This is cricket we are talking about.

(oh and finally, finally .... Botham .... the absolute worst ..... always persists with his original opinion no matter what the replays show, and then says "move on" as though no-one else needs to look once he has announced his decision).
Report mafeking August 2, 2013 10:59 PM BST
yep i remember a test in sri lanka in 2001 which must have had double figure shockers as it happens mostly in favour of england by the local umpire bc cooray. jayasuriya was given out caught at slip to a bump ball

in the previous test was perhaps the worst decision of recent years when stewart was given out lbw to a ball that must have pitched a foot outside leg

of course go back to the distant past the away side had little chance of getting any sort of decision england famously not getting a single lbw decision in the 70/71 ashed which they still won 2-0
Report Whisperingdeath August 2, 2013 11:54 PM BST
yep these youngsters just don't know how lucky they are!  short memories indeed.  Javed Miandad never given out lbw in Pakistan till the World Cup and neutral umpires!
Report bigpoppapump August 5, 2013 9:42 AM BST
BPP said "DRS failed to turn over the single biggest howler you will see in the next ten years.  Broad's refusal to walk when caught at slip." but then goes onto explain why it wasn't DRS' fault because "Australia had used their reviews so couldn't challenge".
In other words; blame Broad for not walking; the umpire for not being good enough; and Australia for wasting their two reviews - but the one thing you can't blame is DRS ! If anything you have given the best example to prove why we need MORE DRS, not less.

No - I go on to use this as evidence for the failure of DRS to rectify a howler.  It's not complicated;  Broad was given not out, it's a howler, technology (as used) fails to get the decision overturned.  It's a failure of the system.  And yes you are correct "more DRS" could have rectified it (if by that you mean unlimited appeals by the players). But I prefer my suggestion from the first post in the thread:

If there's a real desire to remove the howler from the game then it's very simple - remove the ability to challenge onfield umpires from the players entirely.  Have all the power with the third umpire to check anything he wants to.

So not having "more DRS".  Simply having an intelligently applied intervention in the case of an obvious howler.  Everything else stays onfield (as most things do anyway) and the players never challenge an umpires authority.  At the moment the system is a failure as it doesn't remove all known howlers (such as Broad's non-walk).
Report bigpoppapump August 5, 2013 12:48 PM BST
lol.  it's a farce.

KP decision proving you cannot get an onfield decision about a snick overturned because the technology is either incorrectly set up, not trusted by the 3rd umpire, or is simply being disregarded.  Hot spot shows nothing but the decision stands.  How does that work then?
Report bigted. August 5, 2013 12:56 PM BST
A few key points:
- Players do not always know if they have hit the ball
- There was a noise
- Thin edges do not show on HotSpot

the saffa snicked it...

Report bigpoppapump August 5, 2013 12:56 PM BST
and Nasser's telling more lies to try and spare some blushes.  "KP would have challenged immediately if he knew he didn't hit it"

How can he know?  KP did shake his head immediately, then went and checked with his colleague (as per team instructions).

It really is a load of old sh1te this pretend review system.
Report bigpoppapump August 5, 2013 12:58 PM BST
he might have done ted old lad, but the question is - what's the point of the technology?  it's patently not being used.
Report spassky August 5, 2013 1:13 PM BST
Nobody seems to be learning ....... in the early days it became obvious that you can't expect DRS to overturn the feathered edges. I noticed Strauss stopped reviewing the "caught behinds". I said exactly the same on this thread .... I said that although Bresnan clearly hadn't hit it; he was right not to review, because the system can't prove a negative eg it can't prove that you DIDN'T hit it.  That does not mean that the system is a farce. The system is there to overturn howlers; and the umpires are there (amongst other things) to determine if there has been an edge. Use DRS for the bat-pads which is an area where the umpires have always been guessing; or on LBW's where you think the umpire has missed an inside edge; or on LBW's where you think the umpire is wrong (on height, or pitching outside the line etc).  In other words :- use it for what it is designed TO OVERTURN HOWLERS, and don't waste it on feathered edges.
(BPP -- I am probably being pedantic, but technology was not to blame for Broad's howler. It was the design of the review system so that technology was not used that cost him. I can't be bothered to go back and read your first post, but I suspect we are roughly in agreement.)
Report bigpoppapump August 5, 2013 2:01 PM BST
yeah we are - I think turning the third ump into God to interrupt when he sees fit would be the way to go (if the true intent was to remove the howler).  And as the tech never disproves a caught behind (even when it's incorrectly given out) then what's the point of the delay to the game?  In defence of the thick players - they've been told they can appeal a wrong decision; they know they didn't hit it - they're going to appeal aren't they?
Report sageform August 5, 2013 2:23 PM BST
I must admit that until this series I was broadly in favour of DRS but only if it includes Snicko. the was it has operated in this series is a disaster for several reasons.
1. there have been an unbelievable number of minute nicks that are not showing clearly on hotspot. If they continue to use it, then any contact not showing up on hotspot should be not out.
2. Only 2 reviews per innings have led to far too many wrong decisions standing because a team has no more reviews left. If DRS makes any sense then all decisions should be reviewable but not by a player-it should be a combination of the 3 officials who review and if the umpire at the bowlers end is not sure he should review it straight away, not be made to guess.
3. The quality of onfield umpiring seems to be poor in this series and this causes a lot of ill will among the players and the spectators.
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