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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UDRS fells Chris Gayle; defeats WI - but Bell is always helped !!

Technology should be used to the hilt and scientific advantages must benefit the mankind – there cannot be a second opinion on this.  The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS or DRS) is a new technology based system currently being used on an experimental basis in the sport of cricket. The system was first introduced in Test Cricket for the sole purpose of reviewing the controversial decisions made by the on-field umpires in the case of a batsman being dismissed or not. The new review system was officially launched by International Cricket Council on 24 November 2009 during the first Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the University Oval in Dunedin. It was first used in One Day Internationals in January 2011, during England's tour of Australia.

International Cricket Council is keen on making UDRS mandatory but India has been vociferously protesting it.  Dhoni and Indian team is projected as flexing their muscles to ensure that this is not implemented. England has been a strong advocatory – and why not; read this post in full.

On 19th June 2012, West Indies played their Second Onedayer of the Series, ODI no. 3278  against England and won comfortably. This was a match where Chris Gayle made his International comeback after almost becoming a stamped club cricketer, playing in all invitational tournaments spanking the cherry out of the ground, but not playing for his own country. Good that differences are seemingly ironed out.

Gayle opened with Lendl Simmons, once considered an exciting prospect.  The right hander represented West Indies in the 2002 and 2004 Under-19 World Cups and made his first-class debut six weeks after his 17th birthday.  Nephew of former star Phil Simmons, he was once touted to be a swashbuckling player.  Yesterday he played out 96 minutes, faced 50 balls, scored a solitary boundary and was run out on 20.2 making a paltry 12.  Undaunted at the other end, Chris Gayle made 53 off 51 balls with 5 sixers – may not be what we are used to seeing in T20s and IPL.

More drama was to unfold in the 15th over bowled by Greame Swann. The 4th ball Gayle lunged forward and was given out LBW – in a flash he asked for a review.  There appeared bat and then pad [or was it reverse] – Tony Hill, the New Zealand Umpire ruled him out.   Gayle was not exactly prepared to move.  Swann bowled from wide off the crease from voer the wicket and it appeared like an inside edge rolling on to pad.  Tony Hill,  appeared uncertain but Swann’s loud appeal had the favour.  It was left to the offie Lankan Kumar Dharmasena, the third umpire.  It is stated that the technology - Hot Spot displayed two spots but the replays remained inconclusive about whether the ball hit pad first or bat. Some television pundits said that the time Dharmasena had taken to arrive at a decision meant Gayle should have been given the benefit of doubt. But Dharmasena ruled in favour of Swann. Hill raised his finger for the second time.

Gayle departed expressing his unhappiness – he had made all but 10 off the 63 at that stage.  The team was over-reliant on Gayle and did not put up a competitive total, which was chased with ease.  Bell’s another ton hastened the end – debate would go on how much that dubious decision of Gayle impacted the match, especially given the wide chasm between Gayle and rest of his teammates.   Dwayne Bravo, who scored a resolute fifty, called Gayle's exit as a turning point.  He also questioned the accuracy of the referral system. "What confuses us is they use the technology and yet still the decision was given," Bravo said.

Now put the pieces and construct together whatever  you want.  Ian Bell’s first test century against Australia was courtesy the referral system.  He was given out on 67, insisted that he had not touched the ball, on a referral the decision was over turned.  On 16th June 12 in the 1st ODI at The Rose Bowl, he scored 126 again courtesy UDRS.  He later confessed having nicked the ball behind when on 23, but Decision Review System (DRS) gave him the benefit of the doubt, and allowed him to fire England to victory.

You might remember the WC 2011 – in the humdinger of a match between India and England.   That day when Dhoni made a referral.  the giant screen made Bell realise his defeat and made him walking – but Billy Bowden  gave him not out and struck to his decision.  That time, ICC playing condition under Process of Consultation No. 3.3 (i) was referred as stating  that if a 'not out' decision is being reviewed and the distance from impact to the stumps is greater than 2.5m then the third umpire passes this information to the on-field official along with: the distance from the wickets of the point of impact with the batsman, the approximate distance from the point of pitching to the point of impact, and whether the ball is predicted to the hit the stumps the on-field umpire shall have regard to the normal cricketing principles concerning the level of certainty in making his decision as to whether to change his decision.

It is too much to be regarded as a coincidence that England and more specifically Ian Bell continue to benefit by the system.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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