Saturday, December 5, 2009

Split opinions about referral system

THE umpire referral system lived up to its reputation at the Gabba with rival skippers Ricky Ponting and Chris Gayle split in their feelings on the issue.
Gayle made it clear he was no fan after the explosive opener was twice burnt on plumb leg-before dismissals.

Both decisions were upheld after reviews by technology, the Windies skipper dismissed for 31 and one by Ben Hilfenhaus in the first Test thrashing.

Fellow batting kingpin Shivnarine Chanderpaul also wasted a challenge in the first innings when he was struck in front by Peter Siddle while second-innings century maker Adrian Barath appealed in hope when dismissed by Shane Watson.

The embattled tourists couldn't take a trick with the decision review system, making five challenges for no success.

Rubbing salt into the wounds, Gayle refrained from using it when Ponting was rapped on the pads plumb in front by Kemar Roach on day one.

The technology would have given Ponting out but the Windies were gun shy after being knocked back for a previous leg-before challenge.

"As I've said before, I'm not a big fan of it,'' Gayle told the press after the innings and 65-run loss.

"I need your help, I hope you can change it for me.

"Technology is part of the game, sometimes mistakes (are made) even with the technology, that's why I'm not a big fan of it.

"We might as well just go out there with two umpires in the middle, they either get it wrong or right.''

The Windies' challenge policy was unashamedly to protect their top men, which failed on all fronts.

"It's there to use, why not give it a chance,'' Gayle said in defence.

Vice-captain Denesh Ramdin was candid, saying his opinion wavered depending on whether the final decision advantaged his side or not.

Ponting was categorical in his support, even though the system's underlying theme - to eradicate the howlers - appeared to cost Mitchell Johnson a legitimate challenge to a caught-behind verdict as the evidence was inconclusive.

"It's always going to be good for the game, whether or not every one is right is irrelevant I guess,'' the Australian captain said.

"We end up getting more correct decisions made.''

Ponting backed the approach of the umpires to only overturn decisions if the technology conclusively proved the man in the middle was wrong.

"Without the system, that's the decision they would have made anyway, so I think that is a good sign,'' Ponting said.

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