Sydney: Australian umpires were wrong just once in 20 appeals in the last international summer, according to Australian Cricket Board research.
For the first time, the ACB recorded each appeal made to an Australian umpire during the six Tests against New Zealand and South Africa and the following triangular One- day series last Southern summer. A total of 363 appeals were made, and the ACB's video analysis showed that umpires made the correct decision 345 times. "This is the first time we've done it so we're not sure what the standard should be," ACB umpiring manager Geoff Allardice said on Thursday. "The general feeling was that the guys had a reasonable season and if that equates to 95 per cent, then it gives us a benchmark to work from. Maybe it's a good mark, maybe it's an average mark but we'll find out in the next few years." Allardice said the 18 incorrect decisions did not favour one team generally and did not involve one particular method of dismissal. But it took just five deliveries into the international summer for the first blunder - Daryl Harper's denial of an lbw shout by New Zealand against Australian opener Justin Langer. Harper admitted the next day that he should have sent Langer packing, which didn't help the Kiwis after he went on to reach a century. The validity of dismissals made by visiting neutral umpires were not included in the ACB statistics. Each Australian umpire was presented with a CD-Rom after every match to allow them to monitor their performance. The system is part of an upgraded approach to Australian umpiring, with the ACB planning to contract between 24 and 30 umpires next domestic season.
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