31 July 2007

"Hawk-Eye is rubbish" - Dickie Bird

Yep, that's the view of Dickie Bird - typically straight forward I suppose! The run of wrong decisions in the England v India Test series has heightened debate in India, not surprisingly, and you can read the article in full here. They being the country that leads the way for cricket financially, this will only accelerate the use of technology for making decisions. A few months ago, I did remark to a few people that technology would come in on all decisions if India were denied victory in the World Cup final through a bad decision, but that of course never happened as India didn't even make it through the group stages. Test matches are never quite as contentious, unless there are a lot of wrong decisions, so I didn't think they would be as high risk, but the run of poor decisions recently has heightened the Indian scrutiny.

Clearly, there are times when the replay tools (of which Hawk-Eye is just one), are unable to demonstrate whether the batsman was out or not for sure. In that case the decision is simple - not out. There are also times when Hawk-Eye shows the ball may "clip" the off or leg stump, or the bails, but as Dickie Bird is keen to point out, Hawk-Eye is not perfect and where the replays show the ball clipping, we can't give the batsman out because the technology is not accurate enough to be sure. However, where the ball is hitting two-thirds up middle, as it was on Sunday when Panesar hit Jaffer on the pad, or months ago when Dhoni was absolutely plumb to Rafique in a one day international for India against Bangladesh that he went on to win for them by scoring 91*, there can be no doubt. Hawk-Eye isn't that inaccurate!

So I put it to you that all that remains is for the cricket authorities to task an independent group to review test matches that have used technology to aid TV commentary and to review what should and shouldn't be given out to keep the balance between bat and ball. By that I mean that they may decide that the outside of the ball must be inside the outside of the leg stump to constitute an LBW, or they may decide that the inside of the ball must be inside the inside of the leg stump to constitute an LBW, etc etc. It would be up to that independent group to make a recommendation based on understanding the limitations in the technology and reviewing matches where the technology has been used.

OK, so I've never done that sort of thing before but it sounds better than proper work. I'm available!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine he is a big fan of "Wrong" Decisions or "Real" Averages either!!