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Get rid of the umpire's call


Over the last few weeks I have been having many discussions regarding the complications of the Decision Review (DRS) System. You may even have heard me express my concerns during our latest broadcasts on SuperSport.

The bottom line is this. We have recently been exposed to some pretty average umpiring which has escalated the necessity to implement DRS. Over the last few weeks it seemed as if every decision was being sent upstairs for an additional round of scrutiny which, in turn, devalued the adjudication credibility. There is no doubt that the players were and are losing confidence in the umpiring process which has complicated things considerably.

And that, my friends, is very poor for the game. Cricket is a simple game if it is kept simple.

In my mind for starters the Umpire's Call part of DRS has to go as that is far too complex and confusing. I have had discussions with many of the current stakeholders of this process to attempt to reach a better solution. I don't have any answers just yet but it has stimulated thought.

It has long been my view that when the television umpire is called into play to decide on LBW adjudication, the average cricket punter's eyes just glaze over!

We as commentators work with this day in and day out and some of us find it confusing at times. That being the case, how can we expect the average cricket watcher to understand it all?

It is also patently clear that some of the players have not grasped this aspect properly as they often engage the TV umpire when their survival chances are extremely thin.

I recently decided to take this further and have a beer with a cricketer I respected in my playing days to canvas his opinion. This guy has moved on successfully to the business world and no longer engages cricket constantly but he did play over 100 first class games.

I simply asked him if he understands the DRS process when it is implemented for LBW adjudication.

He looked me fair and square in the eye and said, "Do you mean that bit with the umpire's call stuff and the accuracy of the impact of the ball?"

I nodded.

He then added, "I have no idea what they are talking about. Why have they made that so complicated?"

Need I say anymore?


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