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Jury still out on video umpire rulings

October 14, 2005 20:46 IST
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World XI captain Graeme Smith said he supported the use of television replays after the video umpire gave out three Australian batsmen on the opening day of the ICC Super Test on Friday.

The ICC agreed to experiment with video technology for the match between Australia and the Rest of the World but the verdict is still unclear.

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"Obviously, it's worked because they made the right decisions," South African Smith said.

"Some look out to the naked eye ... We thought as a team that (Matthew) Hayden was out off (Steve) Harmison, but was given not out.

"But as long as the obvious and right decisions are being made then it's doing its job."

Opener Hayden survived an lbw appeal that was referred to video before making 111 to help Australia amass 331 for six when bad light ended play.

Others were less lucky and Michael Clarke left the playing arena shaking his head in disbelief after being adjudged to have been caught at bat-pad for 39.

"I think if there wasn't any technology Hayden would have been given out, so the benefit went to the batter there, not playing a shot, maybe 50-50, most times umpires would have given you out there I would have thought," said Smith.

"So I think it's going to work out evenly either way, I don't think it's going to be heavily balanced in batters' or bowlers' way."

Hayden was yet to make up his mind about the technology.

"It'll be interesting to see as the Test match pans out and more decisions are made by it," he said.

"Let's not speak too early or judge it too early, let's have a look at it through the Test match and see where we're at."


Video replays are already in regular use for run-outs, stumpings and catches caught low to the ground but the new rules will cover all catches and lbw's, traditionally the most controversial mode of dismissal.

The three Australians given out by the video umpire on Friday, Clarke, Simon Katich and Shane Watson, were all dismissed in different ways.

Katich was run out for a duck and Watson was trapped leg before wicket to Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for 24.

"I considered Shane Watson very unlucky. With the naked eye, it seemed a real line ball decision," Hayden said.

"But the time frame it takes is perhaps the issue. I think the public want to see the game moving forward as quickly as they possibly can."

More controversial was the dismissal of Clarke, who was given out caught by Indian Virender Sehwag off New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori, despite some doubt as to whether the ball had clipped the inside of his bat.

South African umpire Rudi Koertzen referred the matter to video umpire Darrell Hair but decided to give him out anyway when Hair reported back that the television replays were inconclusive.

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