Saturday, March 5, 2011

Afridi speaks up for new review system

The use of technology to enable teams to challenge decisions by umpires at the World Cup is proving controversial, but Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi wants reviews to be doubled.
The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is being used for the first time at a World Cup, with some backing its use and others raising serious doubts.
But one player who does not need to be convinced is Afridi.
“I think UDRS is good,” said Afridi after Pakistan’s win over Canada on Thursday, when Pakistan picked up three dismissals with the use of the system after
umpires Daryl Harper and Nigel Llong gave batsmen not out.
“I think one decision can change the whole match, so I think UDRS should be there. It should be raised to four from two, because two are proving less for us and in bigger matches this would be beneficial,” said Afridi.
Two unsuccessful appeals mean you lose the right to any further challenges during an innings.
Canadian captain Ashish Bagai was left fuming after the Pakistan match.
“There was a bit of controversy over the use of it. Some go your way, some don?t,” said Bagai, who escaped an lbw decision before becoming a victim of the system when Afridi referred it to review.
“They (umpires) have kept a mantra of relying on technology blindly and that is their decision. We got a couple today that we were boggled with but that?s what they have chosen, can’t do anything about that now,” said Bagai.
The most vociferous opposition to the UDRS has come from India, who have resisted its use in its home and away series. The use of the system requires the consent of both teams.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was furious that his side were denied an lbw following a review in their epic tie with England as batsman Ian Bell was deemed too far forward even though UDRS said the ball would have hit the stumps.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) explained the Bell decision, saying the greater the distance between point of impact and the stumps the more difficult it is for the technology to provide an accurate projection.
“In the case of a not out lbw decision, where the distance between point of impact and the stumps is greater than 250 centimetres… the umpires are not obliged to follow the normal rules for using Hawk-Eye to determine whether the batsman is out or not.
“…(They) shall have discretion in determining whether or not to overturn their original not out decision.”
Australian captain Ricky Ponting said his team had not been briefed about the 2.5-metre rule.
“No, we weren?t (briefed),” said Ponting on Friday.
“I think the major reason for that is that different umpires are going to interpret it in different ways, so it?s pretty hard to put a blanket ruling on everything when it?s open to interpretation, which I think the system is at the moment.”
“There have been a couple of examples in the last couple of games…. I am not sure if the ICC are talking about it as a result of that over the last couple of days, but all we can do as players is get out there and use whatever system is in place.”
Ponting said he was surprised to see the UDRS being used without Hot Spot, an infra-red imaging system used to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman’s bat or pad.
“I was a bit surprised at the start of the tournament when we found out we were using the UDRS without Hot Spot. That was a bit of a shock to me because I think the Hot Spot part of it is probably as big a part of the system as anything.
“At the end of the day, players always have to understand that it?s not going to be perfect. But we?re still going to be getting more correct decisions at the end of a game, which is obviously beneficial for the game.”

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