Cricket’s inconsistent use of the umpires’ decision review system is the subject of fresh debate and is sure to again be a contentious issue when India tours England later this year.
The system was used during the Ashes series in Australia but not for India’s tour of South Africa, because the International Cricket Council has left it up to individual countries to decide whether to use it.
India has been reluctant to use the challenge system, however, it will be in place for the World Cup beginning next month, which India co-hosts.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said recently that the benefits of the system to assist umpires had been seen and “we are now keen to use it in the ICC Cricket World Cup”.
India is not open to the idea of using the system in England, even though England Cricket Board’s media manager James Avery indicated it would be part of discussions ahead of the tour starting in July.
Indian cricket board secretary Narainswamy Srinivasan said no team could insist on using the review system.
“Both teams have to agree to it,” he told the Associated Press on telephone. “It wasn’t used in South Africa as we didn’t agree to it.”
“We don’t trust it and I don’t want to go into further details.”
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni too has not been taken in by the system.
“I have a mixed opinion on the system,” Dhoni said during a recent home Test series against New Zealand. “It is not something that gives 100% results, so it may not be worth it considering the big costs involved.”
But others seem inclined to use technology.
Australia’s stand-in skipper Michael Clarke said the system should be used even though it is not perfect.
“The technology has helped the game,” Clarke said during the Ashes series. “I would like it to be 100% right, but there’s not many things in the world that are.”
Clarke felt it was a matter that would affect all teams.
“I’d like it to be either in or out. I’d like us to make that decision, or the ICC to make that decision. And then at least it’s fair … every team is dealing with the same issue. It should be either 100% used, or not used,” said Clarke.
South African skipper Graeme Smith was more vehement in his support.
“The ICC needs to take responsibility for that [implementation of the system],” Smith said after South Africa’s loss in the Durban Test, which saw some doubtful decisions. “They [ICC] can’t leave it up to boards to negotiate. They must lead the way.”
Smith felt the system had to be used regularly.
“Using it once every seven series is not going to benefit anybody. If the technology is available and they want us to use it, then we must use it. Then you can have a proper idea of whether it works or not,” he said. – Sapa-AP