Tuesday, 16 July 2013

DRS fuss

Stuart Broad’s un-dismissal at Trent Bridge in England’s Second innings has caused quite a fuss. I don’t really understand why. Stuart did what plenty of batsmen do: he let the umpire make the decision. He could have walked himself but he didn't. He knew he had hit the ball, just as Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin knew they had hit the ball when they were given out on referral. It is just that their edges were thinner. Does that really make much difference? I don’t think so.

The real difference between Broad’s case and that of Clarke and Haddin is that Broad wasn't given out. The umpire got it wrong and there was no correction. This is not a failure of DRS or the system. It is a failure by Clarke who used his two referrals unwisely. DRS is supposed to be to stop really bad decisions but it cannot do that if someone tries to use it tactically and gamble with it. As with all gambling there will be losers.

I have heard the argument “let’s just have one referral, that way it will only get used for the really bad decisions”. This seems flawed because once the first referral is used up there is only one left. So any side that uses one referral has automatically trialed only having one. It didn't work then.

I think the DRS works well as it is – we just need captains that know how to use it.

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