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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Do we still need a black and white man in cricket ? ?

Technology had done wonders in all fields , especially in the field of sports , where television coverage has grown leaps and bounds and we in our dressing rooms see replays in ultra motions and also feel the soft spot of a batsman stroke by means of hot spot ( Thermal Imaging ) . The above examples were with reference to Cricket . In Tennis , Hawkeye which incidentally is also used in cricket , has been playin a crucial role in determining line calls when a player appeals , so a john mcenroe if he is in court now cannot abuse the lines men or the chair referee as the so called technology will fool him instead .

It was long before the idea of Third Umpire  , who has the advantage of seeing slow motion videos and deciding on the decision was used . The lucky man who was given out first by a third umpire was our very own Sachin Tendulkar . The whole of India stood still when a throw from Jonty rhodes crashed the stumps in Eden Gardens and the third umpire was referred who pressed the red signal for Sachin to walk back to the pavillion  . The system was a great hit and it ruled out one major theory .
  Benefit of the doubt going to the batsman
This system still remains a hit and used in all forms of cricket , still this system cannot be accounted for correct decisions , for eg , the camera angles at some stages become inconclusive and the third umpire goes back to the same old theory .

As i said before the third umpire method was tested against India and when the Indians toured the Emerald Isle last year , another system which can challenge the on field umpires was introduced . In this a team had 3 referrals ( if u are going to be incorrect in all the 3 you can no longer refer again ) , where again a so called third umpire reviews the on field umpires decision and gives his verdict . This system was introduced to show fairness to all especially to the people , who they pay and watch their heroes but they later find their hero was given out which was actually not . This referral system also include LBW`S , where Hawk eye was used to determine the impact and the area where the ball pitched .

But this system to the contraty received huge flak , especially from the Indians who were at the receiving end , where a few decisions were reversed for them and few were awarded against them . So a simple appeal from the BCCI put this system into the well and was reviewed . ( my god you have a review for the review system itself ) . Many Indians especially Sachin was against this ( I think he has been credited with the record number of times by umpiring blunders on field ) , when asked the reason he said the " the replays again are inconclusive because of the angles and he respected the two men on the field who gave the decisions .

But the DRS is back again , this time the ICC made few changes to the system , where for the LBW referral the third umpire will be shown , the area of pitching and impact , but the final frame of ball hitting the stumps or not will not be shown . This is simply laughable as even a guy with good eyes will watch it in his TV and say the ball is hitting the stumps or not . This system is presently used in the Australian series and the New Zeland series .

Tomorrow i think , people will think the two men so called umpires are just there to freeze their arms for a boundary or lift their hands and legs if a bowler bowls an extra and no other decision making . But when technology comes into any sport it also increases the process of complexity , the people who are watching a game in the stadium become restless , no to say our wonderful broadcasters who will find a better time to show their ads in TV when a referral is made . So according to me , i think decisions other than run outs can be left to the on field umpires , just because we will not be in a position to see another Dave Shepard , Dickie Bird , Simon Taufel in the future .

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