Technology improves officials, says retired Bucknor

Technology improves officials, says retired Bucknor

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Outstanding former Test umpire Steve Bucknor has endorsed the International Cricket Council's (ICC) use of technology in officiating, and has urged a rethink for those still in doubt.

“I am not certain if it is affecting the confidence of umpires but I know it has improved umpiring,” said the Jamaican, who stood in 128 Tests and 181 One-Day Internationals before retiring 11 years ago.

“It has improved umpiring because there was a time when we were saying that the batsman was so-called playing down the line and therefore he's not going to be given out leg before, and the technology is saying that the ball is hitting and if the ball is hitting then you have to give him out.

“So we learn from technology and the umpires who do not enjoy having technology around I would hope they would rethink, because technology is good for the game.”

The umpire Decision Review System (DRS) was introduced on a trial basis 11 years ago, but only following Bucknor's retirement.

Designed to enhance officiating, the DRS has attracted much controversy, and the ICC has continued to tinker with the system since its subsequent full introduction in an attempt to enhance its effectiveness.

Under the current regulations, batting and fielding teams are allowed to review dubious umpiring decisions at least twice per innings.

Technology such as “snicko”, which uses sound to determine edges, and “hotspot”, which utilises imaging to also determine edges, have also been introduced by the ICC.

Bucknor said the level of the current technology allows officials the luxury of correcting mistakes in real time.

“What it does is, if you make a mistake, the mistake can be corrected on the field,” Bucknor told Starcom Radio's Mason and Guest.

“Now, thinking about when I was umpiring and the mistake was made out there and I gave a batsman out who was not out, and realising I had made a mistake – it took me a long time to fall asleep that night.

“Now you can fall asleep quickly because the correct decision is eventually given. And once that decision is given, I've made a mistake but the correct thing was done later on and the batsman would've continued his innings.”

Bucknor twice infamously gave Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar out when the replays showed the decision to be incorrect. The first incident was an lbw decision at Brisbane on India's 2003 tour, while the second was a catch at the wicket two years later against Pakistan in Kolkata.

“It is human to err and Tendulkar was given out on two different occasions…these were mistakes,” Bucknor conceded.

“I don't think any umpire would want to do the wrong thing. It lives with him, and his future could be jeopardised.

“Once, in Australia, I gave him out leg before wicket and the ball was going over the top. Another time in India it was caught behind when the ball deviated after [passing the] bat, but there was no touch on the bat.

“But it was at Eden Gardens, and when you are at Eden Gardens and India is batting you hear nothing, because 100,000 spectators are making noise. You can hear nothing, nothing whatsoever.

“Those were the mistakes and I was unhappy about them but I am saying the human is going to make mistakes, and accepting mistakes and moving on from there is a part of life.”

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