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SBD Global/July 18, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Int'l Cricket Council Defends Performances Of Umpires, Decision Review System

Australia's Shane Watson is congratulated by teammates after he took a catch to dismiss Ian Bell at the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground on July 10.
A breakdown of decisions from the "controversial" Ashes Test at Trent Bridge has been released by the Int'l Cricket Council in an attempt to "defend the performances" of umpires Aleem Dar and Marais Erasmus, and "add weight to the value of the Decision Review System," according to Richard Hobson of the LONDON TIMES. The fallout "has still to settle from the first game," which will be remembered largely for "the use and misuse of technology." Even two days "after the tense climax," the DRS "was a talking point" at the England and Australia press conferences. ICC CEO Dave Richardson admitted "we must continue to strive to improve umpiring." Richardson said that the percentage of correct decisions before reviews stood at 90.3%, but climbed to 95.8% as a result of the use of the DRS. England continues to support the use of technology despite recent problems, but cricketer Matt Prior admitted to "being unsure whether Hot Spot would confirm the edge that he held from Brad Haddin to win the game on review." Prior: "I would not have put my mortgage on it." Australia captain Michael Clarke admitted that Australia "need to improve their usage of the DRS" (LONDON TIMES, 7/17). The AFP reported the world cricket committee of Marylebone Cricket Club "backed a call" from former Australia captain Ian Chappell for the sport's authorities "to take complete control" of the DRS. The MCC panel, made up mainly of eminent former players, insisted that DRS "was fundamentally sound, with problems in Nottingham down mainly to basic human error, and called for its use across all international matches." Cricket powerhouse India "has long objected to DRS and, consequently, it plays no part in bilateral matches involving the Asian giants" (AFP, 7/17).

SPIRIT OF THE GAME: The BBC's Ben Dirs wrote there has been much talk about "the spirit of the game" since the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge. But "does it not seem odd to believe that cricket should be governed by a spirit when we have algorithms and thermal imaging and all manner of cutting edge gadgets to make things less mysterious?" Technology, and the DRS, "which took centre stage in Nottingham last week, was introduced because we live in a scientific age." And once cricket "conceded that we live in a scientific age then any talk of spirits started to sound wilfully old-fashioned." At "least to some" (BBC, 7/16).
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