No Need to Get the Ump.

July 17, 2013 at 9:18 am 2 comments

It has been interesting to read the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) assessment of the umpires, as well as the Decision Review System (DRS) analysis, from the fantastic Trent Bridge cricket Test match between England and Australia that took place last week

It has been revealed that the umpires made a total of 72 decisions, which is apparently well above the average,- which is 49 – for a DRS Test match. The umpiring team was assessed to have made seven errors during the match; three of which were uncorrected decisions and four were corrected using the DRS.

According to the ICC the correct decision percentage before reviews stood at 90.3 per cent but rose to 95.8 per cent as a result of using of the DRS. This increase of 5.5 per cent in correct decisions, matches the average increase from DRS in Test matches during 2012-13.

The three decisions that were adjudged as ‘uncorrected errors’ were an LBW against Jonathan Trott, where a correct LBW decision was overturned. The others involved, not surprisingly Stuart Broad. One was what was a blatant catch at slip that was given ‘not out’ and the other an LBW when he did not offer a shot. These decisions could not however be corrected as Australia had no reviews available.

Not surprisingly the ICC are happy with the performance of the umpires and when you read those statistics their performance over five days of intense cricket was in the main extremely good.

“The umpires did a good job under difficult conditions. This reflects the caliber of umpires Dar, Dharmasena and Erasmus who have consistently performed at a high level. However, like the players, umpires can also have good and bad days but we all know that the umpire’s decision, right or wrong, is final and must be accepted.” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson is reported to have said.

The trouble is with technology available there is the opportunity to eradicate all umpiring errors, but then the element that has been so crucial to cricket being a game, where some decisions go against you and some go for you, will vanish. If there is doubt the decision must err in favour of the batsman. Yet with technology and massive amounts of money at stake for the players, as one bad decision can end a career or lose a series, it is understandable that people want every decision to be right. Yet if they were all 100% correct what would fans have to talk about?

One of the great conversations post game in any sport are the decisions made by referees and umpires. Yet just as a wicketkeeper may drop a catch, a batsman plays an horrendous shot due to a lack of concentration, so too do umpires make mistakes. That too is part of the game, that they make so few should be applauded.

It is time to recognise what a good job most of them do, and remember that at the end of the day it is just a game, it is entertainment.



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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul  |  July 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Thanks Ash! Most interesting stats as evidence of the umpires being only human and doing a good job. Would be interesting to also do an analysis of how the test would have played out with no DRS. Also interesting that where cricket is run, governed and a religion – India – they don’t recognise it. I am dreading the impact the video will have on the world game and the slippery slope we are on with it’s upcoming introduction in 2013 as simple fast replay “goal-line technology”. Note than in cricket it merely began as a tool for run-out decisions. And in our game contentious shirt pulls, off play ungentlemanly/womanly acts, hand balls in the box, simulations and offside are a far more common occurrence than doubts about a whether ball did or did not cross the goal line fully. Watch this space.

  • 2. Christie Middleton  |  July 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    ‘While the ICC has complete faith in the ability of its umpires, our confidence in technology is also strengthened by the fact that there was an increase in the number of correct decisions in the Trent Bridge Test through the use of the DRS.


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