DRS umpiring makes debut in Zimbabwe
Cricket’s umpiring Decision Review System will be used in Zimbabwe for the first time today when the hosts take on Sri Lanka in the second Test at Harare Sports Club. The DRS has widely been seen as a solution to cutting out umpiring errors in the game, but it has not been universally adopted since its initial trial in 2008.
While India has refused to use the system in the past because it did not believe that the technology it is based on was foolproof, countries such as Zimbabwe have not had the funds required for it. “I look at matches in different parts of the world, and I see the different levels of technology and you see umpires are left without conclusive evidence in one series where in another series they might have conclusive evidence with all tools available,” the International Cricket Council’s general manager of cricket operations Geoff Allardice said this week. “There are some logistical challenges as well about having every type of technology in every match but I think overall we should be striving for a more consistent delivery of technology at all international matches.” India have recently shown signs of softening their stance, and have committed to using DRS when they host England in a five-Test series that starts on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe Cricket have arranged for the system to be used in Sunday’s second Test against Sri Lanka, with the home side hoping that it can reduce the number of poor decisions that go against them.
Six of the seven incorrect umpiring decisions in the first Test were in Sri Lanka’s favour, as the tourists won by 225 runs.
“I think (the errors) have been well documented,” said Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak on Saturday. “I think the DRS is good because it can negate the element of human error.
“Obviously anyone can make a mistake, but the less of those that have an influence on the game, the better.” The system will also be used in the triangular one-day series that follows, when Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka will be joined by the West Indies. “It’s nice to have it because we need to use the technology - I’m happy to have it,” said Rangana Herath, who is leading Sri Lanka in the Test series.
Both sides confirmed a clean bill of health yesterday, and suggested that changes were unlikely for the final Test of the series. — AFP