Thursday, 25 December 2008

New Zealand vs West Indies - 2nd Test - Napier - Day Five - Part Two

So, the 'Referral System' and my views on it; well, let me explain it first. 

If either team is not happy with the decision of the on field Umpire from an appeal then, under this system, they have the right to refer it to the 3rd Umpire.  Each team gets three unsuccessful appeals per innings; that's a minimum of 12 per team per Test match.  If your referral is upheld, as in you disagree with the on field decision and the 3rd Umpire agrees with you, then you don't lose that referral.  Following??  The system says that the footage has to 'conclusively' prove that the on field umpire has made a mistake for it to be overturned.  But, they are only allowed to use TV replays, no sound, no 'snicko', and no 'hot spot'. 

Got it, good.

So, in reference to Baz's dismissal, with the technology that is currently available, only the TV footage, there was no way to say that Baz defiantly did not hit it as you couldn't see 'daylight' between the ball and the bat because of the camera angles, therefore the 3rd umpire had to stay with the on field decision.  But if you look at the trajectory of the way a ball and the plane the bat was following there was no way that Brendon did nick that ball.  A decision that angered not just Baz I can tell you.  And this is where this 'referral' system fell over. 

Shoe on the other foot, had the on field umpire given it 'not out' and the Windies referred it to the 3rd umpire, again with the footage available, the decision would stayed with the on field decision.  So from the replays he was, therefore, both out and not out depending on the on field decision.  Confused!  So were we!  And this is not why the reason why the system was introduced.  It needs some tweaks.

Firstly, three appeals are too many.  Within the rules we contested decisions that, normally, we would have just moved on from and got on with the game.  But as you've got three unsuccessful appeals, you may as well use them all up and have a crack at the 50/50 ones.  The rule was put in place to right the wrongs of 'howlers' (like Baz's), the really bad decisions, not the 'iffy' (50/50's) ones.  Maybe three in total for each completed innings (batting and bowling); a total of six per match per team...??

Secondly, if you've got the technology, then why can't it be used?  'Snicko' is not perfect as it picks up creaks in the handle, it picks up the rubber of the grip snapping and also other noises that are made out there.  'Hot spot' is also not perfect as sometimes where the 'hot spot' should be, or not be, isn't shown on the one angle of the footage.  But when you combine all technologies the picture gets better and better.  There is a better chance of making the right decisions.

 If all three technologies (camera angles, snicko and hot spot) cannot 'conclusively' prove one way or the other then the decision should stay with the on field Umpire.

Jeetan secured his best Test bowling figures in this second innings, five for 110 off 46 overs.  This added to the 25 overs he bowled in the first innings means he should be one tired boy.  Both Dan and Jeets played important parts in this match.  On a deck that just got better and better to bat on, and was great to bat on from ball one anyway, they did two jobs.  Both Jeets's  and Dan's economy rates were just a smidge over 2 per over for the match and came on in parts of the match where the batters were starting to control scoring rate.  Controlling the scoring rate means you can attack a little more from the other end.  And they picked up wickets too, 10 for the match between them.

Gayle was pretty good.  Maybe, that's an understatement.  He controlled the whole of the Windies second innings.  His 197 was one of the best controlled innings I've had the displeasure of being a part of, and very unlucky to not get more.  His dismissal was interesting.  He attempted to pull Jeets around the corner, got a bottom edge on it straight down onto Baz's shoe which then popped up to his gloves.  He certainly deserved more, but we weren't too worried about that at the time, in fact, still not bothered by it.

There was, at least, one more thing that was pretty interesting that happened in this match.  And it just happens to include Brendon, again.  It wasn't big and it wasn't clever, but it did show what can happen to people when the head gets all messed up.  Daren Powell was having a little battle with Baz during the first innings.  In fact it was getting a little bit heated out there.  I can't repeat what was said here, as its second hand information and I could get in trouble if I get it wrong.  Either way what happened wasn't great for the game.  Powell got quite heated at Brendon walking at him while he was batting; he took exception to it and then produced what I'll call a 'brain explosion'.  In the middle of one over, Powell ran through the crease and threw the ball, rather than bowled it; something that is rather naughty.   In fact, as a bowler, that's about as bad as it gets.  The following morning, before we took the field, we had one rather sheepish looking fast bowler come into our changing room and apologies for that delivery.  And by the looks of it, that apology has got him off any disciplinary actions.

And that finishes up this match.

I'm now back with the Wellington Firebirds for a while.  I'm hopeful of selection for the One Day series starting on New Year 's Eve in Queenstown.  I know I have missed out on the two T20 matches that are tomorrow and the 28th.  So, Wellington Firebirds vs Central Districts in the lovely Nelson on the 27th.  Hopefully I'll get through that match with some impressive figures and really put the pressure on the selectors for One Day selection.  I'll be back on here to cover that match with some thoughts on the NZ T20 match and whatever else is happening in my head and my life.

Again, Merry Christmas, hope it's a great day with the family!  Now sit back and enjoy the NZ T20 and the Aust/SA Test match.


Randominanity said...


Thanks for your thoughts on the referral system as it's always good to see an assessment from the coalface (as it were).

I have to say I wasn't a fan of the lengthy delays the referrals caused. it can't be good for the rhythm and mindset of either batter or bowler.

David Barry said...

I'm interested in the views I've heard from you and others, that the referral system is designed to eliminate howlers. Isn't it a change for the better if the overall accuracy of umpiring decisions improves?

Gilco Gremlin said...

Good luck on getting into the ODI squad Iain. You've had great form in the tests throughout the summer and surely you must be in the reckoning?

Brett Dale said...

Perhaps cricket can learn from the NFL where the third umpire/TV Umpire has a time limit to make his decision.

Nadeem said...

Hi Iain

what are your thoughts on the one over "eliminator" played last night?


The Old Batsman said...

A couple of years ago there was a rumour that a broadcaster pulled in the hawkeye wicket to wicket tracker when the home side was batting, to make it look like more balls pitched wide of the stumps.

Just a rumour for sure, but it does raise the issue of who sets up the technology and who, from officialdom, checks it.

Dickie Bird has said he sometimes thinks Hawkeye is unreliable, especially in terms of height, late movement etc. It does seem to contradict the naked eye quite often.

Sorry, this is a long-winded way of asking how accurate the players find it...

Naly D said...

Iain, I was under the impression that snicko and hot spot couldn't be used by the third umpire because they are not available at every international test venue?