Bucknor complains of TV crews misusing technology

Published: Sunday, May 7, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Georgetown :International Cricket Council elite panel umpire Steve Bucknor has expressed outrage at some television production companies doctoring images to make umpires look bad and key players look good.

Bucknor, who holds the world record for the most appearances in Tests of 111, has recounted personal experience of TV personnel misusing the TV technology to influence decisions in matches.

"It has been known to happen where the technology has been used to make umpires look bad," he said.

"Mats (the line graphic used to adjudge lbw decisions) have been moved, balls have disappeared, ball hitting the bat and only coming up into the fielder's hands, but between the bat and the hand, no ball is found and you are told, Sorry, we don't have that clip, we can't show it'."

Bucknor, who has stood in 139 One-day Internationals, including four World Cup Finals, said it all depended on who was umpiring and who was batting. "It has happened. I've been in a game when it has happened," he said. "Sometimes nothing is shown because the batsman was a key batsman and getting out at that stage would have made life very difficult for that team.

"It all depends on who is operating the technology. I've been told that this ball is the one with which the batsman got out, but the one that is being shown is not the same one he got out with. It has been known to happen."

Bucknor said there was a place for technology in the game, but when things like this occur, it makes the job of the umpires extremely difficult erodes trust between them and the players.

"In the beginning of my career, umpires were trusted," he said. "When umpires said not out, he was trusted, so they would say he is a good umpire and nobody questioned him.

"Today, the technology shows up his mistakes, and makes life a little bit difficult for umpires, especially when it has been known to happen that technology has been used to make umpires look bad."

Bucknor also expressed disappointment that umpires were not consulted about a trial that would allow international players three appeals per innings against umpires' decisions at this year's ICC Champions Trophy in India.

The ICC Cricket Committee has recommended that players be allowed a limited number of appeals to the third umpire, if they feel a decision made by the on-field umpire is incorrect.

"I would have been happy to be part of this change, but these things happen and we know about them happening rather than for us to say this is what we want," Bucknor said. "We'll have to live by them. Whatever they say, we'll just have to live by them."

Bucknor is currently sharing umpires' duties with Billy Doctrove, his fellow West Indian on the elite panel, and New Zealander Billy Bowden during West Indies' seven-match ODI series against Zimbabwe at home.

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