DRS leads to different interpretations for same situation

Last Updated: Mar 04, 2011, 15:42 PM IST

Ahmedabad: The much-debated Decision Review System came into sharp focus for the second time in six days at the World Cup as on two instances the on-field umpire stuck to his original decision though the point of impact of the ball on the pad was more than 2.5 metres from the stumps.

At Bangalore, during the tied India-England Group B tie, on-field umpire Billy Bowden stuck to his decision of ruling England`s Ian Bell not out for a leg before appeal against him by the Indian team when he was rapped on the pad by Yuvraj Singh.

India called for a review of the decision and technology showed that the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps but for the pad coming in the way. But the point of impact was more than 2.5m from the stumps and the batsman stayed on as Bowden stuck to his original call.

Even batsman Bell felt he was out and started walking back to the dressing room before he was asked to come back to the crease and continue his innings, and the incident created a major furore with India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni going to the extent of criticising DRS and the International Cricket Council (ICC) for introducing it in the mega-event.

On Friday during the Zimbabwe versus New Zealand Group A clash at the Motera stadium here, the former team`s captain Elton Chigumbara was given out leg before to his rival counterpart Daniel Vettori when he had stepped well out to the crease to play the Kiwi left-arm spinner.

Umpire Marias Erasmus declared the batsman out, a review of the decision was called for by Zimbabwe and it was found through TV replays that though the ball would have gone on to hit the leg stump, the point of impact was clearly beyond 2.5m. Yet umpire Erasmus stuck to his original decision and the batsman had to leave the field.

For the same sort of situation in two different matches, two different interpretations of the DRS system seem to have emerged and that may fuel more debates.

On both occasions either the proof provided by technology or the instructions given in the playing conditions on how to interpret the situation appear to have been ignored by on-field umpires.

The relevant portion of the playing conditions reads: With regard to determining whether the ball was likely to have hit the stumps.

If a "not out" decision is being reviewed, in order to report that the ball is hitting the stumps, the evidence provided by technology should show that the centre of the ball would have hit the stumps within an area demarcated by a line drawn below the lower edge of the bails and down the middle of the outer stumps.

However, in instances where the evidence shows that the ball would have hit the stumps within the demarcated area as set out above but that the point of impact is greater than 250cm from the stumps and/or that the distance between the point of pitching and point of impact is less than 40cm, the third umpire shall notify the on-field umpire of:

a) The distance from the wickets to the point of impact with the batsman; b) The approximate distance from point of pitching to point of impact; c) Where the ball is predicted to hit the stumps.

In such a case, the on-field umpire shall have regard to the normal cricketing principles concerning the level of certainty in making his decision as to whether to change his decision.

If an "out" decision is being reviewed, in order to report that the ball is missing the stumps, the evidence of the technology should show that no part of the ball would have made contact with any part of the stumps or bails.

PTI