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    May 07, 2006

    Three appeals allowed

    The ICC has now decided to allow players to appeal against umpiring decisions. Fielding team captains and the batsman involved are the only ones who can approach the on-field umpire with a request for a review of the decision.

    It is interesting that the ICC Cricket Committee was majorly split on the issue (6 votes in favour, five against). Shouldn't important decisions of this nature require an absolute majority vote? The committee proposed a maximum of three appeals allowed for either team in a one-day international. I wonder how they settled on that number. Is this an acknowledgement that umpires get at least three decisions wrong per one-day innings? Assuming that in a 50 over game, there is at least one appeal per over (quite high, I'd reckon!). If the umpires are getting 47 out of those right, then it works out to the 94% statistic that Dave Richardson mentions repeatedly.
    What we hope the trial will do, if approved, is to help eradicate the very few obvious errors that may be made by umpires, who already get between 94 and 96 per cent of decisions right at international level.
    I'm not clear about how the system will work. Richardson says
    Each team will be allowed three appeals to the third umpire per innings. If the appeal is successful they will retain the right to three appeals but if not, then it is lost.
    It does seem unfair to me that if the first [or second] appeal is rejected and the original decision upheld, the team cannot use the remaining appeal(s)!

    The other thing that is interesting about the whole idea behind experimenting in the ICC Champions Trophy is how the experiment in 2002 hasn't quite survived to tell the tale. In the 2002 edition, umpires were allowed to refer to the third umpire for lbw decisions, such as if there was an inside edge. Shoaib Malik lbw Vaas was the first [and only?] instance, the third umpire being Rudi Koertzen. This also did give rise to a question which I cracked in a quiz contest a couple of years ago. Mugshots of three cricketers were shown and the question was to connect them. One of the visuals was very obvious - Sachin Tendulkar. The second was a little tougher, and was Shoaib Malik. The third was the clincher - Roland Holder (and I was the only one to identify him!). So what is the connection?

    Sachin Tendulkar was the first to be declared run out by the third umpire, Roland Holder was the first to be given out bowled by the third umpire while Shoaib Malik was the first to be given out lbw by the third umpire.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 9:52 AM |
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    7 sledge(s):

    It does seem unfair to me that if the first [or second] appeal is rejected and the original decision upheld, the team cannot use the remaining appeal(s)!

    I think we're reading this differently. What I think he's trying to say is that you have three appeals. If an appeal is successful, then the number of appeals remains the same. If it's not, you lose an appeal. So you could have:
    1st over - unsuccessful appeal (two left)
    4th over - successful appeal (two left)
    5th over - successful appeal (two left)
    7th over - unsuccessful appeal (one left)

    etc.

    By Anonymous Geoff (07-May-2006, 1:19:00 PM)  

    Thanks Geoff. I hope you're right :) I read the "it" in 'Each team will be allowed three appeals to the third umpire per innings. If the appeal is successful they will retain the right to three appeals but if not, then it is lost.' as "the right to appeal", following from the way the first part of the sentence was framed. Either I or Dave Richardson needs a copy of Wren & Martin couriered :)

    Even then, I don't quite understand why teams keep having 3 appeals when they're successful. Teams should just have 3 appeals. Each appeal, whether successful or unsuccessful, results in them having one less available. Can you think of why the rule is framed so? Why not make it simple [which is a very hard thing for the ICC to do!]?

    By Blogger Jagadish (07-May-2006, 2:52:00 PM)  

    It's a reward for getting it right. Also, if one umpire were simply refusing to give any decisions in favour of a particular team, now matter how obvious, the 'victimised' team wouldn't be limited to just three appeals - as long as they were in the right, they could go on forever (well, presumably ten appeals is all they would need in total).

    What the ICC are essentially saying is that they don't trust their umpires.

    By Anonymous Geoff (07-May-2006, 8:51:00 PM)  

    there can be now 12 unsuccessful appeals per match and each appeal taking an average of 3 minutes will lengthen the game by 36 minutes:) Some food for thought.......

    By Anonymous Anonymous (09-May-2006, 7:49:00 AM)  

    geoff: Yes, the implication obviously seems to me that the umpires aren't good enough. But what if the third umpire was also so hopeless and pathetic that he gave the wrong decision as well, despite the appeal. For e.g., Pietersen being given not when he'd obviously not hit the ball into the ground at Nagpur. Who does the appeal go to? The on-field umps. Will the on-field umps go to the third umpire again? They have to - they went upstairs simply because they couldn't take a decision!

    anonymous: There can only be six unsuccessful appeals per match. This is in one-dayers, remember. However, there could be, like Geoff said, 10 successful appeals per team. So we're talking of a max. of 26 appeals per one-dayer. Even assuming the appeal is treated with double haste, it can't take any less than a minute, so teams get to be out on the field for upto half an hour extra per game and nearly one hour if appeals take 2 minutes to process.

    By Blogger Jagadish (09-May-2006, 4:17:00 PM)  

    It seems sense to use more technology to prevent disputed decisions, but why does it have to involve the third umpire, thus suggesting the two on the field aren't capable? Surely modern technology would allow the umpires in the middle to have pocket computers linked to the replay system - or to call up replays on the big Sky boards where available. And why are Hawkeye and the Snickometer to be excluded from this? Surely they are excellent tools? I agree with the comment that there may be a problem with time wastage.

    By Anonymous Ian (16-May-2006, 4:51:00 PM)  

    ian: In that case I suppose it'd be time to do away with the third umpire, if technology is good enough to allow the on-field umpires to take those decisions. Would there be ego issues involved? Imagine if the on-field ump suddenly thought "Who's this chap sitting in the comforts of an air-conditioned box to decide whether I was right or wrong?" ...

    By Blogger Jagadish (16-May-2006, 5:05:00 PM)  


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