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Monday, January 3, 2011

A thought on umpiring

The referral system in Test Cricket was introduced with some controversy. At the end of the day, however, the reason for its introduction was to help get past some absolute howlers of decisions being made. From my observation point, one of the worst culprits was easily Billy Bowden, who has suffered my wrath before.

What is noticeable so far this series, is the closeness of many of the decisions being referred 'upstairs' for adjudication. Even when a decision has been overturned, there has not been much in it and umpire judgement has been shown to be pretty sound. This is a good thing for umpires, helping give them back some authority and giving players confidence in an umpire's ability to properly control a game. Ricky Ponting's outburst on the field during the Fourth Test, arguing with an umpire when he was not happy with the outcome of a referral, was ridiculous and uncalled for. I think he was lucky to only have lost 40% of his match fee for that stunt.

I have been very impressed with the standard of umpiring during this series. However we are only into the second day of the Fifth Test where Bowden is, unfortunately in my opinion, standing once more. As a player I would have virtually no confidence in that umpire at all. Hopefully Billy will concentrate on actually running the game and not his stupid on-field theatrics.

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