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ICC counters Bucknor~~s technology allegation

Published: Friday, May 12, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi:Steve Bucknor maybe sulking at the increased use of technology in cricket but ICC is hardly bothered and General Manager Dav Richardson said while the governing body doesn't want to belittle the Men in White, it does not want umpiring controversies either.

Bucknor, most experienced match official today, had earlier alleged that inaccurate on-screen graphics and incomplete video clips were being used to make the umpires look bad. Pooh-poohing Bucknor's allegation, Richardson told BBC World Service Sport, ''Umpires are always defensive about their own decisions'' and went on to say ''I often point to him as a very good example of why we need to give technology a go.'' ''He's done particularly well this year. After not a great year last year, he's averaging around 96 per cent of his decisions being correct, and yet he's made one or two decisions which have come in for terrible criticism from the media and from fans writing in to us,'' he said.

The ICC's Cricket Committee recently allowed teams to question any umpiring decision and refer it to the third umpire even though it was restricted to three appeals per innings.

Though the full ICC Board is yet to endorse the decision, the new rule ie being expected to be put on trial during this year's Champions Trophy in India.

''It's kind of a lesser of two evils. We don't want to compromise the spirit of cricket and we don't want the players having little respect for the on-field umpires, but on the other we want to avoid umpiring controversies,'' Richardson added.

ICC media and communications manager Brian Murgatroyd, however, was toned down in his view on Bucknor's allegations and felt increasing the use of technology is something which needs to be discussed and debated from all perspectives.

''From that point of view, I guess Steve has contributed to the debate,'' he said.

Former umpire Dickie Bird has also joined the debate and bemoaned that with ICC's new-found love for technology, the on-field umpires' job would be reducing to count the balls only.

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