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Tech threatens to bowl over umpires

Published: Tuesday, December 5, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London: Cricket chiefs hope to strike a balance between use of technology and not compromising the position of umpires when delegates from all Test-playing nations meet next summer.England skipper Nasser Hussain, twice wrongly given out in last week's drawn second Test against Pakistan in Faisalabad, has urged cricket's authorities to help umpires by utilising new technology.The subject is scheduled as a major agenda item for an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in London in May.Preliminary findings from the use of technology to assist with lbw decisions, which is currently on trial with the support of the ICC in South African domestic cricket, will also be reviewed at the forum.But ICC cricket operations manger Clive Hitchcock warned that any ruling should not undermine the authority of umpires. "We recognise that this whole area is one of great importance to everyone associated with international cricket," Hitchcock said."Technology has been successfully introduced to assist umpires in recent years and the debate now is to determine how far that should be extended. The position of umpires as decision makers cannot be compromised as it is increasingly being at present," he said."At the same time we need to ensure that the players are confident and comfortable with the decision-making process." Neither of Hussain's dismissals in Faisalabad would have been given out if the umpires had access to television replays.Hussain, attempting to play himself out of a slump in form, was adjudged lbw by West Indian official Steve Bucknor in the first innings when the ball clearly hit the England captain's bat.Then in the second innings Pakistani umpire Mian Aslam gave Hussain out caught behind when replays confirmed the ball had not hit his bat.In the light of these incidents England coach Duncan Fletcher reiterated his calls for the game's governing body to introduce a referral system whereby teams can 'appeal' to the third umpire for a ruling.Copyright @2000 AFP. All rights reserved

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