Former umpire Daryl Harper, who officiated in 95 Test matches, has come down hard on the ‘Umpire’s Call’ rule existing within the DRS and has called for it to be scrapped altogether to clear confusion. Harper, who retired from umpiring in 2011, feels technology still isn’t up to desired standards.
No season of cricket can pass by without annual discussions surrounding the Decision Review System (DRS) and unsurprisingly, technology has once again been in the spotlight in recent weeks. While a section of fans and former cricketers have expressed their bewilderment over the absence of DRS in the Big Bash League, a vast majority have yet again expressed discontentment over the ‘umpire’s call’ in LBW decisions.
Marginal LBW decisions decided by the ‘umpire’s call’ in the ongoing India-Australia series have irked a plethora of viewers, and several former cricketers, including the great Sachin Tendulkar, have openly spoken about the need to trust technology 100% and do away with the ‘umpire’s call’.
“If it hits, it hits” is the general consensus, and former umpire Daryl Harper has now echoed the same opinion. Harper, a 95-Test veteran umpire who officiated for 17 years, told smh.com.au that “he’s had enough” with the umpire’s call, and called for the ICC to do away with the rule altogether.
“I’ve had enough of umpire’s call. Let’s just ban umpire’s call. Get rid of the controversy and just go with it. Any contact with ball on stump will dislodge a bail. No 48 per cent, 49 per cent,” Harper was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
“The fact it’s been going for 12 years and the public are still mystified, and the players are still mystified, would suggest that there are some deficiencies in either the communication or the understanding.”
LBW decisions elicited controversy in the second Test between India and Australia, but so did run-outs. A controversial third-umpire ruling saw Australian skipper Tim Paine being ruled ‘not out’ despite there being no evidence that his bat crossed the line, and the decision sent social media into meltdown, with people being split on whether Paine was out or not. Using the Paine decision as an example, Harper claimed how technology “isn’t up to scratch” despite years of development and advancement.
“You could get 10 Indians in a room and 10 Australians in a room and they would see the Tim Paine run out in the first innings, and the 10 Indians would say ‘oh that’s out’ and the 10 Australians would say ‘oh that’s not out,’” Harper said. “If there’d been another picture in between the two we were looking at, I think we probably could have ruled him out. So the technology after 12 years of this, it still isn’t up to scratch.”