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Opinions divided on video umpire replays

By Julian Linden
October 17, 2005 19:50 IST
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Opinions are divided about the increased use of video replays to decide contentious appeals in cricket after the new rules were used for the first time in a Test.

The International Cricket Council agreed to experiment with the use of video technology at the Super Test in Sydney but the verdict remains unclear.

"There are those that argue that we should be using every aspect of technology that's available and there are those that argue we shouldn't adopt any of it," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said.

"Bear in mind that this was a trial and we're taking a cautious approach and we will be conducting a thorough review."

The ICC has already approved the use of television replays to help the umpires decide on close run-outs, stumpings and whether ball has crossed the boundary rope.

The latest experiment, which was also trialled at the 2002 Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, allows on-field umpires to also ask for video assistance in leg before wicket and catch appeals.

"The umpires are consulting with the third umpires but the decision remains with the on-field umpire," Speed said. "We see that as being important in the overall scheme of things."

Simon Taufel and Rudi Koertzen, who officiated at the Super Test in Sydney, referred a total of 21 decisions to the third umpire, Darrell Hair, including 11 that were only allowed under the new rules, some of which were given and some that were not.

"I think it's shown already that you are still going to make mistakes using it," Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath told a Sydney radio station.

"I would prefer to keep it the way it is - just use it for the stumpings and run outs, the things that I think are clear-cut.

South Africa's World XI captain Graeme Smith said he also had concerns about whether the technology is producing the correct results.

"There is still so much doubt on the television," he said.

"We looked at things we thought was out and it was given not out, or we thought it was not out and it was given out.

"You are trying to take the human element out of the umpiring but they are still giving it to the third umpire. It's a long way from being at a level where it can be used."

Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he is in favour of it.

"The thing when we are trialling technology the way that we have here, you are expecting every decision to be perfect, just because of the new technology," Ponting said.

"But some dismissals can be very hard to pick up and determine. I've been pretty impressed with the way it's worked in this Test match. It's been useful to have."


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