BBC Home

Explore the BBC


user rating: 5 star

Technology... better or worse?

The Ashes England
by Balders1 (U1677382) 05 January 2011
comment on the article

On balance, for me, it's very much better. Bell's 'not out' only goes to show that it's still not perfect. Using Hot-spot as the sole decision maker is flawed. Using a combination of information from Hot-spot, Snicko, the stump-mike, and the umpire's original opinion would have lead to the correct decision. None of the tools available on their own are perfect. And I'll also concede that even with a combination of all of the tools available, I still don't believe it's perfect. Technology will get better and quicker though.

Apparently, Snicko is not in use in this series because it takes too long. That seems silly. In Melbourne Kevin Pietersen was correctly given not out in similar circumstances. But it was only later when Snicko showed that there was no sound as the ball passed the bat, that people felt much more confident that Pietersen was in fact not out.

Does the use of technology and players and umpires being able to refer for advice make for a more correct decisions? I would say definitely yes. Johnson and Beer have both had wickets reversed because the umpires can now check for a no-ball. Does that minimise the impact of the incorrect decision influencing the outcome of the game? Yes it does. In recent years there have been many examples of decisions going against batsmen when they clearly edged the ball into their pads, and decisions going against batsmen for bat-pad catches when they've made no contact with the bat. Damien Martyn and Stuart Clark getting very bad decisions in the same innings in the 2005 Ashes.

Two things though. Use all the technology available - Bell should have been out, and would have been given out if the 3rd Umpire was allowed extra time to review that. Though I'm not sure why Hot-spot seems to have over-ridden the evidence of the stump-mike, and Aleem Dar.

And secondly the tactical use of the team's reviews needs to be addressed. Atherton made a good point that Bell may not have reviewed the decision if he'd been batting at No 3. Batting at No 6 with 2 reviews left, he chanced his arm, and got away with it. But the flaw is not with the batsman. They get rough decisions, and don't get a 2nd chance. I'm of the view that they should wait for the umpire's decision. Bell's decision was flawed because they didn't use sound. Batsman all know when they've hit the ball. Even feather edges are felt, and when the bat is so far away from everything else, the excuse of "my bat may have hit my pad on the way through" can't be used. Bell just gambled on a small knick not showing up on hot-spot.

For me, the value of the increased use of technology is that there are less bad decisions, so there is less impact on the result of bad decisions, which means that increasingly the best team will prevail, and spectators are not left wondering what might have been if bad decisions had not directly affected the result.

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Jan 5, 2011

Loving the fact that Aggers has jumped on this issue to support his dislike of the UDRS and not the many dismissals that the umpires have got wrong and the technology got right, including off the top of my head, at least 3 inside edges onto pads.

The fact is that umpires are very good, but inconsistent in their errors. Technology is also very good, BUT is consistent in the errors it makes. What you can say with technology if we commit to hotspot is that if any player on either side had done exactly the same thing as Ian Bell he would have been not out.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by U3547124

posted Jan 5, 2011

The thing I love even more about this is the double standards of the Aussies.
Ponting & Siddle blew the stack when hotspot showed some random contact in the last test and they wanted an out decision. When hotspot showed nothing for Bell they still want an out decision. But when the technology is used conclusively like in the Beer no ball or with the Hughes catch they want it to go away.

In fairness when I say Aussies I think it is just a few examples Clark seems pretty straightforward about it and I think the crowd are just upset.

On UDRS I think it works OK. It will never be 100% OK but it is removing the Howlers from the game and keeping the benefit of the doubt with the batsmen. Anyone who thinks snicko is the answer is mad, although it can be useful I have always found it is often misleading.

I think where it could be improved is reducing the referrals to one per team. Although two sounded reasonable more often than not we are left with 2 referrals left at the end of an innings and batsmen or bowlers taking the mick.

One refferal would mean that teams just have a golden chance to be used when injustice is done.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jan 5, 2011

Its totally illogical to say that snicko proves hotspot was wrong because equally hotspot proves that snicko was wrong.

Ultimately if you going to utilse technology it has to be used to make a decision not just to add to the debate.

If you dont trust hotspot then the batsman will always be favourite to survive, just as when whether the ball has carried is reviewed.

Jonathon Agnew said that hotspot was inconclusive, no it wasnt, it showed he did not hit it, simple.

Hawkeye for all its limitations gives a decision and the game moves on, hotspot has to be used in the same capacity or not at all

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jan 5, 2011

We all know that it isn't 100% but we all also know that the real howlers, what it was intended for, have been put right and I think it is better with than without.

I am also in favour of retaining two referrals but what should happen is that the ICC should say that if the player just uses one because they have them then they should deduct a % of their match fee or some other penalty.

There should be no conversation either with the other player about height or anything else and if they confer then remove the right to refer the decision. It should be up to the player and the player alone and then he would be in it if he used one frivously although TBH KP would probably use one every time he is out.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by me (U13892378)

posted Jan 5, 2011

Im baffled by Agnew's failure to grasp the simple point made at the start of this blog.

There are less bad decisions with the DFS than without it. Would Jonathan prefer a system where the Ashes were decided on a couple of complete howlers of decisions, rather than a system whose imperfections still cannot iron out those so very, very close to call?

DFS isn't perfect, probably never will be, but it is way, way better than not using the technology available and having the umpire made to look a fool by potentially deciding a test match with a decision everyone can see is wrong even before the player has left the pitch.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by me (U13892378)

posted Jan 5, 2011

'There should be no conversation either with the other player about height or anything else'

Eh? Why on earth not. It's about getting a fair decision without allowing frivolous and endless appeals, not making it a guessing game where the player with the biggest ego comes out on top.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by Eewires (U5352372)

posted Jan 5, 2011

DRS is so much better than not having it as the number of succesful referrals proves, and so far in this series only this one occasion when some think it got it wrong.

If there is any change to the number of appeals then I don't think that you should lose a review when the 3rd umpire gives a 'benefit of the doubt' answer, as that clearly says that the review was justified, if ultimately unsuccessful. Perhaps you should lose one appeal once 5 wickets have gone down. What do you all think?

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jan 5, 2011

What needed to happen was for Dar to stand his ground when hotspot apparently (I didn't see the tape) showed a clip or - more importantly, failed to definitively show absence of contact . The NFL in America is a major user of TV replays (to the benefit of the game I might add) and the rules there are clear. The "technology" has to provide clear and indisputable evidence that the decision was wrong. Close is not good enough and if it is still a matter of opinion the original decision stands.

If the umpire felt he saw clear evidence he's got it wrong then that's OK but he should be instructed to be a little less lenient. Fix that and the system is close to perfect.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jan 6, 2011

Technology is obviously improving umpiring decisions. To say otherwise like Agnew is to fly in the face of evidence. Hot spot is judged to be a fairer aid than Snicko. If the nick is so faint that there is no sign of any impact on the bat then the batsman will not have felt anything on the bat.

Quite a number of cricketers have said that it just isn't true that you know when you have hit the faintest of edges.

Which is what Ian Bell said in interview and to his partner Prior. There are a lot of people living in fantasy land if they think Bell looked "knowing". Quite the opposite. Replays show that he didn't turn his head and that he looked puzzled when he was first given out. Quite a number of batsmen have checked with their partner before reviewing as a wasted review has consequences for the team. Ian Bell was perfectly right to doubt the decision if he felt no contact. How can he possibly be cheating? Surely Hot Spot at least vindicated his doubt? The decision was taken by the third umpire. How could Ian Bell have known what the referral showed? Cheating is scuffing up a ball in your pocket or claiming a catch when you know it clearly wasn't one ( I don't think Hughes was cheating. He was clearly unsure.) or bullying an umpire to give out when you know the ball has missed or not walking when you have clearly nicked it. Reviews prevent all of these.

Atherton and Warne have admitted in the past they were all guilty in their day and yet hypocritically now talk about honouring the on field umpire. I'm sure they do! They all played the system - something which reviews make more difficult.

Ian Bell has always had unfair criticism and this is another example. Clarke and Hussey both were in similar situations - and Hussey went on to score big. Yet we didn't get pages and pages about Hussey's innings being tainted. What nonsense. Nothing was shown on Hussey's bat either. In this case Snicko contradicted both Hot Spot and the umpire. Was Hussey supposed to know he had "nicked" it because Snicko recorded a sound? England believed at the time Hussey was out but Hot Spot showed nothing. Snicko is not 100 per cent and yet suddenly it is favoured above Hot Spot by the anti-Reviewers.

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by Kapnag (U11006724)

posted Jan 6, 2011

battingforbell, to be honest it's all just something else for the aussies to talk about, as opposed to reflecting on the never ending nightmare they are enduring, their worst experience on the field in a generation.

I don't think this is what KP was talking about at the start of the series when he said you had to watch out for Australia, the wounded animal.

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.


Rate Breakdown

  • 5 75.00%
    3 votes
  • 4
    0 votes
  • 3 25.00%
    1 votes
  • 2
    0 votes
  • 1
    0 votes

average rating:
4.50 from 4 votes