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Sight Screen

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

To errrr is human?

Ponting and Chanderpaul both believe technology has no place in umpiring.
"I have never been a big fan of technology and I will always say that for the simple fact the actual technology that has been used over the past few years hasn't been accurate enough to give conclusive evidence on dismissals. It is just part of the game I suppose," Ponting said.
"The human element in the game is vital to cricket. As players we are out there taking some good options and some not so good. I am sure the umpires will continue to do that as the players always have."
Chanderpaul, concurred saying: "You want to leave it as it is . . . umpires making decisions. If you bring in the technology umpires won't have a job again."

Must say I find the arguments a touch bizarre. WG Grace once famously refused to leave the field on being given out, telling the umpire: 'They are here to see me bat, not to see you umpire!'
On similar lines, cricket IMHO does not exist to provide jobs for umpires; it exists to ensure a contest between two opposing sides of skilled players -- a contest that should be dictated by opposing skill sets and strengths and weaknesses alone, and not the human vagaries of someone who is not in the playing 22.
As to the 'human element' Ponting is talking about -- if you mean the element that cut off Brian Lara's legs in Brisbane, or the element that made a mockery of decision-making vis a vis Inzamam recently, or any of dozens of ridiculous decisions handed out this year -- do we really need it? Which would we rather have -- another opportunity to celebrate the 'human element' of umpiring, or a Brian Lara in full flight against his most determined opposition?

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