Yesterday’s great finish in the Ashes opener at Trent Bridge, Nottingham will be remembered by England, Australia and the rest of the world as a Test which ended through the Decision Review System.
England used it when set Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin (71 in 215 minutes) appeared to get an inside edge off James Anderson which travelled to wicketkeeper Matt Prior. The hosts used their referral and Haddin was declared out.
Technology coming into the game has made the sport more exciting, but not flawless. Hot Spot that is used to decide on a batsman’s dismissal has proved fallible and that is a worry for the game. The Trent Bridge Test should cause some more discussion with the International Cricket Council. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is often slammed for their reluctance… sorry refusal, to use the DRS. That attitude is one of a bully. At the same time, the technology has proved to be imperfect. In the meantime, batsmen are being adjudged wrongly and the Press keep enjoying field days.
It is only right for a cluster of technology to be used in DRS and not just Hot Spot. Increasing the number of referrals from the mere two could be viewed as one way of improving the system. All this is going to eat into Test match hours and calls have to be made in the boardrooms. If we want a perfect sport this is the price to pay. One way of ensuring not much time is wasted is to empower only the match referee when it comes to referring close calls. Umpire Aleem Dar appeared to be napping but when Stuart Broad stood his ground on Friday after an edge reached the hands of Australian skipper Michael Clarke. Here, the match referee (if empowered) could have referred it and the correct decision could have been made.
The Nottingham Test provided some gripping action. Both teams have some work to do before they step on to the hallowed turf of Lord’s on Thursday. The rulers of the game have something on their plate as well.