Jury out on referrals after Bridgetown controversies

The umpire video referral system, designed to reduce mistakes by allowing the use of technology, showed it remains subject to human error in Saturday’s fourth Test between England and West Indies.

West Indies felt hard done by after two lbw decisions, crucial in the context of the game, went against them when the television images indicated the ball was too high at the point of impact with the pad.

John Dyson, West Indies’ Australian coach, marched down to the match referee Alan Hurst following the arguable decisions against Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brendan Nash.

“I just went down the stairs to have a chat with Alan Hurst. We just wanted to clarify a few things,” Dyson told Sky Sports.

“I think we’re still getting to grips with the whole concept. When you play your whole life with the umpires being in sole charge, but now sometimes find yourself in situations where you can question the decisions, it is hard to deal with,” he added.

Hurst said it had clearly been a difficult day for the officials, including third umpire Daryl Harper, charged with examining the video evidence.

“It is a trial system, some days you get good decisions, today we got two or three controversial decisions and we have to learn from this” Hurst said.

Dyson said that the players had not yet got fully accustomed to the system, which allows for a maximum of two unsuccessful referrals, per team, in each innings.

“We were led to believe it was to eliminate the bad ones.
But what we are seeing is all sorts of tactical decisions are coming in,” he said.

“The players are finding it challenging to get used to the system. I think the jury is still out.

“One of the great things about cricket is it teaches you to accept all decisions and just get on with the game,” added the West Indies coach.

Sarwan opposed
West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan, who saw all of Saturday’s decisions from the other end as he batted through for 184 not out, has long expressed his opposition to the system.

“I’m not a big fan of it. At the end of the day, people make mistakes and I am strong believer that things balance out in the end, over your career. It takes up a bit of time as well,” he said.

Sarwan said he did not think the right call was made to dismiss his fellow Guyana batsman Chanderpaul, who was rapped on the pads by James Anderson.

“I thought it was high, that is what went through my mind,” Sarwan said.

England spinner Graeme Swann, who had three successful lbw appeals on Saturday, including two after referral, said he was oblivious to the fuss the decisions had caused at the Kensington Oval.

“I’m a bit bemused that is has been referred to as mad because it didn’t seem mad out in the middle.

“We didn’t realise there was controversy until we walked off the pitch. As far as we are concerned we got given a couple of lbws.

“We felt aggrieved in Jamaica by a couple of decisions and West Indies feel aggrieved today. Obviously the system is not ideal if people feel aggrieved by it but personally I have no problems especially if they go my way,” he said. - Reuters

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