Umpire Referrals: The Players' View
Even as the ICC and various boards debate on its implementation, Bikash Mohapatra finds out what the players have to say about the UDRS.
Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS). The name itself spells two divergent opinions.
While the boards of Australia and Sri Lanka are very much in favour of the use of the same, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) opposes its use vehemently.
India and Sri Lanka were the first teams to use UDRS in a three-Test series in July-August 2008, but since that tour the Indian board has always opposed it.
Under the current rules, the host country gets to decide whether UDRS will be used and that has helped the various boards to pursue with their respective viewpoints.
While the UDRS wasn't used in the just-concluded India-Australia series, it will be used in the upcoming World Cup considering the latter is an ICC event.
Even as the ICC and the various boards argue about its implementation, we bring what the players have to say about the UDRS.
It is, after all, a system for the players. So it is essentially to understand their opinion, as to why they advocate it, if at all, or the reasons for their resentment.
Image: Umpire Darrell Hair making use of the referral
'I am not too convinced with the UDRS'
The Master Blaster is not a big supporter of the UDRS, but is a tad hesitant to admit the same.
"If we have something foolproof, it is great," he says, adding, "The last time I saw the hot spot, I was quite impressed."
On being prodded further, Tendulkar says, "If we have a system that is close to 100 per cent, it would be interesting to try it out.
"But we need to be convinced. You cannot expect overnight results."
There's an honest admission in the end though.
"There were occasions in the past when I wasn't too convinced with the UDRS," he says, in a matter-of-fact tone.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
'It is not a 100 per cent correct system'
The India captain's viewpoint is far clearer.
MS Dhoni is not in favour of the UDRS, at least not in its current avatar.
"UDRS is still not a 100 per cent correct system," he says categorically, before going onto elaborate his point.
"We have seen that, in spite of having the UDRS, not everything goes correct," says Dhoni, adding, "Most of the teams have played a series under the system and are aware how it works.
"So it is important now to come up with a foolproof plan."
Image: MS Dhoni
'I am a big supporter of the UDRS'
Australia's captain has an opinion completely different from his Indian counterpart.
"I am a big supporter of the UDRS," declares Ponting, adding, "The system will get you far more correct decisions than you get without it."
The Tasmanian also believes its implementation will help both the players as well as the umpires.
"We know how tough it is for the umpires to decide," he argues, adding, "And a bad decision is also tough on the players."
Image: Ricky Ponting
'The ICC is taking the right steps'
'The Wall' takes a very cautious approach when asked his views on the topic, something similar to the manner in which he bats.
"If the technology can be proved foolproof and acceptable, there's no harm going for it," says Dravid, before dropping in a hint of skepticism.
"But there's a lot of ambiguity as regards technology," he says, adding, "If we can have the same system in place in every series, it would be good."
Dravid, however, believes there is time before the system is implemented.
"I don't think we are completely there, but we are getting there," he says, adding, "The ICC is taking the right steps in that direction."
Image: Rahul Dravid
'It has to be the responsibility of an umpire'
Zaheer Khan has a very pragmatic view on the subject.
"There are a few bad calls. But they are always there," he argues.
The left-arm seamer believes if at all some technology is used, it should benefit the umpires first.
"If any technology has to be used, it has to be the responsibility of an umpire," says Zaheer, adding, "They should be in the position to use it if need be."
Image: Zaheer Khan
'With technology we can undo human error'
Ben Hilfenhaus might have had more wickets to his name had the UDRS been used in the recent Test series.
The Australian, no wonder, advocates the use of the same.
"Obviously, there is technology out that that needs to be used," he says.
However, it is not that Hilfenhaus has any grudge against the umpires.
"The umpires are doing a good job," he says, adding, "But with technology we can undo human error."
Image: Ben Hilfenhaus