Zim­babwe Cricket set to em­brace DRS

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

THE De­ci­sion Review Sys­tem made its long-awaited de­but in Zim­babwe dur­ing their sec­ond Test against Sri Lanka after some last-minute ad­di­tions to the avail­able tech­nol­ogy have made its im­ple­men­ta­tion pos­si­ble.

Hav­ing borne the brunt of a cat­a­logue of poor um­pir­ing de­ci­sions in their past three Tests, Zim­babwe are hope­ful that the in­tro­duc­tion of DRS will help level the play­ing field as they look to bounce back from a 225-run de­feat in the first Test.

The DRS will also be used in the tri­an­gu­lar one-day se­ries that fol­lows.

While Zim­babwe have never ob­jected to the use of the DRS on prin­ci­ple, the cost of hir­ing the tech­nol­ogy has pre­vi­ously made it pro­hib­i­tive. How­ever pres­sure from over­seas broad­cast­ers to im­prove tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion of Zim­babwe’s matches led to Hawk-Eye be­ing used dur­ing the broad­cast of their Test se­ries against New Zealand in Au­gust.

With Hawk-Eye once again be­ing utilised in the broad­cast for the se­ries against Sri Lanka, Zim­babwe Cricket (ZC) ex­pressed their de­sire to use DRS in the two Tests, but were un­able to make the nec­es­sary ar­range­ments in time for the first game. The DRS re­quires a form of ball-track­ing tech­nol­ogy as well as slow-mo­tion cam­eras and ei­ther HotSpot or Snicko. It also re­quires a spe­cial­ist third um­pire to be ar­ranged with the ICC.

Be­cause ZC did not pro­vide the ICC with ad­e­quate no­tice prior to the se­ries, the world gov­ern­ing body were un­able to ar­range a third um­pire be­fore the first Test. Ahead of the sec­ond Test, slow-mo­tion cam­eras have been flown in from South Africa and the ICC have pro­vided a third um­pire.

The pres­ence of Hawk-Eye in re­cent broad­casts has high­lighted a num­ber of in­cor­rect de­ci­sions against Zim­babwe. Nine of the 10 bad de­ci­sions dur­ing the New Zealand se­ries went against the hosts, while six of the seven in the first Test of this se­ries ben­e­fit­ted Sri Lanka. While the Zim­bab­weans have been cau­tious about blam­ing their de­feats on this de­ci­sion-mak­ing - espe­cially given that they dropped six catches in Sri Lanka’s first in­nings - there is a feel­ing that um­pires have a ten­dency to give fewer de­ci­sions to low­er­ranked teams.

The worst de­ci­sions have of­ten come on the fi­nal day of Tests when Zim­babwe were fight­ing to save the match. Zim­babwe had pro­gressed to 68 for 1 in 29 overs in their sec­ond in­nings against Sri Lanka, giv­ing them hope that they could bat out the fi­nal day, only to see Tino Ma­woyo given out lbw to a de­liv­ery from Dil­ruwan Per­era that Hawk-Eye be­lieved was miss­ing leg stump by some dis­tance. They sub­se­quently col­lapsed to 74 for five over the next four overs, and after a valiant ef­fort by the lower or­der, came within 7.3 overs of earn­ing a draw.

“I think (the er­rors) have been well doc­u­mented,” Zim­babwe coach Heath Streak said on Satur­day. “I think the DRS is good and it’s fair for ev­ery­one 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.”

One other is­sue that came to the fore in the first Test was the man­ner in which Zim­babwe ap­pealed to the um­pires, par­tic­u­larly in com­par­i­son to Sri Lanka. While the hosts seemed to make lit­tle more than po­lite en­quiries and failed to earn a sin­gle lbw in the match (Hawk-Eye showed that they should have had at least three), the Sri Lankans were vo­cif­er­ous with their ap­peals and had 10 Zim­bab­wean bats­men given out lbw.

“It is some­thing we’ve spo­ken about,” Zim­babwe cap­tain Graeme Cre­mer said after the match. “We’re try­ing to get more ver­bal and louder. It can def­i­nitely change a game or change an um­pire’s mind. We don’t want to crowd the um­pire, but I think Sri Lanka have got it down. Those de­ci­sions seem to go against us.” - ESPNCricinfo

Ton­derai Ndi­raya

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