Monday, February 25, 2013

A Revealing LBW Against Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke was given Out LBW to Ravichandran Ashwin in the 2nd innings of the Chepauk Test. Within the strict letter of the law however, he should not have been given Out. This case of Michael Clarke's LBW reveals very clearly two different modes of judgment at work in decisions - one when a decision is made by a human umpire in real time, and another, when it is made reflecting on video. I've written about this distinction previously. In brief, it rests (as Gideon Haigh identified so precisely) on the following points:

1. That Umpires do not reach decisions like a disembodied computing system does.
2. That this different method of making decisions means that in substance, the conclusions reached are different.
3. That marginal decisions are ones in which both Out and Not Out are equally reasonable decisions. Note, i say equally reasonable, not equally correct or accurate - the distinction is crucial precisely because an accurate decision is not possible.

Clarke LBW adds a wrinkle to this problem which is very interesting from my point of view, but is likely to infuriate DRS afficionados. Before I jump into this confounding situation, here are what I hold to be the different positions on the use of technology in cricket umpiring (or, in "DRS" as some people erroneously describe it):

Sunday, February 24, 2013

On The Current Difference Between England And Australia

Having watched both England and Australia play in India within the space of a few months, it is clear that England have the more settled, experienced and capable batting line up, as well as the more balanced bowling attack. There will be plenty of talk about some new Indian approach (as though there is a shelf of approaches to batting that is stored only in the dressing room, and must be chosen by batsmen and batting teams before they walk to the crease) against Australia, but I see no evidence of this. India's struggles opening the batting continue, yet, the middle order has had room to breathe and establish itself against Australia's lopsided attack.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Can Law 27 (Appeals) Survive DRS?

Jacques Kallis was given out LBW after he initiated a review of the original decision against him the second Test between South Africa and Pakistan at Cape Town today. According to the ICC, under DRS the decision ought to have been not out in Kallis's favor. The ICC released a statement about this incident, in which they said the following:
The umpires followed usual umpiring principles in giving Kallis out lbw on umpire’s call the review was for the batsman out caught. This is because the normal principle is that an appeal covers all forms of dismissal.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

If Only ICC worked on DRS the way it works on DRS.....

Two reports in January 2013 by Nagraj Gollapudi of Cricinfo revealed that the ICC's Chief Executives Committee (CEC) had recommended a change in the way the choice to use DRS would be made in bilateral series, and that this recommendation was shot down because the BCCI threatened to withdraw from any series in which DRS was used. The two stories, taken together suggested that it was a matter of fact that 9 out of 10 Chief Executives of full member nations (there are 10 such individuals) had supported the recommendation to give the host nation the sole authority to decide whether or not DRS would be used. When it got to the level of the heads of the Boards (who constitute the final and highest decision making committee of ICC), the head of the ECB supported the recommendation, while BCCI opposed it. The other eight boards were silent. The ICC's official media release about the ICC Board meeting was entirely silent on any discussions of DRS in the said meeting.