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Sight Screen

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Technology...how much??

Going through the third game of the super series, I am inclined to believe, the game would be better off with the limited use of technology. Some of the innovations used in this series have done nothing to add value. It only has added more subjectivity to a game where many subjective factors are already there. Look at the way umpires handled LBW decision in this game. I can remember four appeals. Two were clearly out. Ponting to Ntini and Murali to Watson. But umpires neither gave them out nor referred to third umpire. Two were clearly not-out (I don't remember details) And what do umpires do?... Refer to the third umpire. This is absurd. We had four mistakes in a single game with so much of technology in place. Another incident which made mockery of cricket was the No-ball decision. For the first time, a no-ball was given after a wicket was taken. What about those no-balls which were not given and also did not have wickets.

What are the umpires' role from now in the field? Is it just standing there and signalling no balls, fours and sixes occasionally. Or taking bowlers' caps and sweaters? Probably, some day we will see umpires who could give cards to cricketers or even be trained enough to treat injured cricketers.

Not only are we adding more subjectivity, we are wasting so much of time. Someday, an umpire might decide to refer every single appeal to third umpire to avoid any errors. Then what? We will have half an hour for these decisions only.

So, what is the solution. We can not go with the umpiring errors also. Well, I have two suggestions.

1. Why can't we have twenty class umpires who would not make many mistakes. I mean it should be posiible if there is some really good program to produce them. Why can't ICC have professional courses on umpiring. They could promote umpiring at all levels, bring expertise, train new umpires etc..I mean it should not be impossible to produce some 20 excellent umpires from around the world, if ICC really wants that.

2. Line decisons like no-balls can be supported by technology. We can have more viodeo cameras like in champions trophy last year. For every no-ball, there should be an instantaneous flash on the screen or a sound alarm to on-field umpires. I beleieve that is not impossible if ICC wants.

Instead of going for more technology, it is the way it is used that is important.


  • Am all up for technology. In close games, the difference between winning and losing is usually one bad umpiring error and it is during that time I feel the use of technology is very beneficial. Even if the game is held up for a few minutes - so what.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 06:14  

  • it wont make any difference...as it is, people watch cricket for 8 hrs and am sure they wouldn't mind wasting 10 mins of their time on game holdups due to 3rd umpire referrals.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 06:15  

  • Ravi: Your conclusions are not based on sound logic.
    Dont blame the technology, if the umpires did'nt use it effectively. Heard this anecdote here in the US. There was serious problem with the rowers that constituted the US rowing team. The solution to the problem ... Change the sail boat ....

    By Blogger indCric, at 08:17  

  • If the problem is the umpires then they should be trained in how to use the technology. There should be some example scenarios for them to see what would they do. Also help them understand the technology so they can understand the limitations and advantages of the technology.

    on a unrelated topic "This link" is a very heartning fact and lets all give a round of applause to PCA for common sense administration.

    By Blogger Amit, at 10:13  

  • Instead of going for more technology, it is the way it is used that is important.

    Dude...what does that mean?
    That to me is a logic-free statement

    By Blogger Bala, at 11:07  

  • I was looking at this article (http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/221426.html) on Cricinfo on how the Challenger series is going to be broadcast internationally and marketed like an ODI series, thus setting the benchmark for Indian domestic cricket.

    I think the move should work - the masses around India will watch their stars. Us cricket enthusiasts will follow pretty much any Indian cricket we get access to and we want to spot the up and coming players in action even though we know the tournament is meaningless to selectors. Nimbus is promising a high quality of coverage that will "rival international contests".

    I think any move to revamp or improve domestic cricket is a positive one, and also long overdue. I hope this does indeed go on to improve the domestic program across the country and is not just all one-time hype to promote this series so that the profits go straight into the pockets of those involved.

    By Blogger Sidhant, at 12:04  

  • to PREM and WORMA...........

    its only because of you both that people write on this blog..... why did u keep all the other impotent people around here.... Prem I really cant understand your logic here.... plz try to explian.... the most useless of the lot is the so called stupiddddddddddddddddddd RUCHIR JOSHI...




    By Blogger Yule, at 12:30  

    TO REDUCE TIME, I WOULD SAY THAT, THE BATSMAN gets one appeal per innings to refer a decision to third umpire in case of LBW or catch and bowling side gets 3 appeals per inngs to be refered to the 3rd umpire in case of an LBW decision.

    How about this suggestion?

    By Blogger criclogic, at 13:15  

  • I have thought about the use of technology in cricket in for many years, especially after witnessig many decisions against India!

    Technology can help umpires avoid errors but it takes time and it is not inconclusive. So what we need is a system like the one used in NFL (National Football League) is US.

    In cricket, the coach should get 5 challenges during a days play in which he can refer any decision to 3rd umpire if he feels it will have a huge impact on the game. That way, the control of deciding what to send rests with the coaches and they will send thing that matter and make a difference to the game more importantly time is not wasted in every decision. As an added incentive, if the coach gets 3/4 out of 5 ruled in his favor, he gets one more challaenge, this will make sure right decisions are referred. I have seen this work beautifully in NFL and I am sure it will in cricket too.

    By Blogger uma, at 13:37  

  • To add to uma and criclogic's suggestion, we can also charge an over(or any other suitable penalty) to the team making an appeal if the on field umpire's decision is upheld. This will make teams think twice before they appeal and hence can avoid unnecessary delays to the game.

    By Blogger blueboy, at 15:26  

  • Problem can be solved. There wouldnt be much need of their umpire if ICC equip the on field umpire with a hand held tv. Not sure if one is avialable right now. but it will be soon.
    So on field umpire can get the benefit of watching the replays and decide himself instead of reffering it to the their umpire.

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:44  

  • Yule:

    You take time out from your precious 24 hours to read my comments and react to them.

    You call me useless and stupid; yet you read my comments and react to them. What does that make you, my friend??

    A FYI: I don't give any opinions on the main blog page, I merely put articles from different sites there. I give my opinions in the comment section; like you and everyone else. So, what seems to be the problem here??

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 15:47  

  • I also see no reason why we cant use technology to detect Noballs. Sensors could be used with a speaker on both ends to decide if the ball was legal.
    May be we should use such innovations at challengers.

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:48  

  • As there is no other thread, I will deviate from this topic and start some other topic.

    What should we read into the appointment of Kaif as seniors' captain ?
    Was Tendulkar offered it at all ?

    By Blogger raj_am, at 16:36  

  • rajam:

    Since Dravid is not there, Kaif seems to be the next, and only, logical choice of captain in the seniors team.

    The composition of team is such that there is no other choice, apart from Sachin.

    I think that, at best, Sachin would have been asked to captain the side as a mere formality, out of courtesey for him. Sachin would never accept any captaincy, other than that Mumbai team. Because he doen't want it and also because he would not want to start a wildfire of rumor of him vying for captaincy in future.

    Endresult: Kaif is asked to captain the side since he is the only one available, other than Sachin; who wouldn't accept it anyways.

    Actually, this is a very good opportunity for Kaif to show his captaincy skills. He was the captain of U-19 team that won U-19 world cup. If India seniors win the trophy then it will be another feather in his cap, which he can use later when the post of captain of national side is up for grabs.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 17:57  

  • ruchir.. ignore this yule.. His un-necessary use of space tells.. that he better has the first letter as 'm'..

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 22:07  

  • I dont think Kaif should become captain. he is not even scoring consistently in one dayers . he has scored only in last series in zimbabwe.

    after his natwest final he hasnt scored so frequently as one should. at this rate he would be a liability. we have stars like yuvraj or sehwag.

    By Blogger PreHistoric Bird, at 22:43  

  • http://www.cricketnext.com/features1/sanjayjha/sanjayjha172.htm


    By Blogger V Menon, at 00:05  

  • Saw the article in "Times of India" today about Greg chappel comments about Sachin yesterday and 3 months before ....though i dont have any respect or faith for Times of India but this article seems good ..

    By Blogger soapsoup, at 01:47  

  • Ravi, the technology exists right now to automate the detection of no-balls. The centre court at Wimbledon has beeped for 2 decades when a serve goes long. Is it that much more difficult to introduce this long standing umpires aid into cricket?.....only because of the bureaucracy running through the ICC.

    By Blogger Chris Fogarty, at 02:25  

  • I like the use of challenges as in NFL. However, unlike earlier suggestions, the ideal way to do it is that you give each team the opporotunity to challenge any decision. The catch being, after two wrong challenges in the innings they forfeit the privelege to challenge any decion in that innings. This not only prevents them from using it excessively, but also relieves the on-field umpire from having to make such decisions.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 02:37  

  • Ravi aslo mentioned that we whould have twenty competeny umpires. Well, I don't think there is more than one or two right now that meets the standards that we seek. Is it really possible that umpiring standards have fallen so much? Fertilizer.

    Over the last 10 years, technology has exposed the how fallible umpires are. Televsion magnifies each error with the added tools such as HE and snickometer.

    Can we ever train humans to hear all these knicks and accurately gauge the trajectory for 450 balls everyday? No.

    We can train them well enought to get most of them. They will still make mistakes. That is invetibale. When a mistake is made we need to have a system to put it right. This is where the challenge system comes in.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 02:47  

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