Umpires Harper, Koertzen give thumbs-up to challenge system

February 18th, 2009 - 3:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 18 (IANS) Cricket’s two senior umpires Rudi Koertzen and Daryl Harper have given the thumbs-up to players challenging their decisions saying that the ‘review system’ helps to cut down the errors.
“The objective of the review system is to eliminate the obvious errors. Inevitably there will still be decisions that people will argue are wrong but that is not really the point of the system. Statistics from the trial so far show the system is getting rid of mistakes,” Koertzen was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

“More and more in cricket, umpires trust each other and work together as a team. Players are generally sympathetic and understanding about getting the decisions correct. They know that is our primary goal, and if that means we have to go back and change our own decision with the help of replays occasionally, then I for one am prepared to do that,” he added.

Harper felt that the amount of time taken depends on the specific decision and on the amount of information that must be reviewed to get the full picture.

“No one knows how clear or relevant a piece of footage will be to the incident until the replay is shown. The average time taken so far has been less than two minutes and often a lot less than that. This is a trial, so the people involved - specifically the umpires and the technicians - are still getting used to it but as the trial progresses the average time will come down,” said Harper.

“This system gives everyone a second chance to get appeals answered correctly when umpires may have erred - this is done with more time and with the help of a limited range of technology to review incidents,” he said.

“The umpires are happy if, at the end of each day, the decisions made are correct and players can enjoy a fair environment in which to compete against each other. The whole trial is a chance to try a more consultative approach in cases where incorrect decisions may have been made.”

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