|Selectors in Cricket Australia(CA) have decided to anoint Michael Clarke as successor to Ricky Ponting. This move raised a number of eyebrows, including those of Adam Gilchrist, but CA says the decision was made with a vision for the future. Below is the video of Brad Hogg's wicket of New Zealander Gareth Hopkins in the recent Chappell-Hadlee series. Michael Clarke was clearly playing in the "right spirit of the game" similar to the way he played against India.
As the video shows, Hopkins is not happy. The way he kept turning to look behind on his way back to the pavilion says it all. He is not at all pleased.
Compare this with what happened in the recent Sydney test. Sourav Ganguly stood his ground confident that Clarke grounded his catch. What happened later is history. Michael Clarke's acceptance of having grounded the catch is what is playing in the right spirit of the game. He was definitely playing in the spirit of the game but in the wrong one.
Why didn't the Kiwis react like the Indians did? It's probably because the New Zealand media does not care a damn for cricket. While in India, come the cricket season and the whole of the Indian media is glued to it. There has been a lot of talk on technology replacing conventional umpiring. Experts have even opined that umpires are not needed on the field. But what I am trying to emphasise is how technology can be put to best use in cricket. If Daniel Vettori and his teammates, upon watching the replay many times, had demanded that the umpire recall the decision against Hopkins, Michael Clarke would have thought twice before saying 'Yes' to the question of whether he had taken Ganguly's catch cleanly.
Below is a video of Kumar Sangakkara's dismissal in the Brisbane test when Sri Lanka was chasing a target of 507. Sri Lanka seemed to getting closer to the target with Sangakkara leading the way when Rudi Koertzen played foul.
The third umpire could play a stronger role in avoiding such false decisions in future. Irrespective of whether the dismissal is a clean one or not, the third umpire could check with the TV replays and if a decision is found to be false, he could ask the on-field umpires to change their decision. This is more or less similar to what Steve Waugh refers to as a "referral system" in which the third umpire is referred to for the fall of each wicket. This will in turn help cricket boards to know about the character of their players and also helps avoid making decisions like appointing a dishonest cricketer as the captain of his side.
Labels: cricket, TECHNOLOGY